Student Planned Major

For most students, the traditional disciplinary majors provide the right combination of intellectual preparation and skill development to move successfully into the work force or toward further educational paths.

However, some students’ goals will require a more individualized program of study. For the student who is passionate about understanding and working towards a more equitable global economic climate, for example, a track that combines political science, economics and history might be the best fit. For someone fascinated by the nature of cognition and artificial intelligence, a combined study of selected courses from psychology, biology and philosophy could be the surest route to success.

Program overview

The Student Planned Major provides students who wish to graduate from the College of Arts and Sciences at Western Michigan University the opportunity to pursue educational goals which cannot readily be accommodated in the college’s disciplinary majors. The student will complete the college’s Liberal Education Curriculum and work with a college advisor plus at least two board-appointed faculty advisors to create an individually tailored course of study of sufficient credit hours to meet general degree requirements.

Any undergraduate student in arts and sciences, in good academic standing, is eligible to apply for the SPM. Students interested in this option should contact the director of advising in the College of Arts and Sciences to begin the process. Those entering the SPM are expected to develop a written statement outlining educational goals and how the proposed or current course of study accomplishes the goals. Any substitution to the LEC requirement must be approved by the college, the faculty advisors and one faculty member in the area of the substitution.

Students will be awarded either a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts degree, depending on the configuration of coursework selected.

Degree requirements

•    Completed Liberal Education Curriculum—at least 37 hours
•    Courses approved to constitute the Student Planned Major (45-50 hours)
•    An approved rationale for the major, including the goals you expect to achieve
•    Approval signatures of at least two faculty advisors, corresponding to areas of study selected
•    This major does not require a minor

Students will be awarded either a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science depending on the configuration of coursework selected.

More information

Contact the College of Arts and Sciences Undergraduate Advising