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Bachelor's Degree Programs
Individualized Major

Major in Individualized Major

While the needs of most students are well served by existing majors offered on campus, some students have academic interests that do not fit well into existing programs or traditional disciplinary boundaries. The Individualized Major Program (IMP) in the School of Liberal Arts meets the needs of such students. It serves disciplined and self-motivated students who may wish to major in traditional disciplines or interdisciplinary areas for which majors are not available at IUPUI, as well as those who wish to fashion unique and original interdisciplinary majors that reflect their individual experience, interests, and needs. These include students whose work and life experiences suggest the need for fresh ways of organizing existing courses into meaningful new majors, as well as innovative students who wish to bring together course work in several disciplines to focus on a thematic area or make unusual yet valid connections between areas that are rarely studied together. The IMP can also serve transfer students who wish to continue work started elsewhere in areas in which IUPUI has faculty expertise but no organized majors.

Unlike other majors which prescribe a fixed area of study, the individualized major provides a structure that allows such students, in consultation with faculty members, to design their own majors on various topics and fields of study. Each major course of study varies in accordance with the needs and interests of individual students. Students work closely with faculty advisors, and all individualized majors are overseen and approved by a faculty committee that ensures each student-designed major has intellectual integrity and rigor.

The specific learning outcomes of students graduating with an INDIVIDUALIZED MAJOR will vary according to the specific content of the courses of study they design, but all IMP students completing their Individualized B.A. program will achieve the following:

  • Know a coherent body of knowledge and theory in a discrete area of study they have defined.
  • Understand approaches to knowledge and methodologies employed in the different disciplines and sub-disciplines included in their major plans, and appreciate the value and limitations of each.
  • Be able to communicate what they have learned and understood in writing, orally, or another medium of their choice.

Some may have begun to operate effectively in an appropriate professional setting connected to the major. With judicious selection of courses included in their majors and other coursework students may be able to qualify for graduate or professional programs that might not otherwise be open to them through other majors at IUPUI.

Admission Checklist

Review materials on IMP website, paying special attention to the program description.

Contact the administrative assistant via email impsla@iupui.edu for general program information.

Discuss your plans in greater detail with the Director of the Individualized Major Program who will give you a full description of the program and its requirements.

Conduct an audit of your academic record in relation to the School of Liberal Arts general education requirements with an advisor in the Office of Student Affairs.

Identify a member of the full-time faculty who is willing to serve as your faculty sponsor for the IMP. You may have more than one advisor.  Please ask your faculty sponsor to contact the Director of IMP with any questions about the program.

Ask this faculty member to sign the Supervisor Agreement Form, who will return a copy to both you and the advisor and create a section of SLA-I 360.

Sign up as a prospective IMP major (Pre-Individualized Major) in the School of Liberal Arts Office of Student Affairs located in CA 401.

Register for I 360, a 1-hour variable topic course graded S/F.  Your faculty sponsor will serve as the instructor for this course.

Develop a plan for your major with your faculty sponsor, including lists of courses and a timetable (use the form provided on the IMP website). Include a rationale of three or more pages that describes and justifies the major you have designed, with a discussion of how it suits your educational and professional needs better than any existing majors.

Submit the completed major plan and statement in final form to the Director of IMP by the semester deadline posted on the IMP website. The Director of IMP will submit this proposal to a faculty committee, which will meet with you and your faculty sponsor before granting final approval.

The Committee will meet to consider your proposal. When the proposal is approved, you will be officially admitted to the Individualized Major Program.

Change your major from Pre-IMP to IMP in the Office of Student Affairs located in CA 401.

From this point on you and your faculty sponsor will be responsible for your academic progress towards the BA degree with an Individualized Major. You must consult with your advisor to register for courses and keep the Director of IMP advised of your progress every semester. You should plan to take your capstone I 460 course in your last semester. You must submit a one-page proposal before the end of the previous semester for permission to register for this course. Contact Dr. Shepherd for more details.

You and your faculty sponsor will be responsible for selecting a topic for the senior capstone course, I 460, and for scheduling its defense in consultation with the Director of IMP.

