How to Create an Individualized Major
In the event that no single major alone satisfies a student’s interests and career goals, he or she may, with the guidance of two faculty, propose an Individualized Major that meets all of the standards of a college major but is composed of courses from two or more majors. These standards are given below.
INDIVIDUALIZED MAJOR STANDARDS
Students will complete an application by the end of their third semester at the University (or the equivalent for transfer students) showing how they meet all the necessary standards. As a first step, students interested should contact the Program Director for an initial discussion and detailed guidelines (contact details available from the Enrollment Center). The final proposal for each student’s individualized major must be approved by the University’s Individualized Major Committee. As an introduction, here are some general guidelines.
Students will be asked to consult with two subject-area faculty and together design a major of at least 48 credits, with one concentration of at least 16 credits taken from one major. At least half of the courses in the major should be at the 300-level or above. Only eight credits of directed studies and eight credits of internships are permitted over and above the Senior Project described below.
Students may propose an Individualized Major on any subject matter that permits coherent, in-depth study using resources available through the University, and that does not duplicate an existing program. Two subject-area faculty members from different departments must read and approve the proposal and agree to advise the student throughout the plan’s implementation. One of the faculty should be from the concentration, and both should agree to read and evaluate the Senior Project. If there is no one on University faculty with sufficient expertise in the proposed major, students together with the Program Director will need to find someone with recognized expertise in this field to be one of their faculty advisors.
Students’ proposals must be approved by the Individualized Major Committee after at least 20 credits of the general education requirements have been met and before half of the proposed major courses have been taken. Applicants should have at least a “B” (3.0) average in their MUM coursework to date.
The plan must be organized around a central theme and be substantial enough in content to meet the aims of college study. It should also have a theme from Maharishi’s Science of Consciousness, connecting the interdisciplinary theme to life as a whole.
Range of Knowledge
The plan should provide for a) a foundation of skills, concepts, and methods appropriate to the proposed area of study, b) study of leading thinkers in the field, c) a planned opportunity to apply one’s knowledge and skills to real world problems and issues or to complete a substantial research project, and d) knowledge of Science of Consciousness relevant to the theme.
The major will include an integrative project to be completed in a two-block Senior Project, pursued at the end of the plan. The project is a sustained, focused exploration of a selected topic supported by the plan, using methods appropriate to the subject, and permitting reflection on and creative use of material encountered earlier in students’ studies. The project may take any form, including, for example, laboratory, field, or other empirical research; a substantial essay or research paper; a performance, panel, or public presentation; a community program; a web site; or some other form that the student chooses. Projects in all formats must be supported by appropriate independent research and a bibliography of works cited. They must include a section relating the project to the Science of Consciousness. All performance and media projects must include a written rationale, criteria for evaluation, and a self-evaluation at the end according to the criteria.
In addition to working with the subject-area advisors, students are required to meet personally or by phone with the Director of the Individualized Major Program once every three month to report progress.