May 27, 2024  
2018-2019 Catalog 
2018-2019 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Student/Faculty Designed Majors

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College of Humanities and Social Sciences


The Student/Faculty Designed Major (SFDM) is a program/major that leads to either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree granted by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences. The SFDM allows students, in consultation with appropriate faculty, to design individualized programs in subject-areas or with educational objectives that are not served by existing departmental majors. Programs may have either an academic or pre-professional focus.

This program is administered by the Liberal Studies Department, whose Chair will provide guidance, information and general advisement for interested students. Particular academic and professional advisement, pertaining to the curricular content of each major, is largely the responsibility of the participating Advisory Committee faculty.

The primary purpose of the SFDM is to enable motivated students to make creative use of Western’s curricular resources in academically sound ways. The expectations regarding academic substance and standards are not less than those of “regular” majors. Responsibility for compliance with the policies, procedures, and intent of the SFDM is shared by the student and their individually organized Advisory Committee, consisting of three to four faculty.

Students interested in pursuing a Student/Faculty Designed Major should contact the Liberal Studies Department. See

Declaration Process

A Student/Faculty Designed Major is available only through an application process:

  1. Students are required to meet with the Liberal Studies Department Chair to initiate the application process after reviewing the SFDM Policies and Procedures, which are available at:
  2. An SFDM proposal generally consists of two parts: an SFDM contract that includes a detailed plan of study, and a 1-2 page typed, rationale for the proposed major that includes an explanation of the specific educational goals and how the program best serves those goals.
  3. Students must take the initiative to form an Advisory Committee of three to four faculty to assist in the development of a curriculum (plan of study) for their SFDM. Faculty should be chosen from academic departments that represent major areas of study within the proposed program.
  4. A student must meet with her/his Advisory Committee face-to-face to discuss the proposed plan of study and rationale before the SFDM contract and all the supporting documentation can be submitted to the Liberal Studies Department.
  5. Completed contracts and supporting material will be forwarded to the CHSS Curriculum Council after the contract has been approved by the Liberal Studies Department Chair. Incomplete contracts will be returned to the student.


    Bachelor of Arts

    Bachelor of Science

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