The Individually Structured Major offers students the opportunity to structure an independent, interdisciplinary major in cases where the student's plan of study cannot be accommodated by one of the existing majors within the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. This major is for very motivated, self-directed and strong students, thus applicants for this major normally are expected to have a 3.0 grade point average at the time they apply for this major. Students must submit an application for this major by the end of their sophomore year.
Each individually structured major requires a formal program proposal, designed by the student in consultation with a Faculty Advisory Board chosen by the student. Students interested in initiating the application process for an ISM should meet with the Assistant Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences no later than mid-semester of their sophomore year, as the application involves several steps and requires research and time. Proposals are reviewed by the ISM Faculty Steering Committee and the Dean and must be approved by the beginning of the student’s junior year.
For students willing to put the time, thought, and structure into creating an ISM, the process and learning experience can be very rewarding, especially as students work closely with a team of faculty advisors. The capstone to the ISM is a Baccalaureate Project undertaken in the senior year, which allows students to integrate or exemplify elements of their program in meaningful, creative, and productive ways. Students pursuing the ISM receive a Bachelor of Arts upon completion of their Alfred University degree requirements.
Some of the academic programs designed by students under the auspices of the Individually Structured Major include Aesthetics of Communication through Video & Sound; Art History, Culture and Art Theory; Art: Museum Studies and Entrepreneurship; Biopsychology; Ecological Psychology; Feminist Studies; Historic Preservation; Individuation of Art and Culture; Integrated Media; International Environmental Relations; Media Politics; Religion and Ethnicity; Sustainable Agriculture; and Violence and Conflict Studies.