Winthrop offers new individualized studies major for students with broad interests

Next fall, students will have the opportunity to create their own major and ultimately graduate with a bachelor of arts in individualized studies.

The major is designed for students who excel academically and have interests ranging across currently offered programs. Applying students must have completed 30 credit hours of college-level work, and have a GPA of 3.0 or better.

According to Clara Paulino, director of the individualized studies major, “The director of the program and a Coordinating Committee, made up of six faculty members from different colleges, decide on whether a student is accepted in the major.”

Paulino said, “The student’s statement of purpose and plan of study are the initial deciding factors. The plan of study must also have the approval of the Advisory Board, made up of three advisors from the areas of study the student is interested in.”

Students will also be able to participate in internships, service learning projects and study abroad within their specialized majors.

“I don’t see a limit,” Paulino said. “A student can easily combine the sciences and the arts. Biology, chemistry and art history would be an excellent combination for someone with an interest in art conservation, for example.”

All individualized majors must meet all university and College of Arts and Sciences requirements: completion of at least 124 credit hours, including Touchstone Core and general education requirements, a foreign language at or above 102 level and a minor.

An individualized major consists of 36 credit hours. 30 credit hours come from coursework directly related to a theme that supports the student’s educational and academic goals. Courses must include a research methods course, an international content course and at least 18 hours above 299.

“The earlier [students] start thinking about it and planning for it, the better,” Paulino said.

For more information about this opportunity, contact Dr. Clara Paulino at



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