Jul 22, 2024  
2024-25 Western Washington University Catalog 
2024-25 Western Washington University Catalog

Student/Faculty Designed, BS (College of Humanities and Social Sciences)

Location(s): WWU - Bellingham

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College of Humanities and Social Sciences

70-110 credits


The Student/Faculty Designed Major (SFDM) is a program/major that leads to a 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. Responsibility for compliance with the policies, procedures, and intent of the SFDM is shared by the student and their individually organized Advisory Committee.

Students interested in pursuing a Student/Faculty Designed Major leading to a Bachelor of Science degree should contact the Global Humanities and Religions Department. See chss.wwu.edu/humanities-religions.

Why Consider a College of Humanities and Social Sciences Student/Faculty Designed Major?


 Contact Information

Program Advisor
Dr. Kimberly Lynn
Global Humanities and Religions Department Chair
Bond Hall 152

Academic Department Manager
Maureen Christman
Bond Hall 152

 Sample Careers

Varies with program of study

 Major/Career Resources


How to Declare (Admission and 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 Chair to initiate the application process after reviewing the SFDM Policies and Procedures, which are available at: chss.wwu.edu/humanities-religions/studentfaculty-designed-majors.
  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. Students 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 the SFDM contract and all the supporting documentation can be submitted to the Global Humanities and Religions Department.
  5. An electronic contracts and supporting materials will be forwarded to the CHSS Curriculum Council after the contract has been routed and approved by the Advisory Committee and the Global Humanities and Religions Department Chair.

Grade Requirements

A grade of C- or better is required for a student’s major or minor courses, and supporting courses for majors and minors.


❑ The program must include at least 70 credit hours, but no more than 110 credit hours. At least 45 credit hours must be taken from departments within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

❑ At least half of the total number of credits in the major should come from upper-division coursework.

❑ No more than 50% of the credits in the program may be credits completed before the contract date. The contract date is the date in which the student reviews the initial draft of the Description of Major and Plan of Study, and a 1-2 page typed rationale with the Global Humanities and Religions Chair.

❑ The program cannot substantially duplicate existing major programs, or be designed simply to circumvent already established major requirements. Like all programs/majors, SFDMs should exhibit breadth, focus and depth.

❑ Each program/major must be approved by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Curriculum Council.

Additional Requirements

❑ A maximum of 30% of the total credits can be earned from Independent Study. Students are required to provide syllabi or course outlines for each proposed Independent Study.

❑ A plan for meeting the University’s Writing Proficiency requirement must be submitted as part of the course of study.

❑ If the program/major is to be used for teacher certification, it must also be developed in accordance with the policies and procedures for interdisciplinary majors set by the Teacher Curricula & Certification Council and approved by that Council.

❑ Students who wish to include study abroad courses in their curriculum should propose and have their programs approved BEFORE the study abroad. This is especially important if completion of the study abroad program will result in more than 50% of the total credits having been taken.

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