How to Create/Design Your Own Major
by Nudrat Nawar
As a freshman, sometimes we have no idea what we will be majoring in (Guilty!). My parents told me maybe you should try to be a Computer Science major or an Applied Mathematics major. There is nothing wrong with these major! However, I wanted to work in a current expanding field that works with healthcare. First I thought about Health Science and IT double major with a Pre Health track and literally everything. Then Dr. Banisaukas (you should meet him if you are on the Pre Health track!) came up with the idea that I should create my own major!
I knew that I wanted to work in the healthcare field and had some sort of interaction with patients at the clinical level. I also knew my strengths academically. I am a person who is more mathematically and conceptually inclined rather than sitting and memorizing things. I also noticed many of my friends who were wearing themselves out figuring out how they can know everything for the Health Informatics Grad program. Then I noticed one of my friend’s who also created her own major in Advocacy and Justice Studies. I asked her how it was and just like Dr. Banisaukas, she encouraged me a lot. I am still in the progress of getting mine approved! However, I will show you how to create your own and if you fill out the checklist.
I know many of us want a liberal arts atmosphere and still be able to take advantage of many other majors other schools provide. Here is how I will help you make the most out of Furman and get you something to do after you are done with college!
- Make sure you CREATE a major that Furman does not already provide and why Furman should.
- Do not avoid classes that you should be taking!
- You should be creating a major specific to your needs and not because you are not interested in a class.
- Map out what Major you want to create and why. How can Furman provide for your interest?
- Follow a guideline of what other schools have relating to the major and how will it fulfill Furman’s requirements of being a liberal arts school. ~In my case, I knew there were bioinformatics in different undergraduate schools and health informatics in a graduate level. However, to encompass the flow of a Furman requirement, my major touches base on healthcare informatics by giving me the knowledge of technological use at a molecular, clinical, and a public health root.
- Meet with the ICP chair to discuss your idea and see if the major works or not. ~Currently it is Dr. Blackwell~ You should meet with them in order to know if this will be a good process or not. They can help you out plenty!
- You will receive a checklist where you will have to draft a proposal on why your major will mean a lot to you and others.
- Meet with the Chair of each department and show them what you came up with. There will be a lot of meetings within the week, so balance your time out wisely.
- Be sure to keep the Chair of each department in the loop and send them the drafts of your proposed paper.
- Finally, after the draft proposal, completion of the checklist, and signatures, you will submit the proposal! Then you will wait until the ICP department Accepts or Rejects your proposal.
I know this is a very lengthy process, but it is worth it all in the end!