Self-Designed Studies

Degree to be earned: 
B.A. or B.S.
Major Requirements: 

Read more about the Self-Designed Studies program.

The Self-Designed Studies major, interdisciplinary in nature, consists of at least 27 hours. The student will have the option of designing his or her own program after developing a rationale and purpose with two faculty mentors. The course of study will be approved by the Self-Designed Studies Committee. The Self-Designed option should normally be adopted by end of sophomore year. The Self-Designed Studies major is an ideal companion for any other major and/or minor(s), and second majors will be recommended. No more than two courses may fulfill requirements for each major and/or minor.

A Self-Designed major will enable the student to:

  • develop critical thinking skills by noticing similarities, differences and relationships between disciplines
  • synthesize theory, knowledge and experience from at least 3 prefixes
  • demonstrate speaking and writing skills
  • develop an understanding of personal strengths and combine them creatively
  • value the quest for purpose, integrity and spiritual growth

Major Requirements

One course in SDN 370 (3-6 sem. hrs.), 371 (3 sem. hrs.), or 372 (1 sem. hr.) Junior Level Discipline-Specific Communication (JWO) Requirement. SDN 400 Senior Capstone Requirement. Self- Designed Coursework is to be determined by the student and two mentors, with approval of the Self-Designed Studies Committee. Fifteen hours of the selected courses for the major must be at the 300+ level. Plan should demonstrate a vertical progression to higher level courses. One course should cover research methods or applied methods in preparation for the JWO and capstone experiences. Self-Designed Studies majors will complete one Undergraduate Academic Foundation Requirement.

Requirements to Apply and Maintain Major

Any highly motivated student with specific career and/or academic goals that cannot be met by enrolling in another established major at Heidelberg may apply for Self-Designed Studies. Incoming freshmen may apply by August 15. Others may apply by October 15 or March 1 of each year. Application includes an essay explaining the student’s goals and how her/his self-designed major will help achieve them. Also included should be a letter of reference from both faculty mentors. A student must maintain a 3.0 to remain in the Self-Designed Studies major. Student progress will be monitored by the Self-Designed Studies Committee. A student who does not meet that GPA will be advised to switch to another major after a semester grace period.