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What are some colleges that are good if one want to design their own major?

whiwhi 20 replies13 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 33 Junior Member
edited November 2011 in College Search & Selection
Exactly what the title says: What are some colleges that are good if one want to design their own major?

According to collegeboard. com most colleges will let a student design their own major. However, I'd be willingly to bet that at some of those colleges the last person that designed their own major graduated 10 years ago and nobody knows what to do about a student wishing to design their own major.

I'm looking for a college that accommodates (i.e. hassle-free class registration) & offers guidance (which classes best suit goal) to students wishing to design their own majors.
edited November 2011
11 replies
Post edited by whi on
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Replies to: What are some colleges that are good if one want to design their own major?

  • smwhtslghtlydzedsmwhtslghtlydzed 1344 replies212 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,556 Senior Member
    The one that comes to mind is NYU's Gallatin, an entire school for self-designed majors. But most schools are open to it, I'd just look around the websites and CC forums of the schools that you're interested in to see the truth about the hassle.
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  • KudryavkaKudryavka 859 replies20 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 879 Member
    I've heard of several people doing independent majors in Linguistics and Neuroscience at Grinnell. I know there's definitely guidance available for independent majors, though I don't know just how many people do it.
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  • PRQuinPRQuin 109 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 109 Junior Member
    The New College of Florida would be really good for designing your own major -
    New College of Florida - Academics

    Special Program Areas of Concentration
    With the approval of faculty, you can create your own Special Program Area of Concentration in an area that is not regularly offered at New College. Examples include cultural studies, entomology, and gender and ethnic studies. Usually these special areas are modeled on similar programs offered at other colleges and universities.

    I also know that school focuses a lot on independent research opportunities/experience for students
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  • Erin's DadErin's Dad 32863 replies3607 discussionsSuper Moderator Posts: 36,470 Super Moderator
    A link to a list: UMass Amherst: IMP

    Just one of many previous threads that can be found using the search button:
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  • newuser2011newuser2011 127 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 130 Junior Member
  • spdfspdf 935 replies20 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 955 Member
    When I was a student at Knox I was on the curriculum committee during my senior year, and I think we approved independent majors for three different students that year. I suspect independent majors happen frequently at almost any LAC, especially at a place like Grinnell. Every school has a curriculum committee, and this is part of their responsibilities. It's not a freakish occurrence by any stretch.
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  • momwondersmomwonders 191 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 193 Junior Member
    Gallatin at NYU specializes in this, and gives you the full breadth of NYU schools, institutes, and divisons from which to draw -- as well as its own multi-disciplinary faculty as mentors in the process. It is a small school within the hugeness of NYU and that also can be very positive for students. This focus on multidisciplinary study is a bit different from schools that "allow" double and individualized majors, though many do and might be sufficiently flexible, too.
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  • jkiwmomjkiwmom 1332 replies36 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,368 Senior Member
    Hampshire College, Antioch College
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  • floridadad55floridadad55 2192 replies70 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 2,262 Senior Member
    I think you can do that at Brown
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  • NYU2013NYU2013 1738 replies42 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,780 Senior Member
    For some examples of NYU Gallatin majors: (these are ones I know people have taken)

    (1) Politics and Political Communication (It's actually an actor from a TV show majoring in this)
    (2) Evil - The study of the psychological and ethical principles of what constitutes 'evil' and 'morality'
    (3) Color - The psychological and philosophical topics that have to do with color and perception.
    (4) Happiness - Again, the psychological aspects of happiness and philosophical aspects of what constitutes happiness.
    (5) Spirituality

    The list goes on and on.
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  • momwondersmomwonders 191 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 193 Junior Member
    Suggest a deeper look at the majors at Gallatin than above. As a parent, I know what my son is doing, for example. Interesting, at least a quarter of Gallatin majors are in the sciences, and many head to medical school from Gallatin. You can see some examples here NYU Gallatin > Student Life > Student Profiles

    (And if you don't think that evil is something worth serious study in today's world, well ... )
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