#MyMoravian True Life: I Designed My Own Major
Moravian College is proud to offer over 50 majors, a relatively large number for a small, private liberal arts school. However, there are cases where students can’t find exactly what they’re looking for, but still wish to be a member of the Moravian College community. These students embark on a challenging but ultimately rewarding journey by choosing to design their own major. If you find yourself having doubts about declaring a major in a specific department and maybe have considered a self-designed major, here are all the tips, tricks, and secrets to unveil the mystery of designing your own major! Paige Hawk ‘18 has graciously agreed to be interviewed to help explain the procedure, as well as the positives and negatives to the process.
- What is the title of your self-designed major?
Hawk: Marketing Communications
- Why did you decide to go through the self-design route rather than pursue a regular business/marketing major through the department?
Hawk: For a long time I did pursue the marketing/management track and as I was going along, I realized that it didn’t necessarily cater to the more creative side of marketing. It was a lot of data and analysis and things like that. More economics intensive and I really just wanted to be able to do the creative aspect. The writing, the visual, and everything like that.
- What exactly are the requirements/guidelines for designing your own major? Do you have to take all the LINC classes along with everyone else? Or is it more like Ad-Venture where you skip LINC and get to pick and choose right from the beginning?
Hawk: You still have to fulfill the LINC requirements unless you are an Ad-Venture student, but the other classes you get to work with an advisor and you get to pick out for yourself and have those approved.
- What have been the positives and benefits about designing your own major?
Hawk: The freedom. If you want the freedom to take the classes that you really want to take and really prepare yourself for the career that you see yourself in, then self-designing your major is just perfect for that.
- What have been the challenges with it?
Hawk: For awhile I didn’t realize you could go on AMOS and check the requirements for your major. You have to stay really organized so that you can figure out what you have to do and when you have to take it. The challenges would definitely be that you have to stay super organized because you’re kind of one of the only people on campus who knows exactly what you have to do and when you have to do it, so you have to be really on top of everything. Also, make sure not to lose your documents, which I’ve done a few times, but that can get a little stressful.
- So, when choosing classes, do you have a set number of classes? For example, the standard English major is 10 units and senior seminar. What do you work out with your advisor then in regards to how many units you need for your self design major?
Hawk: Well there’s actually a form on AMOS that you can get which gives you all of the guidelines for the self-design major. I don’t remember a specific number of classes, but you can find that out there. The one document outlines basically all the different requirements and tells you to get together with an advisor and pick classes. So you have to pick a set number of classes and describe why you want to do that self design major and why none of the other majors here would fulfill your goals. Basically you have to justify your reasoning for taking certain classes and why they’ll apply to your major. Then you submit it and it goes to the academic standards committee and they say yes or no.
*To access the self-design major form, log onto AMOS, click the ‘College Students’ tab, on the left sidebar click the ‘forms’ tab, and the self-design major application will be under the Major/Minor Forms section.
- What would you recommend to someone who is thinking about designing their own major?
Hawk: I would say definitely talk with someone about it as soon as possible. The sooner you can get going on it, the better for everyone. I probably would have started pursuing it a lot sooner if I had known how great it would have been.
- When did you declare and what time would you say is the best time to declare?
Hawk: I declared spring of sophomore year. At least give yourself one or two semesters just to really decide if you're on the right track but if you can decide, then it’s easier on you and easier on the school itself. But if you can’t, then I’d say just go for it, ideally fall of sophomore year.
- Any final comments you’d like to give about designing your own major?
Hawk: I do think it’s really beneficial to self design your own major because a lot of the opportunities that I’m pursuing right now appreciate the skills that I have gained especially visually with visual communication that I wouldn’t have necessarily gotten in my other education. So it kind of gives me a competitive edge I feel. It also shows that you have initiative if you’re willing to go self design and put in all that work to do your own major.