St. Bonaventure University

Individualized Major Program

Students who have clearly defined their educational goals — but who can’t find a specific major to fulfill them — can combine different course combinations to explore their unique and varied interests, and design their own degree.

The individualized major program caters to self-motivated students with varied interests who wish to design an individual program of study instead of pursuing a regular departmental major.

The course of study is either comprised of three minors, or individualized with courses from across the university.

The bachelor’s degree you receive at the end of your studies will come from the school from which you take the majority of your classes. An interested student will have, at the time of the application, at least 45 credit hours remaining to complete the proposed degree requirements.

Throughout your journey, a team of professors will provide you with support and guidance. This team is formed early on and is based on your expressed interests. Each student who successfully applies for this program will be matched with expertise found within the university.

The student will pull from various disciplines that create the degree of preference — an interdisciplinary approach to education. To earn the individualized major degree, the student will satisfactorily complete all the approved degree and course requirements and achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 and a minimum major GPA of 2.0. 

Ready to find your niche? Start your journey at St. Bonaventure University.

Requirements & application procedures

The following materials and procedures are required for approval of an individualized major:

  • A title for the major
    Be descriptive and creative!
  • A narrative that includes:
    • the reasons why you want to pursue an IMP instead of another major
    • your personal interest and a statement on what you would like to get out of your proposed course of study
    • an analysis on how the three minors, or chosen courses, contribute to a cohesive program.
  • Submission deadline
    While the proposal is due by the beginning of your junior year, it is strongly recommended that you develop it as early as possible so that your narrative has time to develop.
  • Which option: Three minors or selected courses?
    • If you choose the three minors option, list those minors and all courses in the minors.
    • If you plan to choose your own courses, you need to find courses appropriate for what you intend to study. You need to submit all course descriptions and a rationale on why these courses fit your major.
  • A four-year plan
    List all courses you intend to take (including General Education requirements) and in what order. These courses will become part of your degree audit. Please know that, as in all other majors, you will be able to replace courses with your advisers’ approval.
  • A capstone course
    This course will serve as a basis for the capstone project that you will develop together with your two advisers and should serve as a bookend to the narrative developed in the beginning.
  • Learning outcomes
    You need to formalize what you will have learned when finishing your degree.
  • Major requirements and credit hours
    You need a minimum of 120 credit hours; 12 must be on the 300 level or above. Please know that the degree will be awarded by the school in which you earn the most credits and you will have to fulfill that school’s requirements (e.g. a language requirement in the School of Arts & Sciences).
  • Selection of advisers
    The program director will select a first and second adviser, in consultation with you, who will guide you throughout your time at SBU. Both advisers must sign your proposal before it is submitted to the director of IMP.
Your proposal with the signatures from both advisers will be submitted to the individualized major program director and reviewed by the IMP Advisory Board.

It will then be signed by the dean of the school that will award your degree, and by the university provost.

After that, it will be forwarded to the registrar’s office and become part of your degree audit.