May 28, 2024  
2022-2023 Catalog 
2022-2023 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 Global Humanities and Religions 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 Global Humanities and Religions Department. See

Declaration Process

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

  1. Students are required to meet with the Global Humanities and Religions 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: 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 their Advisory Committee (an in-person meeting is preferred; an online meeting is also permissible) to discuss the proposed plan of study and rationale before all the supporting documentation can be submitted to the Global Humanities and Religions Department.
  5. Electronic contracts and supporting material will be forwarded to the CHSS Curriculum Council after the contract has been routed and approved by Advisory Committee and the Global Humanities and Religions Department Chair.


    Bachelor of ArtsBachelor of Science

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