Self-Designed Studies

Type of Degree: Major

The Self-Designed Studies major allows you to “create their own future” by constructing a curriculum that fits your career goals. You'll work with two faculty mentors to design the major and coursework that will need to be approved by the Provost.  Self-Designed Studies majors will also complete either the General Education Requirements or the Honors Curriculum. The Self-Designed Studies option should normally be adopted by the end of the sophomore year.

Self-Designed Studies Major


•  SDN 370: Internship, SDN 371: Independent Research Project, OR SDN 372: Study Abroad or Study Away
•  SDN 400: Senior Capstone Experience

Self-Designed Coursework is to be determined by the student and two mentors, with approval of the Self-Designed Studies Committee. Plan should demonstrate a vertical progression to higher level courses. Self-Designed Studies majors will complete one Undergraduate Academic Foundation Requirement.

Requirements to Apply and Maintain Major

Any highly motivated student with specific career and/or academic goals that cannot be met by enrolling in another established major at Heidelberg may apply for Self-Designed Studies. Incoming freshmen may apply by August 15. Others may apply by October 15 or March 1 of each year. Application includes an essay explaining the student’s goals and how her/his self-designed major will help achieve them. Also included should be a letter of reference from both faculty mentors. A student must maintain a 3.0 to remain in the Self-Designed Studies major. Student progress will be monitored by the Self-Designed Studies Committee. A student who does not meet that GPA will be advised to switch to another major after a semester grace period.

Can I double major?

The Self-Designed Studies major is an ideal companion for any other major and/or minor(s), and second majors will be recommended. Past students have designed majors such as World Health, Political Journalism, and Visual Art and Design.


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