2016-2017 Academic Catalog 
    May 27, 2024  
2016-2017 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Student-Designed Major

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While most Clark students can and do fulfill their academic goals through regularly established departments and interdisciplinary programs, the University recognizes that some students may have special interests and goals that cannot be met through normal channels. The student-designed major program is intended to provide flexibility for these students while ensuring rigorous academic standards. Students are normally expected to have a GPA of 3.0 or higher to pursue the student-designed major. Student-designed majors are coordinated by the associate dean of the college and developed with the guidance of three faculty advisers. They must be approved by the associate dean of the college by the beginning of the junior year.

Guidelines for student-designed majors are:

1. The student-designed major (SDM) is intended for the student who wishes to focus on the systematic exploration of a particular problem or a particular body of knowledge that does not fall within the bounds of existing majors or departments at Clark. It should typically involve three or more disciplines, and draw upon existing Clark faculty expertise and courses offered regularly at Clark.

2. The student-designed major requires a detailed (1-2 pages single-spaced) description and rationale of the major and a list of required courses, to be developed by the student in consultation with a faculty advisor and two other faculty members (who together constitute the student’s supervisory committee). This committee must approve the rationale and course requirements for the major no later than the end of the student’s first semester of the junior year.

3. All student-designed majors shall include a minimum of 12.00 course units, including four courses at the 200 level. These courses should be carefully planned by the student and his or her committee, to include courses from three or more disciplines, and to progress from introductory courses to more advanced levels of sophistication by the senior year.

4. In the senior year (usually the second semester), the student will complete a capstone requirement intended to draw on and integrate earlier course work, and to include an independent research component, either through a senior research thesis, a supervised internship experience (that includes research), or some kind of creative independent project.

5. The administration of student-designed majors is handled by Phil Robakiewicz, Associate Dean for Student Academic Success (phone x7462), who is available to advise all students interested in this program.

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