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

  • Alumna Runs Guatemalan Orphanage

    Anne Attea

    “The love of charity is the form of faith.” Though Thomas Aquinas penned these words, Anne Attea ’86 has certainly lived them. For the past year, Attea has been the Director of el Hogar de Niños del Amor de Patricia, a home caring for abandoned, abused, and neglected children in Guatemala. Attea and her team provide these children with love and stability, as well as food, shelter, clothing, medical and dental care, music, fun, and education. Read More >

  • Tea Party Support Linked to Educational Segregation, New Study Shows

    tea_party_2010_icon

    In January 2009, Barack Obama assumed the U.S. presidency in the midst of the most severe recession since the great depression of the 1930s. While many Americans hoped the new administration would take an active role in providing relief for those harmed by the economic collapse, a “Tea Party” movement emerged to oppose Obama’s agenda. Read More >

  • ND Experts: No Excuse for Malaysia Airlines 'Mistaken Identity'

    Michael Desch

    President Barack Obama on Friday (July 18) began building a case that would blame separatist forces supported by Russia for the downing of the Malaysia Airlines passenger jet over Ukraine on July 17. Obama said one American was among the nearly 300 killed and that evidence indicates the jet was shot down by a surface-to-air missile from an area controlled by Russian-backed separatists. Read More >

  • Theology Professor Awarded Two Prestigious Research Grants

    Peter Casarella

    Peter Casarella, associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Theology, has been awarded two prestigious grants for a book project that will explore the idea of God from the perspective of Latino Catholicism, including the complex challenges of “translating” God in a modern world. Read More >