The purpose of a Student Designed Major (SDM) proposal is to provide a route by which highly motivated and independently disciplined students can systematically pursue a course of study that is not available through existing programs (majors) at the University. The proposal should include study of an issue, problem, or area of intellectual concern in some depth, and not be a general studies program.
The SDM should be appreciably different from any major available on campus. The student’s proposal must be coherent and unified, rather than a collection of elective courses. In other words, the student must be able to articulate what his or her "major” is, and to demonstrate that the "whole is greater than the sum of the parts”.
The SDM cannot be used to avoid those portions of an existing major that are uninteresting or presumed to be too difficult. For example, the SDM cannot consist of all of the courses of an existing major with one or two substitutions.
The SDM will typically consist of courses from at least two or three existing disciplines (e.g. Psychology, History, Chemistry), with a reasonable mix of each. A SDM cannot consist of a concentration or subspecialty within a recognized major, e.g. 18th Century English Literature.