Degree Requirements

  • A minimum of 120 credit hours is required for a B.A. degree from the IU School of Liberal Arts.
  • A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 (C) is required for graduation.
  • A minimum of 26 credit hours must be completed after formal admission to IUPUI.
  • A minimum of 21 credit hours of major coursework must be completed in residence in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Course work completed on an IU-administered or IU co-sponsored Overseas Study program counts as residential credit.
  • A minimum grade of C (2.0) is required in each major course.
  • Once a course has been applied toward one requirement, it cannot be used to satisfy a second requirement, except where explicitly stated otherwise. In addition, except in cases of variable title courses, internships, and other special courses, no course will be counted more than once toward graduation.

IUPUI General Education Core

A list of accepted courses in the IUPUI General Education Core can be found at http://go.iupui.edu/gened.

Core Communication (6 credits)

  • ENG-W 131: Reading, Writing, and Inquiry I (3 credits) or ENG-W 140: Reading, Writing, and Inquiry: Honors (3 credits) completed with a grade of C (2.0) or higher

English for Academic Purposes (EAP) sections of ENG-G 131 have been designated for students whose first language is not English.

  • COMM-R 110: Fundamentals of Speech Communication (3 credits)

Analytical Reasoning (6 credits)

  • College math from List A (3 credits)
  • List A or List B (3 credits)

Cultural Understanding (3 credits)

  • A world language course is recommended

Life and Physical Sciences (6 credits)

  • A laboratory science component is required

Arts/Humanities and Social Sciences (9 credits)

  • Arts & Humanities (3 credits)
  • Social Science (3 credits)
  • Additional Arts & Humanities or Social Science (3 credits)

Transfer students entering IUPUI from another public university in Indiana who have completed the transferable general education core at their home campus will not need to complete the IUPUI General Education Core.

Liberal Arts Baccalaureate Competencies

First-Year Experience (1-3 credits)

  • SLA-S 100: First Year Success Seminar
  • Other: First Year Seminar from another school at IUPUI

Transfer students with 18 or more credit hours are not required to take this course.

Writing Proficiency (3 credits), completed with a grade of C (2.0) or higher, chosen from the following:

  • ENG-W 230: Writing in the Sciences
  • ENG-W 231: Professional Writing Skills
  • ENG-W 270: Argumentative Writing

Transfer students may satisfy the writing proficiency by completing course work equivalent to ENG-W 231, ENG-W 230, ENG-W 270, or GEWR-UN 200 with a grade of C (2.0) or higher at another campus or institution.

Transfer students with 80 or more transfer credits may petition for exemption from the Writing Proficiency requirement.  Petition available in the Miriam Z. Langsam Office of Student Affairs, Cavanaugh Hall room 401.

Analytical Proficiency (3 credits), chosen from the following: 

  • ECON-E 270: Introduction to Statistical Theory in Economics and Business
  • PHIL-P 208: Causality and Evidence
  • PHIL-P 265: Introduction to Symbolic Logic
  • PHIL-P 365: Intermediate Symbolic Logic
  • POLS-Y 205: Analyzing Politics  
  • SOC-R 359: Introduction to Sociological Stats

Analytical Proficiency is in addition to the Analytical Reasoning area in the IUPUI General Education Core. Analytical Proficiency courses may be shared with major requirements if applicable.

Life and Physical Sciences Laboratory

One laboratory science course is required, but may be part of the coursework taken in the IUPUI General Education Core.

Arts and Humanities (3 credits) - Courses in one’s first major field of study cannot be used to fulfill this requirement

100 or 200 level course chosen from the following disciplines

  • Africana Studies (AFRO)
  • American Studies (AMST)
  • American Sign Language (ASL) excluding World Languages courses
  • Classics (CLAS) excluding World Languages courses
  • Communication Studies (COMM-R, excluding COMM-R 110, and COMM-T only)
  • East Asian Languages and Cultures (EALC) excluding World Language courses
  • English-Creative Writing or Writing and Literacy (ENG-W), excluding courses in the Writing Proficiency area.
  • English Literature (ENG-L)
  • Film Studies (FILM)
  • Folklore (FOLK) excluding FOLK-F 101
  • German (GER) excluding World Language courses
  • History (HIST) excluding HIST-H 105, HIST-H 106, HIST-H 108, HIST-H 109, HIST-H 113, HIST-H 114
  • Latino Studies (LATS)
  • Medical Humanities and Health Studies (MHHS)
  • Museum Studies (MSTD)
  • Native American and Indigenous Studies (NAIS)
  • Philosophy (PHIL)
  • Religious Studies (REL)
  • Spanish (SPAN) excluding World Language courses
  • Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WOST) excluding WOST-W 105
  • World Languages and Cultures (WLAC)

