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


Many independent majors go on to graduate school. Others go directly into the corporate world, government agencies, or nonprofit work. Independent majors at Elon in recent years have designed their majors to fit into the following career fields:

International women’s health

Arts administration

Dance science


War and diplomacy

International communications

Psychology of coaching and leadership

By completing my independent major, I will be attaining proficiency in four major disciplines of neuroscience and have a much better idea of what I would like to focus on specifically when I go on to graduate school.

— Graham Cochrane ’15, Independent Major in Neuroscience

Expert faculty, individual attention

As an independent major, you will work with faculty members from multiple departments. No matter which intellectual path you take, you’ll find top-notch faculty members ready to guide you. You will work hand-in-hand with these mentors to get the most out of your educational experience.

Opportunities outside the classroom

Students pursuing independent majors, like all Elon students, are encouraged to build on their classroom knowledge by pursuing internships, service learning, study abroad, and other experiential education opportunities.

Most independent majors will engage in original research as part of their senior capstone, under the guidance of their faculty committee. Independent majors can present their research findings at the annual on-campus Spring Undergraduate Research Forum (SURF).

Eligibility for Fellows programs

Independent majors may qualify for Honors Fellows and Elon College Fellows programs. These programs offer scholarship support, study abroad grants, and other opportunities.