Southwestern

Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

Independent Major


If your intellectual interests stretch across the boundaries of the established majors, Southwestern allows you to craft your own Independent Major (area of concentration). Designed in consultation with the chairs of the Division/School and the Departments involved, you can tailor an interdisciplinary course of study focused on a theme.

Recent graduates have pursued Independent Majors in a wide range of topics including:  

  • International Politics and Environmental Concerns
  • Film Studies
  • Visual Media
  • Behavioral Studies
  • Childhood Development and Learning in Society
  • Arts Management
  • Business and Kinesiology
  • Culture and Sustainability
  • International Business
  • International Political Economy
  • American Pop Culture
  • Political Communication Studies
  • Sports Management

An Independent Major’s course of study must show unity and coherence in examining a set of intellectual issues through the lenses of a range of disciplines. The major consists of no fewer than 48 semester hours, chosen in accordance with an overall plan: 1) 24 semester hours from one subject area (defined as one group of courses sharing a numerical prefix, e.g. 70-XXX-Studio Art), 18 of which must be above the introductory level; and 2) 24 additional semester hours from other subject areas, 18 of which must be above the introductory level.

After working with the Division/School and Departments to map an individualized curriculum, students’ programs must be approved by the Division/School in which the first 24-hour block falls. The capstone experience is dictated by the requirements of the subject area in the first 24-hour block.