Overview of the Individual Major

Through the CIS you may propose an individual, integrative major on a subject that permits coherent, in-depth study using resources available through the college, and that does not duplicate any existing program at the college. You may propose a sequence of courses, seminars, independent studies, internships, and other learning experiences as the means of pursuing your major. Your major must have a central, organizing idea that integrates the experiences you propose; it must include an integrative senior project; it must include a web portfolio; in most cases it must include 12 courses, not including the course unit (IS 392) devoted to the senior project in the spring of your senior year.

Proposals will be accepted for review any time after the spring semester of your first year and before the spring semester of your junior year. Your proposal should lay out the subject matter of your intended major, and the means of pursuing that subject matter. Your proposal must have the support of a faculty advisor, and it must be reviewed through a CIS Final Review Consultation before it is forwarded to the Curriculum Committee for final approval. The completion of your major must be certified by the Director of the CIS, who will be guided by prevailing standards for a departmental major at St. Olaf, and by criteria appropriate to integrative learning. Read more about procedures for proposing individual majors.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will demonstrate:
1. integrative thinking – the ability to draw on more than one disciplinary perspective in approach to chosen area of study.
2. communication skill – the ability to express ideas clearly and complexly in one or more chosen media.
3. understanding – the ability to recognize and articulate meaningful questions in the chosen area of study.
4. self-reflection – the ability to reflect on individual learning within self-designed independent major.