Self-Designed Majors

The Process

(1) Interested students, in consultation with three faculty sponsors from at least two departments, should present a detailed written proposal of their major (which has been signed by their faculty sponsors) to the Undergraduate Studies Advisory Committee no later than Friday before the midsemester break of each semester. One of the faculty sponsors should be identified as the chair of the supervising committee.

(2) Approval of the special major will be granted by the dean, on the recommendation of the Undergraduate Studies Advisory Committee. The committee will review the proposals and communicate their recommendations to the students before the preregistration period begins. As it deliberates, the committee may ask for additional information from the student, faculty sponsors, and other colleagues in related areas to assist in further refining and rewriting the original proposal. It is the expectation that the on-campus portions of the major will relay heavily on existing courses.

(3) Special majors must culminate in a capstone essay, or, where appropriate, other work, which will be evaluated by more than one faculty member. (In most cases, it is assumed that the faculty evaluators will be the faculty sponsors.) A detailed proposal of the capstone project must be submitted to the faculty sponsors by November 1 of the senior year. It is expected that a capstone essay will consist of between 30 and 50 pages (7,500-15,000 words).

(4) Changes in an individual program need the approval of the chair of the supervising committee and the dean. If students discover midstream that they are unable to complete the special major, it may be “dropped,” but they must then complete one of the traditional departmental majors. Retroactive proposals will not be considered. Thus, these programs should be well underway by the end of the junior year.

Arts and Letters News

  • English Professor Kate Marshall Wins Media Ecology Book Award

    kate_marshall_icon

    Kate Marshall, Notre Dame’s Thomas J. and Robert T. Rolfs Assistant Professor of English, has been awarded the 2014 Dorothy Lee Award for Outstanding Scholarship in the Ecology of Culture for her book Corridor: Media Architectures in American Fiction. The award, presented by the Media Ecology Association, honors works that focus on the ethnographic or intercultural analysis of communication, perception, cognition, consciousness, media, technology, material culture, and/or the natural environment. Read More >

  • Video: Arts and Letters Alumnus Bob Conway, Senior Director, Goldman Sachs

    Bob Conway ’66

    “The breadth of studies that I had at Notre Dame, whether it was in philosophy, or theology, or economics, or history, all developed a context for me and will for any liberal arts student,” said Bob Conway ’66. Conway is senior director for The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., in London, England. He feels that the writing and communication skills he gained as a government major were critical to his success and are essential in any career. Read More >

  • Sociologist Jennifer Jones to Convene Afro-Latino Conference

    Jennifer Jones

    Jennifer Jones, Institute for Latino Studies faculty fellow and assistant professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology, will convene a conference on Afro-Latinos in Movement: Critical Approaches to Blackness and Transnationalism in the Americas on October 31, 2014. The conference and an accompanying volume, for which Professor Jones will serve as co-editor, explore broad questions of black identity and representation, transnationalism and diaspora, with a particular interest in research on Afro-Latinos in the United States. Read More >

  • Notre Dame Sociologist Explores Enduring Influence of Ku Klux Klan in Contemporary Political Polarization

    Rory McVeigh

    The notorious activities of the Ku Klux Klan nearly a half-century ago continue to exert an influence on contemporary American politics, according to Rory McVeigh, professor and chair of the Department of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame. Read More >