University of Connecticut

Planning an Individualized Major

How do I apply?Carl D'Oleo-Lundgren

You will need to create a set of three documents for your application to the IMJR program:

  • A 2-3 page statement of purpose
  • A plan of study
  • An unofficial transcript

If you are planning a double major or additional degree, you will need two additional documents:

  • A Double Major or Additional Degree Worksheet
  • A Double Major Declaration Form or Additional Degree Petition

Your proposal must have the support of three faculty advisors with expertise in the areas addressed by the major. You should consult with faculty well before the admissions deadline and request their feedback on all parts of the proposal. The faculty advisors must sign the plan of study form before you submit the proposal.

When should I apply for admission to the IMJR program?

You may submit a proposal for admission to the individualized major once you achieve third semester status or have completed 30 credits. The latest you may submit a proposal is prior to registration for you final 30 credits of study. Although you may not yet submit an application, if you are a freshman interested in the individualized major, we encourage you to meet with an IMJR advisor to begin the planning process.

You can find the specific deadlines for application on our Deadlines page.

What are the criteria for admission?

The Individualized Major Advisory and Admissions Committee, which is comprised of faculty from CLAS and CAHNR, with representatives from ACES, the School of Business, and the School of Education, makes the admissions decisions. In evaluating an application, the committee with consider two broad criteria:

  1. Cumulative GPA. You must be in “good standing” at the university, and have a GPA os 2.0 for and IMJR in CLAS or a GPA of 2.5 for an IMJR in CAHNR. To graduate with an individualized major (in both CLAS and CAHNR), you must achieve a GPA of 2.5 in the courses in your plan of study. The committee will consider not only whether you meet the minimum GPA standard at the time of your application, but also whether you will be likely to meet the GPA requirements for graduation.
  2. Coherence and feasibility of the proposed major. The committee will evaluate whether the major theme (as presented in your statement of purpose) and the plan of study together form a cohesive and conceptually-sound degree. Your proposed major must be academically rigorous and on par with other majors at the university. The committee will also consider whether you will be able to take the courses and complete the related experiences (e.g. internship, study abroad) as planned.

Who will help me with my proposal?

IISP staff and faculty advisors will help you define your focus, choose courses, and advise you until you graduate. We also suggest enrolling in UNIV 2600.

UNIV 2600

Every semester we offer a one-credit course, UNIV 2600 Individualized Study Across Academic Disciplines, that is designed to promote the skills you need to create your own interdisciplinary major.

Focusing on your own area of interest, you will learn about:

  • the commonalities and differences among the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities
  • the key characteristics of disciplines in which you are particularly interested
  • what it means to be interdisciplinary (or multidisciplinary) and how an interdisciplinary approach might be effective in understanding certain issues

You will explore these themes by analyzing TED Talks on such issues as HIV/AIDS prevention or the decline of bees and delving into some intriguing case studies such as the Salem witch trials or the privatization of water in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

This course is especially appropriate for second-semester freshmen, sophomores, and first-semester juniors.