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Individualized Studies

Program Overview

171 Mary Gates Hall

Individualized Studies is an interdisciplinary major option for students who wish to create a program of study by combining selected courses from two or more departments. Students are required to identify a central organizing theme for their major and design it under the guidance and supervision of at least two faculty members and an Individualized Studies adviser.

Undergraduate Program

171 Mary Gates Hall, Box 352805
(206) 543-2550

The Individualized Studies program offers the following programs of study:

  • Bachelor of Arts with a major in Individualized Studies
  • Bachelor of Science with a major in Individualized Studies
  • Degree depends on the theme and curriculum of the approved major.

Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science

Suggested First- and Second-Year College Courses: Varies, depending on student's area of concentration.

Program Admission Requirements

Before developing an Individualized Studies major, students should read "Designing an Individualized Studies Major," or obtain a copy from the UAA Advising, 141 Mary Gates Hall. Particular attention should be paid to the sections defining restrictions on themes and restricted access to courses. Individualized Studies majors are not possible in a number of subjects because the UW does not offer sufficient coursework. Upper-division courses in departments with competitive admission are generally not available to students not in that major and ordinarily cannot be included in Individualized Studies proposals.

After reading the guidelines, the student must go through the following steps to design a major:

  1. Identify the unifying interdisciplinary theme of the program.
  2. Make a list of courses taken or planned to be taken toward this goal. This list should comprise between 50 and 70 quarter credits, all of which are related to the area of concentration. These courses must come from at least two departments, but may come from any number of areas, so long as interrelationships are discernible. Most courses must be at the 300- or 400-level. At least half the 50-70 credits selected for the major must come from courses taught within the College of Arts and Sciences.
  3. Draft a statement that describes the proposed major and discusses the interrelationships among the courses chosen. Propose a brief, descriptive title for the major.
  4. Submit the proposal to the Individualized Studies Committee for initial approval. Prospective majors should submit proposals to the Individualized Studies Committee for review at least three quarters prior to graduation.
  5. Identify at least two faculty sponsors for the major. The faculty sponsors attest to the intellectual soundness of the proposal and agree to provide whatever guidance is jointly decided upon. They may also suggest changes in the previously approved written proposal or list of courses.
  6. Obtain final approval from an Individualized Studies adviser.
  7. Transfer students must be enrolled at the UW before applying to the major.
  8. For admission requirements for the technical writing option, see an adviser.

Major Requirements

55 to 70 credits, including completion of the approved curriculum and a 5-credit required senior study (minimum grade of 2.7 required for senior study). Awarding of the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree depends on the content of each student's program.

Student Outcomes and Opportunities

  • Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes: Varies, depending on student's area of concentration.
  • Instructional and Research Facilities: None
  • Honors Options Available: With College Honors (Completion of Honors Core Curriculum and Departmental Honors); With Honors (Completion of Departmental Honors requirements in the major). See adviser for requirements.
  • Research, Internships, and Service Learning: None
  • Department Scholarships: None offered
  • Student Organizations/Associations: None