Individualized Major Program
Stuart Glennan, PhD, Chairperson, LAS Individualized Majors Program Committee
- Individualized Major (BA, BS)
Individualized majors meet the needs of students whose primary academic interests cut across traditional academic disciplines. This program allows students who have shown interest in crossdisciplinary work to design their own majors. The purpose of the individualized major program (IMP) is to provide an option to study a crossdisciplinary topic in depth, not to constitute a general-studies option or to replace a double major. The IMP may appeal to nontraditional and returning students as well as to students who have completed an associate degree and wish to complete a bachelor’s degree with a different focus than their associate degree. Recent IMP students have graduated in Chinese language and culture, ancient Egyptian language and culture (Egyptology), music business, and medical illustration.
The IMP consists of at least 36 hours of course work, which must form a coherent whole. This may include work taken at other colleges, including work taken through the Consortium for Urban Education interchange in Indianapolis. All normal Core Curriculum and LAS College requirements must be met. In LAS, the same course cannot be counted toward two different majors. The proposed program should include an experience beyond the normal classroom-based course, such as an internship, a semester of study abroad, an honors or departmental thesis, a senior seminar in a relevant department, or a service-learning project in the junior or senior year. Because each IMP is unique, there is no fixed list or sequence of courses for the major.
A student should submit to the IMP committee through its chairperson a proposal for an IMP anytime between the beginning of the sophomore year and the end of the fall semester of the junior year. In general, this application will include a general statement that describes the nature of the proposed IMP, how this IMP relates to the student’s goals, and why these goals can better be pursued as an IMP rather than within a traditional major or double major. The proposal also should demonstrate the coherence and integrity of the proposed IMP, show that course resources are available to support the IMP (including courses to be taken outside of Butler), and provide evidence that the student has the motivation and initiative to carry out the IMP. The student should also recruit an advisor for the IMP and provide a detailed list of courses, which will constitute the major (subject to revision each year due to changes in available courses relevant to the IMP). The IMP committee will evaluate the proposal and decide whether to approve it. More information and the proposal application can be found at the program website.