The Major Requirement

Albion College offers the following academic majors:

Anthropology and Sociology
Art (Studio Art)
Art History
Athletic Training
Business and Organizations
Communication Studies
Earth Science
Economics and Management
Environmental Science
Environmental Studies
Ethnic Studies
Exercise Science

Geological Sciences
Individually Designed Major
International Studies
Political Science
Public Policy
Religious Studies
Sustainability Studies
Women's and Gender Studies

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 majors include a maximum of 10 required units in an academic department as well as possible cognates within other areas. A student may declare two majors. Interdepartmental majors and interdisciplinary majors, with a maximum of 10 required units of course work plus cognates, are also offered.

Detailed requirements for all of the majors listed above appear in the Programs of Study section of this catalog.

Individually Designed Interdepartmental Major (IDIM)

The individually designed interdepartmental major (IDIM) allows freedom of choice. Under this program, students have created their own majors in such fields as arts administration, cognitive science, Latin American studies, political economy, twentieth-century social philosophy, and public health.

A student desiring to propose an individually designed interdepartmental major has usually determined that certain combinations of courses from a variety of departments on the Albion campus will best fulfill his/her career goals. In many instances, that student's career training will primarily focus on the offerings of one department, or one faculty member, who is most knowledgeable in that career area.

  1. The student should propose his/her ideas to a faculty member in the appropriate department for discussion and clarification. The faculty member should be willing to serve as the major adviser.
  2. IDIM proposals must be submitted before the student attains 25 units.
  3. The student and the major adviser should work together in selecting other faculty members who might be included on the student's major committee. The student should then enlist two of these faculty members to serve, with the major advisor, on the major committee. At least one member of the major committee shall be from outside the major adviser's department. If, for any reason, the membership of the major committee is altered, the student is responsible for securing replacements as well as for notifying the provost and the registrar of the change.
  4. The major committee and the student shall then design in detail the nature of the curriculum to be followed for the IDIM. Individually designed interdepartmental majors must include: a minimum of eight units of course work and one unit of directed study whose purpose shall be to demonstrate the student’s ability to perform independent scholarship or creative activity appropriate to the student’s particular program. Typically, the student’s major adviser will supervise the directed study. IDIM programs must be a minimum of nine units, including the directed study, and may not exceed 12 units.
  5. A student may not have completed more than half of the IDIM program prior to submission of the IDIM proposal.
  6. Before beginning the individualized program of study, the student must secure the unanimous approval of the major committee. The student should then submit the form to the Registrar’s Office. The Registrar’s Office will then send the form to the provost for approval. The student should include a proposal of the directed study which should show the role of the directed study in supporting the unique aspect of the IDIM and should be signed by the faculty member who will direct the proposed study. The provost will provide copies of the IDIM to the student, the major adviser and the registrar. A copy of the approved program and any subsequent approved changes will be kept on file with the registrar.
  7. To revise an IDIM, the student must submit a new IDIM application with the changes in the program noted to the Registrar’s Office. All of the changes to the IDIM must be approved by the entire major committee and the provost. The student must also file an explanation for the change in the original IDIM.

Detailed regulations and forms for filing an individually designed major are available from the Registrar's Office.