The purpose of the contract major is to enable highly motivated students to develop individual programs of study most appropriate to their particular academic interests. Contract majors should be considered only in those cases where students’ academic interests are substantially different to the point that they cannot be accommodated by an existing major program.A contract major is normally interdisciplinary in nature, and may include regular courses, independent study, fieldwork, study at other institutions, and study overseas. Each contract major must include at least thirty credits and all other general degree requirements must be completed.
A student interested in a contract major must be sponsored by three faculty advisors from academic disciplines related to the contract. No more than two of the advisors may be from the same department.
Students seeking a contract major should apply before the end of their sophomore year, or at the latest by the end of the first semester of their junior year. A prospective contract major applicant should first consult with a representative of the appropriate dean’s office to discuss the proposed contract major and the composition of the contract committee/advisors.
The final proposal should consist of: an essay describing the major, how it fits in with the student’s plans after graduation, and why a combination of majors/minors and electives won’t accomplish the same thing; a major plan organized by subject matter and semester courses are to be taken; and a signature sheet for the three faculty advisors, their corresponding deans, and the student. Materials are to be submitted to the primary dean’s office for approval before declaring the major.
For further information, contact the appropriate dean (Science and Engineering, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, and Liberal Arts and Sciences). Contract majors are not available to students in Education.