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

  • ND Expert: Netanyahu Visit Snarls Domestic Politics and International Diplomacy

    Michael Desch

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Washington in March will likely include an address to a joint session of the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress. House Speaker John Boehner extended and Netanyahu accepted the invitation without consulting President Barack Obama. According to Michael C. Desch, professor and chair of the Department of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, Netanyahu’s address, two weeks in advance of an Israeli election, violates “a long-standing tradition of politics stopping at the water’s edge and for the U.S. government to uphold a common front in dealing with other countries, whether allies or adversaries.” Read More >

  • Notre Dame-Based Radio Interview and Discussion Program to Air on WVPE

    Agustín Fuentes

    An interview and discussion radio program based at the University of Notre Dame will air on WVPE-HD beginning Sunday, February 1. The program, titled Vantage Point, is hosted by Agustín Fuentes, professor and chair of Notre Dame’s Department of Anthropology, and offers the insights of academic experts on issues related to politics, religion, history, culture, society, and the arts. Read More >

  • Study Abroad Program Leads to Overseas Career for Arts and Letters Alumnus

    Chris Renner ’84

    When first asked if he would work on the Olympics, Chris Renner ’84 jumped at the chance. The opportunity allowed Renner, who majored in French and economics in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, to combine his love of sports with his international business experience. Now based in Paris, Renner is CEO of Helios Partners, a worldwide sports marketing consulting agency. Read More >

  • Video: The Arts and Letters Summer Internship Program

    alsip_adam_llorens

    “To get to your ultimate goal, your ultimate dream in life, it’s so important to get experience outside the classroom in the real world, and the internship is the perfect opportunity to do that,” said Adam Llorens ’14, a film, television, theatre major in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters. Llorens interned at CBS News in New York City in the summer of 2013 and is now a researcher at CBS This Morning. Read More >