Individualized Major

A student-designed Individualized Major can be a great way to build bridges between disciplines, appealing to your own interests by making connections in a meaningful, academically rigorous fashion. It can also permit you to concentrate in an area of study too uncommon to support a regularly-offered major.

The Individualized Major must be a coherent program of study that crosses disciplinary lines by combining courses from at least two disciplines. Any Individualized Major should adhere to the same principles of breadth, depth, and liberal-arts centered inquiry that the faculty has established for existing majors. Specific requirements include: At least 32 and no more than 56 semester hours; no more than 32 semester hours from the same disciplinary prefix; at least 12 upper-division semester hours and at least 12 lower-division semester hours; at least 4 Writing-centered semester hours, and an integrative senior capstone. If the Individualized Major is a second major, no more than 50% of the coursework in your first major may be counted towards it.

Proposals for Individualized Majors must be submitted no later than the end of the sophomore year--or, if you have transferred in more than 48 semester hours, no later than the end of your first semester at Willamette. Exceptions may be considered on a case-by-case basis if you are declaring an Individualized Major as a second major, or under other extraordinary circumstances. Students seeking an exception should consult with the Faculty Associate Dean for Curriculum.

The Individualized Majors proposal form includes instructions on how to develop the proposal with two tenure-track faculty and a representative from the CAS Dean's office. The form should be used for both student-created majors and pre-approved majors (see below for pre-approved majors and their templates).

Over time, some more frequently-proposed Individualized Majors will be pre-approved by the faculty. If you are choosing to declare one of these pre-approved majors, and are proposing no variations to the template provided below, you may submit your completed proposal form directly to the Registrar's office. If you are suggesting variations to a template or are designing an entirely new major, you must submit your proposal to the CAS Dean's Office (Smullin 108).

Completed Proposal Requirements

For a pre-approved major:

  • A completed Individualized Major proposal form with signatures
  • A copy of the relevant template
  • A chart laying out your course plan for your final four semesters in college

For a modification of a pre-approved major:

  • A completed Individualized Major proposal form with signatures
  • A copy of the relevant template
  • A chart laying out your course plan for your final four semesters in college
  • A proposed list of courses you will use to satisfy major requirements
  • A narrative explanation of the modifications you are requesting
  • An unofficial transcript

For an entirely new major:

  • A completed Individualized Major proposal form with signatures
  • A chart laying out your course plan for your final four semesters in college
  • A narrative explanation of your proposed major, including a set of learning outcomes
  • A proposed list of courses you will use to satisfy major requirements
  • An unofficial transcript

Templates for Pre-Approved Individualized Majors

Individualized Major in Chinese Studies

The Individualized major in Chinese Studies combines study of the Chinese language through at least the intermediate level with further studies in language, literature, film, history, and culture of China and East Asia. Although not required, study abroad in a Chinese-speaking country is strongly recommended. Courses taken abroad may be used to satisfy major requirements.

Core courses (20 semester hours)

Electives (16 semester hours)

Sixteen additional semester hours in Chinese language, history, culture, or East Asian-related topics, of which at least eight semester hours must be at the 300-level or above.

Current options include:

  • CHNSE 235 Chinese Language Practicum (1)
  • CHNSE 254 Folklore and Identity (4)
  • CHNSE 258 Gender and Mass Communication in Asia (4)
  • CHNSE 269 Chinese Society and Media (4)
  • CHNSE 331 Third Year Chinese I (4)
  • CHNSE 332 Third Year Chinese II (4)
  • CHNSE 352 Rites of Passage in Chinese Societies (4)
  • CHNSE 431 Reading the Humanities (4)
  • CHNSE 432 Introduction to Classical Chinese Texts and Thoughts (4)
  • CHNSE 490-491 Reading and Conference (2 or 4)
  • ASIA 201 Gateway to East Asia (4)
  • ASIA 210 Making and Playing of Traditional Musical Instruments (4)
  • ASIA 258 Topics in Asian Studies (4)
  • ASIA 288 Introducing Asia to the World (4)
  • ASIA 301 Asian Visual and Creative Culture (4)
  • ASIA 352 Field Study in Asia (4)
  • ASIA 390-391 Independent Study (2 or 4)
  • ECON 453 International Economics (4)
  • GCS 105 Introduction to Global Cultural Studies (4)
  • HIST 131W Historical Inquiry: Gender and Society in East Asia (topic dependent) (4)
  • HIST 233 Asian Empires on the Silk Road (4)
  • HIST 265 Late Imperial China (4)
  • HIST 282 China in Revolution 1911-1949 (4)
  • HIST 331 Asian Environmental History (4)
  • HIST 344W Studies in East Asian History (4)
  • HIST 383 Mao's China (4)
  • INTST 374 Asian and International System (4)
  • INTST 380 Asian Politics and Development (4)
  • JAPN 201W Modern Japanese Society and Culture (4)
  • JAPN 314W Japanese Literature in Translation (4)
  • JAPN 340 The Japanese Cinema (4)

Additional special topics courses may be added to the college's offerings from time to time. Students may also, with advance permission, gain major credit for courses taken at other colleges and universities, including through the NW5C consortia exchange.

A template for the Individualized Major in Chinese Studies must accompany the Individualized Major proposal form in order to be approved.