Social Sciences (3 credits) - Courses in one’s first major field of study cannot be used to fulfill this requirement

100 or 200 level course chosen from the following disciplines

  • Africana Studies (AFRO)
  • Anthropology (ANTH)
  • Communication Studies (COMM-C and COMM-M only)
  • Economics (ECON)
  • English-Linguistics (ENG-Z)
  • Folklore (FOLK)
  • Geography (GEOG)
  • Global and International Studies (INTL)
  • History (HIST) only HIST-H 105, HIST-H 106, HIST-H 108, HIST-H 109, HIST-H 113, HIST-H 114
  • Journalism and Public Relations (JOUR)
  • Latino Studies (LATS)
  • Medical Humanities and Health Studies (MHHS) excluding MHHS-M 201
  • Native American and Indigenous Studies: (NAIS)
  • Political Science: (POLS)
  • Psychology: (PSY)
  • Sociology: (SOC)
  • Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (WOST)

World Language and Perspectives (0-14 credits) - This requirement may be satisfied in one of the following ways:

  1. Completion of second-year proficiency in a single world language.
    1. Second-year proficiency is demonstrated by:
      1. passing the full second-year sequence of courses in a single language or
      2. completing a third or fourth-year course1
  2. Completion of third-semester proficiency in a single world language and one course in History selected from HIST-H 108, HIST-H 109, HIST-H 113, or HIST-H 114.
  3. Completion of first-year proficiency in a single world language; one history course selected from HIST-H 108, HIST-H 109, HIST-H 113, or HIST-H 114; and one course selected from the Global History and Perspectives list:
    1. ANTH-A 104: Intro to Cultural Anthropology
    2. CLAS-C 213: Sport and Competition in the Ancient World
    3. EALC-E 232: China Past and Present: Culture in Continuing Evolution
    4. ENG-L 245: (The Empire Writes Back) Intro to Caribbean Literature
    5. GEOG-G 130: World Geography
    6. HIST-H 108: Perspectives on the World to 1800
    7. HIST-H 109: Perspectives on the World since 1800
    8. HIST-H 113: History of Western Civilization I 
    9. HIST-H 114: History of Western Civilization II
    10. INTL-I 100: Intro to International Studies
    11. LATS-L 228: An Interdisciplinary Look at U.S. Latino/a Identities
    12. POLS-Y 217: Introduction to Comparative Politics 
    13. POLS-Y 219: Introduction to International Relations
    14. REL-R 212: Comparative Religions
  4. Non-English native speaker with approved waiver.

Courses in World Language and Perspectives may also satisfy General Education Core Cultural Understanding. 

        1 Students interested in receiving credit for lower-division language courses, see the section ‘‘Special Credit for Foreign Language Study.’’

Advanced Courses

Students are required to have 42 credit hours in 300-400 level coursework including courses in their major. Of the 42 advanced credits, 9 credit hours must be 300-400 level coursework outside the first Liberal Arts major field of study and from the School of Liberal Arts. Students seeking dual degrees are exempt from completing 9 credits hours in 300-400 level coursework outside their major and from the School of Liberal Arts.

Individualized Major (29-38 credits)

Open electives
Candidates for a degree in the IU School of Liberal Arts must complete the IUPUI General Education Core requirements, the baccalaureate competencies, and the requirements of their major department. Usually, students will still need to complete additional hours in order to reach the graduation requirement of 120 credit hours. These remaining credit hours are known as open electives.

Accelerated Second Degree: The Liberal Arts baccalaureate competencies are waived for undergraduate students whose first major is outside the School of Liberal Arts and whose second major is a Bachelor of Arts degree from the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Students are only required to complete the courses in their major of choice in Liberal Arts. The IUPUI General Education Core or the Indiana transferable general education core must be successfully completed. Students must complete the degree outside Liberal Arts in order to have the Liberal Arts baccalaureate competencies waived for degree completion. The Liberal Arts baccalaureate competencies are only waived for students who actively pursue and complete another degree program outside of Liberal Arts.