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Self-Designed Majors

Department Fact Sheet


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A student whose academic interests or career goals cannot be met by any of the departmental or interdepartmental majors listed in Moravian College’s course catalog may propose a self-designed major. Such a program normally consists of twelve course units. The student chooses a title for the major and formulates a general rationale for it (including specific career objectives, where appropriate). Each of the course units must be justified as a part of the program and related to the rationale. At least one course must be designated as writing-intensive. The faculty advisor works closely and carefully with the student in planning such a self-designed major, and the student should be prepared to demonstrate that his or her goals cannot be met through existing options.

As with the regular interdepartmental major, the Academic Standards Committee may meet with the student to discuss the program. Applications must be submitted for approval to the Academic Standards Committee no later than the announced date of midterm of the first semester of the student’s junior year.

Strong, Personalized Academic Majors

Moravian College provides students from all backgrounds the option to create their own academic majors and minors, based on their individual academic interests and strengths. Self-designed programs can often help students to stand out when applying for jobs, internships, and graduate programs.

Self-designed majors may incorporate courses from the normal catalog offerings at Moravian, supplemented by the course offerings at our LVAIC partners (Lehigh, Lafayette, Muhlenberg, DeSales, and Cedar Crest). In some cases, students who design their own programs spend a term or a year studying abroad, and are able to incorporate courses from that experience into their self-designed major or minor. Students wishing to self-design their major or minor program must have their curriculum approved by the Academic Standards Committee.

Self-designed programs may be a combination of two distinct areas (math and accounting or music and biology, for example), or may combine a variety of courses organized around a theme (gender and political thinking) or may prepare a student for a particular career (prephysical therapy).

Hands-On Learning

Students who self-design programs are often dedicated, highly motivated students. They are often involved in community service and perform internships for credit as part of their program. Many students with self-designed majors participate in independent studies, and the Honors and SOAR programs, giving them an advantage as they apply for graduate school, fellowships, and jobs.

Recent Self-Designed Majors and Minors

  • Arabic studies (minor) 
  • Bio-psychology (major)
  • Coastal studies (minor) 
  • Design management (major)ast Asian studies (major) 
  • Environmental communications (major)
  • Fashion design and merchandising (minor)
  • Healthcare management (major)
  • Gender theory (major)
  • Industrial organization and learning behavior (major) 
  • Industrial and organizational psychology (minor) 
  • International management with Arabic (major)
  • International management with Japanese (major)
  • International studies (major) 
  • Japanese studies (minor)
  • Philosophy and Italian studies (major)
  • Marketing communications (major) 
  • Media and communications (major) 
  • Organizational design (major)
  • Performing arts outreach (major)
  • Performing arts studies (major) 
  • Public relations (major)
  • Public relations (minor)
  • Social issues in healthcare (major) 
  • Software/new media design (major) 
  • Sports management (major)
  • Theatre (major)
  • Work dynamics (minor)

Alumni Careers

  • Joel Blaxland ’12 is in a master’s program at Lehigh University studying environmental policy. His self-designed major was global political economy. 
  • Alanah Cervantes ’12 designed her major—theatre arts and the craft of direction—and wrote, directed, and produced a full-scale musical during her senior year. She is pursuing a career in the theatre in California. 
  • James Lavoy ’10 majored in political and social theory. He is a divinity student at Moravian Theological Seminary. 
  • Dan Elliott ’03 double-majored in philosophy and Italian studies. Today, he is the assistant winemaker at a highly regarded winery in Oregon’s Willamette Valley.