Individualized Majors Program

Explore your passions. Create your own path.

Are you having trouble finding a major that fits your unique interests, talents, and career goals? Do your interests cut across disciplinary boundaries and not fit within existing majors? Then the Individualized Major (IM) may be for you.

students walking by the BU sign

Individualized Majors Program

About the Program

In the IM program, you’ll work with a faculty advisor to create a one-of-a-kind major combining your choice of courses with an approved experiential learning component, such as an internship, extended study abroad, an honors or departmental thesis, a senior seminar, or a service-learning project. Some students combine an IM with a traditional major or minor.

Butler graduates have earned Individualized Major degrees in such areas as Asian Studies, Italian Culture, Principles of Design, Ancient Egyptian and Museum Studies, The Social-Cultural Bases of Religious Experience, Medical Illustration, and Urban Relationships and Development.

Start by reading the guidelines which explain the basic rules for any IM. These are the standards by which the IM Committee will judge the proposal. If you think you have an idea that might work, make an appointment to discuss it with the chair of the individualized major committee.

It’s generally best to set up an individualized major in the sophomore year, though sometimes students manage to do it later. If you have ideas about an IM major in your first year, feel free to discuss it with the chair of the IM committee.

Your faculty advisor should have expertise in the area of your individualized major, and should ideally know you. Your advisor should help you put together your proposal. If you have an idea but don’t know who might serve as an advisor, the IM committee chair can help you identify possibilities. Sometimes you may have two advisors.

The IM is a major within LAS, but students with a major in another college may add an individualized major as a second major. They may also have their IM as a primary major, with a secondary major inside or outside the college. In either case, students must satisfy the LAS language requirement.

Sample Major

Body, Mind, Media, and Sports

Bulldog soccer captain Serina Kashimoto aspires to play professionally and promote soccer back home in Japan. To broaden future options, she’s combining coursework from many disciplines—Anthropology, Psychology, Human Movement and Health Sciences, Sports Media, and more—in her IM.

Serina Kashimoto during a soccer game

Sample Major

Political Science and Italian

Lauren Hodge proposed her own major in the Italian language and merged it with her interest in Political Science in the IM program. Her internships with international law offices took her to Milan, Italy, and Washington, DC.

Lauren Hodge in professional attire

Sample Major

Global-Cultural Studies Through Media

Curious about how film and literature reflect historic moments and people’s experiences, Caitlin Ladd is studying Gone with the Wind, Australia’s Mad Max, Japanese graphic novels, and more in her IM.

Caitlyn Ladd smiling at the camera

Sample Major

Chinese Language and Culture

Eshan Pua’s desire to become a speech pathologist and help Chinese orphans spurred her IM, an intensive exploration of Chinese language, literature, history, business culture, and art. Her knowledge supported her successful bid for a prestigious Fulbright-Hays scholarship to study in China.

Eshan Pua holding a drink and looking at the camera