Major Themes

Some of the themes around which students have constructed individualized majors are listed below (for a list of some recent majors, see Recent Major Titles). The listings include links to thematic information sheets as well as links to the websites of relevant academic programs and/or existing minors. These can be useful starting points for designing your own major.

This listing is just a sample of what is possible! Meet with an IISP advisor to discuss your ideas.


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
  • Spirituality, Culture, and Health
  • Exercise Physiology and Health

Info Sheet: Health

Global and International Studies

Individualized majors in global and international studies have focused on themes including peace and security, economic development, global health, environmental change, or comparative cultures. Some recent titles include:

  • Global Studies
  • East Asian Studies
  • Global Health

Info Sheets: Global Studies, Global Studies Minor Course List
Useful Links: European Studies Minor; Middle East Studies Minor; India Studies Minor; Asian Studies Minor

Data Science

Data Science, the science of extracting meaningful and useful information from large data sets, is a field that is developing fast. The subject is, by its inherent nature, highly interdisciplinary. There is a rapidly growing demand for data scientists in many sectors, including digital advertising, actuarial research, customized health services, genomics, image analysis, image and speech recognition, and online map and navigation services. Please note that Data Science, unlike other individualized majors, has a number of required courses in its plan of study.

Info Sheet: Data Science

Social Issues and Policy

Complex social issues often require 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:

  • Public Policy
  • Sustainable Practices and Policy
  • Health, Policy, and Social Medicine
  • Marine Fisheries Management and Policy

Info Sheets: Public Policy
Useful links: Public Policy Department

Media, Culture, and the Arts

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:

  • Art, Globalization, and Activism
  • Social Justice and Visual Media
  • Film Studies
  • Human Computer Interaction
  • Video Storytelling and Film

Useful Link: Film Studies Minor

The 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
  • Computational Neuroscience
  • Biochemistry
  • Computational Linguistics
  • Marine Chemistry

Useful Link: Neuroscience Minor

Food and Agricultural Studies

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

  • Food, Culture, and Sustainable Society
  • Aquaculture and Fisheries
  • Nutrition, Food Policy, and Sustainability

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 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 and Society
  • Crime, Gender, and Justice

Info Sheet: Criminal Studies


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

Consumer Behavior

Consumer Behavior is an interdisciplinary area of study, drawing largely from the social sciences, that focuses on the consumer decision making process.
Info sheet: Consumer Behavior
Guidelines: BADM Courses

Other Areas

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