Major Themes

Some of the themes around which students have constructed individualized majors are listed below. The listings include recent major titles, links to thematic information sheets, and links to the websites of relevant academic programs and/or existing minors. These can be useful starting points for designing your own major.


Individualized majors often combine the study of the physiological determinants of health with the social and cultural determinants of health. The scope varies from the microscopic to the global, depending on the problems addressed by the major. Some recent titles include:

  • Global Health
  • Community Health and Wellness
  • Health Care and Social Inequality
  • Health, Wellness, and Reproduction
  • Drugs, Disease, and Illness
  • Exercise Biology

Info Sheet: Health


Individualized majors with global themes looks at issues of peace and security, economic development, global health, environmental change, or comparative cultures. Some recent titles include:

  • Global Studies
  • East Asian Studies
  • Rights, Health, and Refugees
  • Japanese Studies
  • Global Health

Info Sheet: Global Studies

Information Technology

Information technology is a field that is growing quickly. There is a strong demand for data analysts in many sectors, including advertising, actuarial research, health services, genomics, image analysis, image and speech recognition, and online map and navigation services. Some recent titles include:

  • Bioinformatics
  • Computational Biology
  • Computational Neuroscience
  • Computational Linguistics


Policy building around complex social issues often requires an interdisciplinary approach. Major plans of study in this area draw from disciplines across the whole continuum of the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Some recent titles include:

  • Health Policy
  • Government, Policymaking, and Law
  • Health, Policy, and Disparities
  • Marine Fisheries Management and Policy

Film and Media

There are many topics in media, entertainment, culture, and the arts that are suitable for individualized majors. Plans of study in this area often include courses from the humanities and the fine arts. Some recent titles include:

  • Visual Media
  • Geoscience Communication and Visual Media
  • Human Computer Interaction
  • Visual Storytelling and Film Art

Useful Link: Film Studies Minor

Natural Sciences

The natural sciences have inspired numerous individualized majors in recent years. Many of these majors combine courses across the sciences, but they may also include courses in the social sciences or engineering. Some recent titles include:

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Biochemistry
  • Marine Chemistry

Useful Link: Neuroscience Minor

Food and Agriculture

Interdisciplinary approaches to the study of food and agriculture have inspired individualized majors such as:

  • Food, Culture, and Sustainable Society
  • Aquaculture and Fisheries
  • Food Studies

Useful Links: Minors in CAHNR have often served as inspiration for these majors.

Criminal Studies

Some individualized majors are focused on the issue of crime, law, and justice in the United States. Plans of study in this area draw from sociology, psychology, political science, and human development and family studies. Some recent titles include:

  • Crime, Law and Justice
  • Law, Social Justice, and the Family
  • Criminal Behavior
  • Crime, Gender, and Justice

Info Sheet: Criminal Studies

Culture, Language, and the Arts

Majors with themes in culture, language, and the arts draw from a wide variety of disciplines. They may look more closely at the relationship between language and culture or culture and the arts. Some recent titles include:

  • Asian Arts, Culture, and Feminism
  • Fashion, Gender, and Culture
  • Speculative Fiction for Young Audiences
  • Art, Globalization, and Activism
  • Young Adult Fiction: Identity and Diversity

Commerce and Consumers

Individualized majors with themes of commerce and consumers draw from business, economics, the social sciences, and psychology. They often focus on advertising and the consumer's decision making process. Some titles include:

  • International Commerce
  • Fashion Merchandising

Guidelines: BADM Courses


Sport-themed majors often incorporate elements of business, communication, social sciences, and sometimes health. Some recent major titles include:

  • Sport Promotion
  • Sport Operations
  • Sport and Media
  • Sport and Youth Development

Info sheet: Sport
Guidelines: BADM Courses, EDLR Courses

Other Areas

There are many other possibilities! We strongly encourage you to meet with us to discuss your ideas.