Courses of Study 2021-2022 
    May 21, 2024  
Courses of Study 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Independent Major Program

In the College of Arts and Sciences .

Course Offerings  

J. Finlay, coordinator, KG17 Klarman Hall, (607) 255-5004.

The Independent Major Program allows students to design their own interdisciplinary majors and pursue a subject that cannot be found in an established major. Proposals for an independent major must be equivalent in coherence, breadth, and depth to a departmental major, well suited to the student’s academic preparation, and consistent with a liberal education. Proposals must also be supported by a faculty advisor and are assessed by a board of faculty members. The board considers whether the plan brings a particular subject into clear focus, whether the range of courses is sufficiently inclusive, and whether, in pursuing the program, the student is likely to acquire methodological and critical skills that students acquire in the departmental majors.

Major Requirements:

Independent majors substitute for established majors in the college. Students pursuing an independent major must still satisfy all the other college graduation requirements  for the bachelor’s degree. Independent majors must be interdisciplinary and contain coursework from at least three departments in the college. The major may not be a reconfiguration of an existing major in the college, nor may it contain more than three courses from beyond the College. The major should include at least 8-10 courses at the 3000 level or above; most independent majors have more. Students apply for an independent major before the end of the sophomore year.


Students in the Independent Major Program may earn honors. To be eligible, a student must maintain a 3.0 overall average, a 3.5 inside the major, and have no more than one grade below a B and no grade below C in the major. During the fall term of senior year, the honors candidate formulates a proposal, recruits a three person honors committee of whom the faculty advisor is one, and undertakes research. During the spring term, the student completes the honors project.

For more information, please visit the Independent Major website.