Allegheny provides students with a choice of 30 different majors — and the opportunity to design their own major. Seventeen departments at Allegheny offer at least one major; several offer two or more. Interdisciplinary majors in International Studies, Neuroscience and Women’s Studies also are available.
Students electing double majors must fulfill all requirements for each of the two programs. A student completing two majors may complete two Senior Projects or, with the approval of both departments, a single Senior Project that integrates both disciplines and is evaluated jointly by both departments. In the latter case, the Senior Project will fulfill the Senior Project requirement for the major in each of the respective departments.
When a second major is used to fulfill the College Minor Requirement, it must contain at least 20 credit hours that do not also count toward the first major. At least 12 of these 20 credit hours must be outside the division of the first major.
The appropriate department chairpersons and a faculty advisor from each department must approve the double major. A decision regarding the type of Senior Project should be noted on the approval form when it is returned, even though changes may be made later with the approval of the departments and the individuals involved.
Students may design their own major if such a major is not offered. A Student-Designed Major must be comparable in academic rigor and integrity to a conventional major and must offer sufficient depth in a subject area. Such a major is to be cohesive and integrated, including both a Junior Seminar (“580” course) and the Senior Project (“600” course). The Senior Project should be a culmination of the student’s interdepartmental studies, directly pertinent to the student’s stated goal, and evaluated by representatives of more than one department.
A subcommittee of the Curriculum Committee helps students design their own major program. The student must identify two faculty members in the important areas of the planned major who approve the program and are willing to serve as the student’s academic advisors. Like advisors for other majors, these advisors supervise and monitor the proposed program of study. The student must file an application form for a Student-Designed Major with the Curriculum Committee, and the form should be submitted no later than the end of the second semester of the sophomore year.
On this form, the student must describe and justify the planned course of study. Emphasis should be given to the explanation of how individual courses, the Junior Seminar, and the Senior Project function to support the course of study. The relationship of the chosen minor to the major should also be explained. Some alternate courses should be listed, a progression to higher level courses needs to be demonstrated, and the possibility for off-campus study should be explored. The major must contain a minimum of 40 semester credit hours.
The entire program must be presented in writing to the Curriculum Committee, which grants or denies permission for the major based on the academic viability and integrity of the proposed course of study. Any changes to the approved program must be requested in writing on the “Amendment Form” and approved by the faculty advisors and the Curriculum Committee.
The precise title of each Student-Designed Major, such as American Studies or Public Resource Management, will be indicated on the student’s permanent record.