Admissions Blog Posts

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!

  1. Make sure you CREATE a major that Furman does not already provide and why Furman should.
  2. Do not avoid classes that you should be taking!
  3. You should be creating a major specific to your needs and not because you are not interested in a class.
  4. Map out what Major you want to create and why. How can Furman provide for your interest?
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Be sure to keep the Chair of each department in the loop and send them the drafts of your proposed paper.
  10. 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!