Independently Designed Major/IDM

Applicable for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Independently Designed Major/IDM Website

Advisor; STOLLER

Students who wish to pursue a major other than an existing disciplinary or interdisciplinary major may propose an independently designed major (IDM). This option for a major requires considerable initiative and self-discipline from students who elect it. Students pursuing the independently designed major must have the independence to work outside the support and curricular framework ordinarily provided by established departments and programs. The independently designed major is fundamentally interdisciplinary. The course of study within this major must be supported and approved by two faculty co-advisors from two different departments/programs. It permits students working with two co-advisors from different departments/programs to design special interdisciplinary concentrations according to particular interests and needs.

IDM policies

  • All IDMs must be approved by the Curriculum Executive Committee.
  • Students must apply to the IDM no later than block 7 during their sophomore year.
  • The Registrar will designate courses on the student’s transcript that constitute the independently designed major.
  • IDM students may double major but are required to follow CC guidelines regarding double majoring, which include the following: the CEC must approve the option; in no case may more than three courses within the two majors overlap; the student must have one advisor in the traditional major and two in the IDM.
  • IDM students may petition to have one IDM co-advisor be a CC staff member in the event that staff member has content expertise related to the student's IDM topic.
  • IDM students are required to meet once per academic year with the IDM director to ensure they are making adequate progress toward the degree. It is also expected that the student will meet frequently with both IDM faculty advisors, particularly as they approach the thesis.

Major Requirements

All IDMs will meet the following guidelines:

  • A minimum of 12 units or a maximum of 15 units may be counted toward the IDM.
  • A maximum of 4 units at the 100 course level can be counted toward the major. Language courses at the 100 level cannot be counted as part of the major.
  • A minimum of 10 units designated must be at the 200 course number level or above.
  • Courses should be progressively more rigorous and complex (i.e. 200, 300, and 400 level courses). Through the plan of study, it should be clear that the student is prepared to take all upper division courses.
  • A minimum of 2 methodology/theory courses should be taken, one from each disciplinary foundation.
  • GS350: Interdisciplinary Research: Process and Theory (IDM Junior Seminar) must be taken during block 7 of the Junior year
  • A minimum of 1 unit of General Studies thesis courses: GS 400 or GS401.
  • Up to three courses can be transferred from another institution and only one above the 100 level. All courses must be eligible for transfer per the transfer credit guidelines listed on the Registrar’s website. Syllabi for each transfer course should be submitted with the proposed plan of study.

In addition to the coursework on a student's plan of study approved by the Curriculum Executive Committee, all IDM students will complete the following:

  • All appropriate All-College and elective requirements as listed in the Colorado College catalog.
  • All courses approved for their plan of study, including GS350: Interdisciplinary Research: Process and Theory (IDM Junior Seminar) and one or two units of GS400: Senior Thesis I and GS401: Senior Thesis II.
  • A minimum grade of 2.0 or S in each major course.
Report an issue - Last updated: 07/11/2023