How does a student become an individualized major?
The Individualized Major Program requires an application. Prospective students prepare a formal proposal consisting of:
- A 2-3 page statement of purpose (Statement of Purpose Guidelines) (Sample Statements of Purpose)
- A plan of study (Plan of Study Guidelines)
- An unofficial transcript (a print-out of your PeopleSoft transcript is acceptable)
- Double major or additional degree students: A double major/additional degree worksheet and declaration form. (See below for more information.)
Proposals must have the support of three faculty members with expertise in the areas addressed by the major who serve as the student’s advisors. Students should provide faculty members with a copy of all parts of the proposal, and the faculty advisors must sign the plan of study form before the proposal is submitted.
Go to Helpful Hints for Working with Faculty Advisors for advice on identifying appropriate faculty advisors.
Students are encouraged to work with IMJR staff as they prepare their proposals. Appointments can be made via AdvApp (IMJR advisors are listed under “Enrichment Programs”).
When should a student apply?
- Students may submit proposals if they are either in their 3rd semester or once they have completed 30 credits toward graduation
- Students should have at least two semesters (typically 30 credits) of undergraduate study left in which they can register for courses in their proposed major; typically this means no later than the end of their junior year
- Students who have already registered for 90 or more credits toward graduation will only be considered for admission to the Individualized Major Program at the discretion of the director
Students are encouraged to develop proposals as early as possible. Early planning allows students to make the most of the opportunities the University has to offer. While students will generally apply to become individualized majors in their sophomore or junior years, freshmen who are interested in an individualized major are encouraged to meet with an advisor and begin the planning process.
How are admissions decisions made?
Admissions decisions are made by the Individualized Major Advisory and Admissions Committee which meets several times during the Fall and Spring semesters.
When evaluating an application, the IMJR Advisory and Admissions Committee will consider two broad criteria:
- Cumulative GPA:
- Students must be in “good standing” at the University and meet cumulative GPA standards at the time of application (for CLAS: GPA of 2.0 or above; for CANR: GPA of 2.5 or above).
- To graduate with an individualized major (in both CLAS and CANR), students must achieve a major GPA of at least 2.5 in the 36 credits of courses at the 2000-level or higher that comprise the formal major plan of study
- Therefore the Committee will consider not only whether students meet the minimum GPA standard, but also whether they are likely to meet the GPA requirements for graduation.
- Coherence and feasibility of the proposed major:
- The major theme (as presented in the student’s statement of purpose) and plan of study must form a cohesive and conceptually-sound degree.
- The proposed major must be academically rigorous and on par with other majors in the University.
- The student should be able to take the courses and complete the related experiences (e.g. internship, study abroad) as planned.
PLEASE NOTE: General Education and other degree requirements
- All Individualized Majors must meet the graduation requirements of the College granting their degree.
- Students seeking a CLAS degree should be aware that CLAS has additional requirements beyond the minimum general education requirements set by the University.
- An audit sheet delineating CLAS requirements can be found at the CLAS Academic Services website.
The IMJR and Double Major or Additional Degree
IMJR students in both CANR and CLAS may choose to double major or complete an additional degree. For information about acceptable overlap between the two fields of concentration, please confer with an IISP advisor. Details about acceptable overlap for IMJR students double-majoring in CLAS can be found here.