Majors & Minors

Independent Major

Design your own intellectual path at Southwestern.

Independent Major
Independent Major (Credit: Southwestern University)

In the spirit of making connections and supporting innovation and exploration across the disciplines, Southwestern University empowers you to design your own independent major, leading to a bachelor of arts. You’ll have the opportunity to propose your own course of study, choosing classes from various departments to expand your knowledge of a coherent intellectual theme or hone your skills in preparation for a specific career goal. Interested in urban studies? Combine classes in government, sociology, architecture, and design thinking. Pursuing a future in global health? Consider linking an internship shadowing a cardiothoracic surgeon with coursework in cancer biology, gender and sexuality, sustainable food and agriculture, and health psychology.

To design your academic curriculum, which will include a high-impact capstone project, you’ll consult with the chairs of the relevant departments and programs and present your proposal to the Curriculum Committee for final approval. Pursuing a unique field of inquiry requires strong initiative and self-discipline, but by interweaving coursework, research, and internships from a range of subjects, you’ll get to pursue your passions, enhance your creativity, and develop a distinct and wide-ranging perspective on complex real-world problems.