Self-Designed and Double Majors
Centre offers real benefits when it comes to majors. In addition to the wide range of majors offered, Centre also gives students the option of declaring double majors or designing their own unique majors. Both allow for additional flexibility in today’s changing world.
If your interests include two fields of study, it is possible to complete two majors in four years. About 25 percent of our students complete double majors. A few frequent combinations are French and international relations, English and drama, and math and computer science.
Although Centre offers many traditional majors, you also have the opportunity to create a major unique to your talents and interests. Your program could include faculty-approved, self-designed courses and/or independent study. Self-designed majors are one more way Centre’s personal education sets you up for extraordinary success.
For example, Bethany Pratt ’10 came to Centre College for a personal education but couldn't decide on any of the traditional majors offered by the College. Instead, she opted to focus on her passions for sustainable resource use and humanities by creating a self-designed major.
“Many of the environmental concerns of today stem from human use and abuse of our natural resources,” Pratt says. “As a student and environmentalist, I’m interested in learning about the complex relationship that humans have developed with their environment.”
Using the College’s environmental studies minor as a foundation, Pratt designed a comprehensive curriculum that will prepare her to address what she calls “a growing resource crisis.” Pratt says, “Science alone can’t solve all the problems facing our world today; however, through blending science and elements of the humanities, a more comprehensive and lasting approach to conservation can be achieved.”
Her major, titled “Environmental Studies,” pulled heavily from courses listed in the biology and anthropology/sociology catalog but will also integrate credits from the history and English programs. And Pratt also had time to take numerous studio art courses as well as to study abroad in Mexico and Australia. While several colleges across the country offer environmental studies majors, Pratt says that her experience designing a personalized education plan at Centre has additional benefits. “Having to create my own major has pushed me to concisely verbalize my aspirations and have the courage to present my dreams to others,” Pratt says.
Other recent self-designed majors include Design and Culture, Social Justice Studies, Urban Development Studies, Studies in Creative Writing, Diversity Studies, Asian Studies, Religion and the Performing Arts, Medieval Studies, and Public Policy.
Erica Horton ’10 of West Chester, Ohio, was undecided about her major at Centre College. When she realized that no established major perfectly embodied her educational passions, she designed her own — social justice studies.
“I was originally interested in history and anthropology/sociology,” she says. “As I was deciding on what to declare as a major, I decided to look into a self-designed major and tailored it to fit my interests.”
Centre faculty and administrators work with students who choose to design their own majors. Horton is pleased with the results. “I believe that my choice to design a major around such an abstract concept has opened a lot of doors for me,” she says. Because she plans on attending graduate school to study social work or community development, her self-designed social justice studies major has given her the academic background needed for her future.
Click on the PDF below for information on creating a self-designed major.
Self-Designed Major Guidelines and Forms (PDF)
The Centre Commitment
Students who meet the College’s academic and social expectations are guaranteed an internship, study abroad, and graduation in four years–or the College will provide up to an additional year of study tuition-free. Click here for more information.
Click here for Majors, Minors, and Pre-Professional Programs at Centre.
To print the Majors and Self-Designed Majors flyer (PDF), click here.