Individualized Major

two students looking at books; student wearing safety glasses in science lab with test tubes and laptop
An individualized major offers highly motivated and self-directed students an opportunity to develop a program of study tailored to meet their special talents, academic interests, and career goals.

An individualized major is designed for a student who is able to document the absence of an existing major that satisfactorily meets his/her specific educational and professional objectives. A student may design an individualized major for a first or second major. However, those seeking a second major via this process may not duplicate any courses with his/her first major.

Download the Individualized Major Handout (PDF)

Individualized majors are designed by students in conjunction with an Individualized Major (IM) Committee. An academic department must sponsor the proposal (see Parameter #5 below).  The committee is comprised of the student’s academic advisor and at least two other faculty sponsors (one of whom must be the chair of the sponsoring department).  Two of these three members of this committee should reflect the student’s educational objectives and career interests.  Finally, a representative of the Faculty Curriculum Committee must sign at the time of approval, but is not a member of the IM Committee.

Recent individualized majors have included:

  • International Relations
  • Nonprofit Leadership and Business
  • Nonprofit Management & Leadership
  • Nonprofit Leadership
  • Peace and Conflict Studies
  • Sports Administration
  • Global Studies
  • Visual Marketing Communications
  • Sports Management
  • Multimedia Production
  • Sustainability
  • Biomedical Physics

Students applying for an individualized major must meet the following requirements:

-Completed at least one full semester of college work at Franklin College.
– Minimum GPA of 2.75 prior to submitting an application.
– Class level less than junior status (< 58 credit hours). Students with junior status (58-90 hours completed) may petition the Academic Rules Committee for an exception to the academic policy. Seniors are ineligible to apply for an individualized major. Academic Rules Committee petitions are located in the office of academic records.

Parameters for the Individualized Major

  1. As individualized majors are student specific, each student’s IM proposal must undergo all stages of the approval process. 
  2. The major must consist of at least 30 credits hours of core requirements with an additional 12 credit hours in a related field. 
  3. No more than 18 of the 30 credit hours in the major core requirements may come from an existing major at Franklin College. 
  4. At least 20 of the 30 core credit hours must be from courses numbered 200 or higher. 
  5. At least 12 of the 30 core credit hours must come from the sponsoring department. 
  6. No courses with an LA prefix may count toward the major. 
  7. No more than 6 credit hours of individualized studies may be used to complete the major. 
  8. The major must include a senior-level capstone experience and a senior competency practicum (499). The capstone may be an existing course or an independent study course supervised by one of the faculty sponsors. 
  9. Students must meet all liberal arts requirements and all other requirements for graduation. 
  10. All courses in the major must be completed with a grade of C- or better. Student must maintain a cumulative and major GPA of 2.00 in order to graduate with the proposed individualized major. 
  11. Academic courses taken for the major may not be taken on a pass/fail basis. 
  12. A course may not count for both the individualized major and another major. 
  13. This major may include regular catalog courses, immersive-term courses and experiences, off-campus courses (if approved), travel experiences, individualized studies, special topics courses, practica, and internships. 
  14. An individualized major must be completed within six semesters of its declaration. A student seeking an extension must gain approval from his/her IM Committee. Documentation regarding an extension must be submitted to the Academic Records Office for degree-granting purposes. 
  15. Any interruption, which extends beyond one semester, in a student’s academic progress toward an individualized major requires a resubmission of the IM proposal. 

Development of the Proposal

  1. In conjunction with the student’s IM Committee, verify that the proposed individualized major satisfies the above parameters. 
  2. Prepare a defense of the individualized major on the IM application, which is available in the Academic Records Office. This defense should include a rationale for the courses chosen to constitute the major and related field and an explanation of how the major will enhance the student’s educational and professional objectives. The student must explain why an existing major at Franklin will not meet these objectives. Furthermore, the student should demonstrate connections between academic interests and vocational or graduate school interests. 
  3. Carefully complete the individualized major application. (available in the Academic Records Office) 
  4. All changes to the Individualized Major must be approved by the student’s IM. Committee and a representative of FCC. Any and all changes must be filed in the Academic Records Office for degree-granting purposes. 

Approval Process 

  1. IM Committee – signatures on formal application 
        Includes academic advisor and two additional faculty members (one of whom must be the chair of the sponsoring department) 
  2. Faculty Curriculum Committee representative 
  3. Faculty supervising individualized studies, practica, experiential learning activities, etc. –if applicable 
  4. Academic Rules Committee Chair/Registrar – signs and files 

Revised 11-23-21