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

  • Scholars at Rome Global Gateway to Debate Role of Catholic Universities During Times of Political Unrest

    ucu_icon

    For Ukrainian scholars attending this week’s conference at Notre Dame’s Rome Global Gateway, the topics to be discussed became lived realities over the past year—realities that led to civil disobedience, public protests, and the loss of a colleague who was killed by a sniper while protesting in February 2014.  Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., issued a statement of support for these protesters in December 2013. Read More >

  • NSF Funds V-Dem Research on Consequences of Democratization

    Michael Coppedge

    The National Science Foundation has awarded $277,000 to three members of the Varieties of Democracy (V-Dem) team for research that uses new data to identify the impact of specific types of democracy on economic development and infrastructure. A $77,588 share of the grant goes to Michael Coppedge, a professor in the Department of Political Science, one of V-Dem’s four PIs. Read More >

  • Notre Dame Theologian Rev. Brian Daley to Receive Wright Prize from Fellowship of Catholic Scholars

    Rev. Brian E. Daley, S.J.

    Rev. Brian E. Daley, S.J., Catherine F. Huisking Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, will be awarded the John Cardinal Wright Prize by the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars at its annual meeting in Pittsburgh on Saturday, September 27. A member of the Notre Dame faculty since 1996, Father Daley, a Jesuit priest, is an internationally renowned scholar of the writings, sayings, and lives of the earliest Christians. Read More >

  • Notre Dame Reports Highest Level of Research Funding in a Non-Stimulus Year

    research

    The University of Notre Dame received $113 million in research awards for fiscal year 2014, the highest ever recorded at the University in a non-stimulus year and a $17 million increase over the previous year. Notre Dame received $119 million in 2010, but approximately $30 million was from government stimulus grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Read More >