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I love the community here at Bethel. I knew I’d have great classes, but I never thought I would stumble upon a whole new family when I came to college. You can count on everyone to lend a helping hand.
Taylor McCabe-Juhnke ’12

Individualized Major

You may have special interests and career aspirations that are best met through a student-designed, individualized course of study. Bethel’s Individualized Major is designed to provide flexibility for students like you while ensuring program quality. Through the integration of knowledge from different disciplines across the Bethel curriculum, qualified students are able to create a major focused on their interests and plans.

Every Individualized Major will have a foundation or primary concentration in one of Bethel’s regularly-established programs of study, and you may propose additional customization of that major in collaboration with two sponsoring faculty advisors.

For example, Individualized Majors in:

  • Environmental Science (primary concentration in Biology)
  • Gender Studies (concentration in one of various programs)
  • Community Restorative Justice (concentration in Social Work)
  • Creative Writing (concentration in Literary Studies)
  • Pre-Law (concentration in History)
  • Music Theater (concentration in Music or Communication Arts)
  • Neuroscience (concentration in Psychology)
  • Pre-Engineering (concentration in Mathematics)
  • Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies (concentration in Bible and Religion)

Guidelines for the Individualized Major

  • Students must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 to apply for an Individualized Major.
  • Students should identify two faculty members to serve as advisors and to help draft the Individualized Major proposal.
  • In coordination with the two sponsoring faculty advisors, the student should submit a formal proposal for an Individualized Major that addresses the following questions:
    • How will an Individualized Major enable you to better meet your goals than would a regular major?
    • Who will be your two faculty advisors for this Individualized Major, including a primary advisor in your primary concentration. Your advisors will help you identify your goals, select the best courses to meet your interests, satisfy all graduation requirements, answer questions and help you prepare the proposal for approval.
    • State at least three goal statements that summarize what intellectual goals and/or career goals you hope to achieve through completion of your Individualized Major.
    • What courses will be included in this designed major? You must choose courses totaling at least 36 credit hours while satisfying all other graduation requirements listed in the Bethel College Catalog.
      • At least 18 hours from a primary concentration in a current Bethel program of study
      • At least 15 upper-level credit hours (courses numbered 300 or above);
      • A capstone, senior-seminar. While this will most likely be mentored by one of your two sponsoring advisors, the requirement is that this capstone project be clearly related to the learning outcome goals of your Individualized Major.
  • Applications for an Individualized Major may be submitted as early as the student’s sophomore year, and should be submitted no later than the first semester of the student’s junior year.