Individualized Major

The individualized major at Wells provides unique classroom connections through a program based on your goals and interests.
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two students reading paper
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The Individualized Major exists primarily for students who wish to specialize in a very new or focused field, or those who make connections between different academic areas in unique ways. The individualized major allows them to color outside the lines — to break the boundaries of currently-offered programs and set their own path.

For example, a few individualized majors from recent years include:

  • "Biological Anthropology"
  • "Cinema and the Liberal Arts"
  • "Education and French and Francophone Language"
  • "International Entrepreneurial Development"
  • "Postmodern Studies"
  • "Cultural Perspectives through Media Studies: Focus on Japan"

In addition to allowing for flexibility within the College's curriculum and selection of majors, the individualized major represents some of the more innovative and creative possibilities available to a student who has a clear goal and distinct set of scholarly interests.

Though it is self-designed, each individualized program is held to the educational standards and goals of the College. In other words, the major that you create will still hold as much depth and value as those already on the books. You'll work with knowledgeable, professional faculty and staff to refine your plan, choosing a selection of focused courses and independent study projects in fields that relate to your career goals while building your knowledge and experience.

Just like each major, a senior thesis capstone experience — involving in-depth research, extensive writing, public presentation or performance, or whatever is most suited to the topic at hand — will challenge you to demonstrate what you've learned while continuing to strengthen your expertise in the subject.

As with all Wells programs, additional experiences outside the classroom will build your comprehensive education. Internship experiences offer the chance to learn about professional practices and build connections with the types of professions you find interesting, while study abroad opportunities create unforgettable international experiences and cross-cultural knowledge.

At the end, you'll be prepared to continue in a specialized graduate or professional program of your choice – or work your way into the career you've always wanted.

 

"Working with students allows me to create a community to share ideas. My role is to model to students how to ask important questions about our shared human experience, and then how to interrogate these questions in a meaningful way."

Dan Renfrow
Associate Professor of Sociology; Institutional Review Board Co-Chair
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How does the Individualized Major work?

If you're curious about this option, just speak to your faculty advisor. They'll be able to tell you whether you're better off applying your desired research topics within one of our current majors, if this process is right for you. You'll then select courses from the catalog that provide a broad set of skills and types of knowledge within the liberal arts and sciences—the goal is to provide a clear focus while still learning the types of things that will benefit your education and prepare you for graduation.

When you've determined what courses best support your goals while meeting credit hour requirements and substaintially representing at least two disciplines, the Academic Standing and Advising Committee will meet to approve or reject the application. Depending on their findings, you'll move forward with your own, self-made major!

Academics

Wells College promises a relevant liberal arts and sciences education. Intellectually challenging. Reinterpreted for today. Classroom teaching combined with hands-on learning. Wells graduates enter the world prepared for successful futures.

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