Independent Major

Some students have intellectual and professional interests that reach beyond the boundaries of a particular major or minor program. These students may create an independent major, which is interdisciplinary in nature and suitable for highly motivated students willing to assume exceptional responsibility for their own education.

Students must have a GPA of at least 3.0 and no more than 66 completed semester hours when applying for the program. Advice from Coordinator of the Independent Major Dr. Matthew Buckmaster may be helpful in designing an independent major at Elon. Details concerning final approval for an independent major may be obtained in the director's office (Global Commons 215).

An independent major requires the following:

  1. An Application for Independent Major, available from the Coordinator of the Independent Major, must be completed before the student has earned 66 semester hours. This application also outlines the procedure to be followed for designing and declaring the independent major.
  2. An interdisciplinary committee of three professors, including one designated as the principal advisor, must be assembled.
  3. A curriculum must be designed with help from the committee. That curriculum must include the completion of the Elon Core Curriculum requirements.

An independent major includes the following:

  • a minimum of 48 semester hours
  • a minimum of 28 semester hours at the 300-400 level
  • a capstone seminar
  • a capstone interdisciplinary project
  • a plan for assessing the completed major

The independent major courses must come from at least three departments, and no more than half may be from any one department.

Upper-level courses taken to satisfy the requirements of an independent major will also satisfy the eight-hour advanced studies requirement when the independent major includes at least 12 hours of upper-level courses in three departments and at least two of the four areas listed under Studies in the Arts and Sciences. Students completing an independent major that designates an advanced COR capstone seminar as the capstone seminar must take another COR capstone seminar to fulfill the Elon Core Curriculum requirements.

No more than four semester hours of independent study may be included. This will usually be used for completion of the capstone interdisciplinary project.