 

Individualized Major in French and Francophone Studies

The Individualized major in French and Francophone Studies combines study of the French language through at least the intermediate level with further studies in language, literature, film, history, and culture. Although not required, study abroad in an Francophone country is strongly recommended. Courses taken abroad may be used to satisfy major requirements.

Core Classes (20 semester hours)

  • GCS 105 Introduction to Global Cultural Studies (4)
  • FREN 132 Elementary French II (4)
  • FREN 231 Intermediate French I (4)
  • FREN 232 Intermediate French II (4)
  • FREN 492W Research and Discussion of Selected Topics in Literature (4)

Electives (16 semester hours)

Sixteen additional semester hours in French or Francophone language, history, or culture, of which at least eight semester hours must be at the 300-level or above.

Current options include:

  • FREN 241 Topics in French History Through Film (4)
  • FREN 275 African Cinema (4)
  • FREN 285W Gender and Sexuality in African Literature and Cinema (4)
  • FREN 331W French Composition and Discussion (4)
  • FREN 336 France and the Other (4)
  • FREN 337 French and Francophone Studies II (4)
  • FREN 340 Readings in French Literature (4)
  • FREN 341 Oral Tradition and Performance in African Literature (4)
  • FREN 439 Advanced Topics in French Literature (4)

No more than two courses may be selected from the following list:

  • ANTH 232 Peoples and Cultures of Africa (4)
  • ARTH 246 Modern Art [Europe and America]: 1890-1945 (4)
  • ARTH 247 18th- and 19th-Century Art History (4)
  • ARTH 259 Western Medieval Art and Architecture (4)
  • HIST 254 20th-Century Europe (4)
  • MUSC 445 Topics in Music History (4) topic dependent
  • PHIL 238 Existentialism (4)
  • POLI 370W Europe and the International System (4)
  • SOC 384 Transnational Feminism (4)
  • SOC 387 Pan-African Revolutions and Black Liberation (4)

Additional special topics courses may be added to the college's offerings from time to time. Students may also, with advance permission, gain major credit for courses taken at other colleges and universities, including through the NW5C consortia exchange.

A template for the Individualized Major in French and Francophone Studies must accompany the Individualized Major proposal form in order to be approved.

 

Individualized Major in German Studies

The Individualized major in German Studies combines study of the German language through at least the intermediate level with further studies in language, literature, film, history, and culture. Although not required, study abroad in a German-speaking country is strongly recommended. Classes taken while studying abroad may be used to satisfy major requirements.

Core courses (20 semester hours)

Electives (16 semester hours)

Sixteen additional semester hours in German language, history,  or culture, of which at least eight semester hours must be at the 300-level or above.

Current options include:

  • GERM 241 German Cinema and Visual Culture (4)
  • GERM 331W German Composition and Discussion (4)
  • GERM 333 Contemporary German Culture (4)
  • GERM 340 Introduction to German Literature (4)
  • GERM 432 Media in Context: Literature, Film and Art (4)
  • GERM 433 Modernism in Vienna and Berlin (4)
  • HIST 390W Germany from Bismarck to Hitler (4)
  • HIST 391 Germany Since 1945 (4)

Additional special topics courses may be added to the college's offerings from time to time. Students may also, with advance permission, gain major credit for courses taken at other colleges and universities, including through the NW5C consortia exchange.

A template for the Individualized Major in German Studies must accompany the Individualized Major proposal form in order to be approved.

 

Individualized Major in Latin American Studies

The Individualized major in Latin American Studies affords the student a wide range of career opportunities in the United States and abroad. This multidisciplinary degree combines study of Latin American and Latinx literature, film, politics, history, and culture.

Structured Electives (32 semester hours)

Society and Culture

Choose 5 courses (20 credits total) from the following options or other appropriate substitutions approved by LAS advisor:

  • ANTH 235 Cultures of Mexico and Ecuador (4)
  • HIST 256 Colonial Latin America (4)
  • HIST 258 Modern Latin America (4)
  • IDS 250W Narratives of Migration: From Islamic Spain to the US/Mexico Border (4)
  • LAS 380/SPAN 380 Latin American Cinema (4)
  • REL 334 Liberation Theology and Social Change (4)
  • SPAN 333 Hispanic Civilization (4)
  • SPAN 352 Peninsular Literature I: Medieval, Early Modern, and American Colonial (4)
Language and Literature

Choose 3 courses (12 credits total) from the following options or other appropriate substitutions approved by LAS advisor.

  • SPAN 355 Latin American Literature I: Conquest to Independence (4)
  • SPAN 356 Latin American Literature II: Modernismo to the Present (4)
  • SPAN 427 Topics in Latin American Literature (4)
  • SPAN 428 Contemporary Mexican Literature (4)
  • SPAN 430 History of Hispanic Thought (4)
  • SPAN 431 Contemporary Latin American Novel and Short Story (4)
  • SPAN 435 Contemporary Latin American Women Writers (4)

Senior Project (4 semester hours)

  • LAS 497W Senior Thesis in Latin American Studies (4)

Students should consult with their LAS advisor to discuss and seek other courses offered in CAS that may count for the major or obtain advanced permission to gain major credit for courses taken at other colleges and universities, including the NorthWest5 consortium exchange and/or while studying abroad.

A template for the Individualized Major in Latin American Studies must accompany the Individualized Major proposal form in order to be approved.

 


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