Any undergraduate student working toward an L&S degree with a minimum cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 2.000 may inquire about applying to develop an individual major. (Students earning degrees in other undergraduate schools and colleges on the UW–Madison campus are not eligible to pursue an Individual Major within Letters & Science.) This major must receive approval by a faculty committee during the second-semester of the sophomore year or first semester of junior year. Seniors may find it impractical to use this major since all students are required to earn at least 30 degree credits after the term in which approval is given. A student may complete only one individual major.
In order to set up an appointment with an academic dean in L&S Undergraduate Academic Deans’ Services to discuss the possibility of applying for an L&S Individual Major, please call 608/262-0617 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please refer to the Guide for more official information regarding the College of Letters & Science Individual Major. Student pursuing a BA degree should refer to the following link. Student pursuing a BS degree should refer to this link.
Developing an Individual Major. The student takes primary responsibility for developing an individual major proposal. The well-written proposal must meet the requirements and rigor for a major in the College of Letters & Science (the proposal cannot just be a list of courses that are similar in content area or subject matter). Also, the student must demonstrate that the proposed individual major is not currently available as an option in any of the L&S majors or certificate programs.
Students may consult with the individual major coordinator as part of the process of defining the theme or topic for the individual major. The coordinator may provide feedback about the construction of the major and how it might relate to other majors in the College as well.
Once a theme or topic has been identified and refined, the student must find a tenured faculty member in the College of Letters & Science who is willing to serve as the individual major adviser. This designated faculty advisor will:
- assist the student in defining/redefining the relevant themes, learning objectives and rationale for the major and assist in developing/refining the student’s individual major proposal;
- assist in the review and selection of courses for the major plan included in the proposal;
- help in defining/redefining the relevant themes, learning objectives and rationale for the major;
- advise the student in course selection and, in consultation with the individual major coordinator, track progress toward completion of the major.
As soon as the topic and the advisor (i.e., a tenured faculty member in an L&S academic department) are known, the student should meet with the individual major coordinator within L&S Academic Deans’ Services by calling 608-262-0617 or sending an email to email@example.com to set up an informational meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to review the details of individual major requirements and to review procedures. Please review and bring along the Individual Major Information document to your meeting.