Each student chooses a major, often in the field of study most directly related to his or her professional career goals. Normally it consists of ten courses (minimum of 30 semester hours), including courses that deal with foundations, principles, and theories of the field, along with advanced courses that permit specialization as appropriate. The major includes a senior project, bringing into focus the knowledge acquired from various disciplines and giving the student an opportunity to work closely with a faculty member. For purposes of calculating the grade point average (GPA) in the major, the major is defined as required courses, exclusive of courses that fulfill a college Core curriculum requirement or a contextual and support area.
To complement and enrich the major, each student may take either a minor or a cluster of contextual and support courses. In some programs, the student may choose between these two approaches, while other programs have a specified requirement. Some programs may require neither. Students who complete a minor take a group of courses from a single discipline other than the major discipline (minimum of 18 semester hours). Those who complete a contextual and support area take courses outside the major, chosen from several different fields which relate to that discipline (minimum of 18 semester hours). In both instances, the courses increase the student's breadth and depth of knowledge, and they illustrate the interrelatedness of various types of knowledge. The student plans the minor or contextual and support area, if required, in consultation with his or her faculty advisor.
For information regarding individualized area of concentration, individualized minor, or double major, consult the Academic Policies section of this catalog. A single course cannot count both in the major and in the minor or the contextual and support area, nor may it count toward two different majors or minors. A student may fulfill one Mode requirement in the department of the student's primary major prefix. The Modes of lnquiry courses may apply to a contextual and support area, or a second major.