Self-Designed Majors

Students at Muhlenberg have the opportunity to design their own major. To design a major is to create a structured set of courses and/or experiences that will give you the knowledge and skills appropriate for advanced inquiry or work in your chosen subject. Students are free to propose a wide variety of Self-Designed Majors (SDMs); however, it is important to recognize that there are some limits to the SDMs that can be realistically pursued within the liberal arts context of Muhlenberg. Most successful SDMs focus on subjects that can be studied within the context of two or more existing majors or minors. Indeed, most successful SDMs propose majors in subjects that are interdepartmental or interdisciplinary in scope.

In recent years, students have developed a wide range of SDMs including Gender and Sexuality Studies, Gender and Conflict, Africana Studies, Black Voice and Cultural Studies, Cognitive Science, Bioethics, Digital Design, Education Advocacy, Social Justice, Interarts Performance and Composition, Comedy Arts, and Classical Studies.

Designing your own major is a considerable commitment in terms of time and effort. The most important element in this process is the creation of your Self-Designed Major Proposal. Several examples of past successful proposals are provided below. These are excellent resources to help get you started.


If you are thinking about developing a self-designed major, the first step is to make an appt. to speak with the Dean of Academic Life.  When you meet with the Dean, you don’t need to have a fully developed proposal in mind.  Instead, this is an opportunity to talk about your idea with somebody who knows a lot about the college and its course offerings.  The Dean will give you a sense for whether your idea is workable at Muhlenberg, direct you to specific people and resources, and fill you in on the process for developing your idea into a full-blown major.  You can arrange a meeting with Dean Gretchen Gotthard by calling her office at 484-664-3130.

Please also take a look at the procedures for completing a Self-Designed Major.

Faculty: all SDM documents are available under the Curriculum Committee section in Staff Tools.