Be a Pioneer by Building Your Own Major: A Look into the Process of Making an Individualized Major

by The Cowl Editor on February 14, 2019


Students are given the freedom to create their own major based on pre-existing courses at PC.

by Kellie Johnson ’22

News Staff

At Providence College, students are privileged enough to receive a well-rounded education. The core curriculum is structured to give exposure to all different types of studies. From Development of Western Civilization courses to your natural science courses and so on, students are gifted with the ability to expand on their knowledge based on what they love. 

While PC offers an extensive amount of majors to choose from, some students choose to expand their education and work with Director of  Academic Advising Peter Palumbo to create an individualized major which is a unique and special opportunity.

In Harkins 213, students are able to drop by the office and pick up an information packet including all of the tools needed to create their own major. 

In this document, students are required to get signatures from various advisors who are able to contribute to the major they are trying to create. 

Students are expected to write a proposal, which includes their experience so far at PC, and why their current major is not the appropriate path for them. 

In order to create your own major, you need to identify what it is exactly you want to do with your future, and how you are going to get there. It is the student’s responsibility to meet with various academic advisors and professors on their own time in order to establish an academic plan.

In your academic plan, you have to identify your possible future goals and careers you could be interested in. Nobody will hold you accountable for these jobs, but in order to go through this process, students should show their passion and drive for their future endeavors.

Students then must map out the required courses for this major, and the credits earned from each course. For example, Corrie Traverse ’20 made her own communications major. She carefully chose courses that would be required for her to pursue this communications degree, such as marketing and English courses. She identified the specific courses she plans on taking within her four years, along with electives, and justified why each course would benefit her education.

The last step on this document is to decide the classes you want to take to fulfill your core curriculum at the college. 

Finally, students map out a general idea of the courses they intend to register for the rest of their years in college. This involves an organizational skill recommended for all students.

Various students on campus are working through this process to create minors as well. For example, a group of business students are working to create a psychology minor. Eventually, they hope to map out a curriculum that can be utilized school-wide for students with same interests as them.

Many students do not know about this opportunity to individualize their education. This  is a valuable tool at PC, and students are encouraged to take advantage of it and create an education personalized to their needs and interests.