The Major Requirement
The major requirement represents learning mastery in an area of specialization. Majors are possible in three separate areas -- the departmental major, the interdepartmental or interdisciplinary major and the individually designed major.
Departmental major requirements are determined by each of the academic departments. These include a maximum of 10 required units in the department as well as possible cognates within other areas. A student may declare two majors. Requirements for departmental majors are revised periodically, and full details appear in each departmental description in the Departments and Courses section of this catalog. The departmental majors offered at Albion are listed below:
Anthropology and Sociology
Interdepartmental majors include mathematics/economics and mathematics/physics. Interdisciplinary majors include American studies, ethnic studies, international studies, public policy, and women's and gender studies. Complete details for these majors are listed under the Departments and Courses section of this catalog.
Individually designed majors allow freedom of choice. Under this program students have created their own majors in such fields as arts administration, environmental science, cognitive science, Latin American studies, political economy, twentieth century social philosophy and public health.
Albion permits a student to design an individual major by first proposing it to a faculty member willing to serve as the major adviser. The student and the adviser must identify two other faculty members who will serve with the adviser as the student's "major committee." One member of the committee must come from outside the adviser's own department. Before beginning an individual program of study, the student must secure the major committee's unanimous approval of the proposed program as well as the approval of the College vice president for academic affairs. This approval must be granted no later than midsemester of the second semester of the student's junior year. A copy of the approved program and any subsequently approved changes are to be filed with the registrar after being signed by the vice president for academic affairs. In essence, the program then becomes an agreement between the student and the institution. The requirements for an individual major include a minimum of eight units of course work, plus one unit of directed study which demonstrates ability to perform independent scholarship or creative activity related to the proposed major program.
An individually designed major provides an opportunity for the student to vary his or her curriculum. An example is a student wishing to major in "British government." Such a major is not offered under the interdepartmental program, nor is it a subject most undergraduates pursue. At Albion, a student can combine courses from the Departments of Political Science, History, Economics and English to show substantial knowledge of British government.
Detailed regulations and forms for filing an individually designed major are available from the Registrar's Office.