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

  • Political Science Student Interns with Supreme Court

    Veronica Guerrero

    As a judicial intern at the Supreme Court of the United States last summer, Notre Dame senior Veronica Guerrero got a behind-the-scenes look at one of the nation’s most influential institutions. Guerrero, a political science and Chinese major in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, worked in the Office of the Counselor to the Chief Justice, where she helped with tasks such as giving lectures within the courtroom, welcoming prestigious international visitors to the court, and creating a daily news summary for the court. Read More >

  • "First Time Fans" Film Series to Be Released at Notre Dame

    Michael Canzoniero '93, "#AnnaLynneGoesToCollege"

    A series of three documentary films, directed by award-winning film directors who are also University of Notre Dame alumni, will be released on the WatchND app and the UND.com website during the last three weeks of this year. The series, “First Time Fans,” presents the excitement and wonder of some very different people as they experience a Notre Dame football game for the first time. Read More >

  • Two New Hires Bring Expertise in Chinese History

    koll_cai_icon

    Notre Dame’s Department of History has significantly broadened and deepened its coverage of China with the appointments of Elisabeth Köll and Liang Cai, two scholars “who are doing extraordinarily exciting and complementary work,” said Madden-Hennebry Professor of History Patrick Griffin, chair of the department. “These two historians enjoy established reputations in their subfields,” Griffin said. “They are also committed to teaching, and they will fit in beautifully to a department that prides itself on its scholarly and teaching prowess.” Read More >

  • College of Arts and Letters Announces New Computing and Digital Technologies Minor

    Charles Crowell

    The College of Arts and Letters will launch an interdisciplinary minor in Computing and Digital Technologies (CDT) starting in the fall of 2015. The CDT minor will offer a foundation for Arts and Letters students interested in all facets of technology—from technology consulting and cyber security to the digital arts and humanities. “One of the most exciting aspects of this program is that it was designed from the beginning with input from Arts and Letters alumni who are now leaders in the technology industry,” said Charles Crowell, associate professor of psychology and director of the program. Read More >