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Individually Designed Majors and Individually Designed Honors Program in Humanities

The Individually Designed Major (IDM) is overseen by the Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in the School of Humanities and Sciences. (See the "Individually Designed Majors in Engineering" section of this bulletin for information about the IDM in Engineering.)

The IDM is intended for exceptional undergraduates interested in pursuing an area of study that, by virtue of its focus and intellectual content, cannot be accommodated by existing departmental or programmatic majors. Students must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 and the IDM cannot be a student's secondary major. IDM curricula are designed by students with the assistance of three faculty members of their choice; all advisers must be members of the Academic Council.

Students must submit a written proposal detailing their course of study. It is recommended that students considering an IDM meet with staff in the Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in the School of Humanities and Sciences prior to writing the proposal. Programs must meet the following requirements:

  1. A minimum of 75 units, with all courses at or above the 100 level.
  2. A maximum of 5 units on a credit/no credit basis.
  3. A maximum of 8 units in practical or direct reading, the results of which work must be presented in an academic paper for these units to count.
  4. A core sequence in the department of one of the advisers.
  5. A WIM course in the department of one of the advisers.
  6. None of the units may count towards another major, minor, or other special program.

The proposed major must not be achievable through a major or combination of majors already offered by another degree-granting department or program. IDM students are required to complete a capstone requirement in the form of an honors project.

Each proposal should begin with a statement describing the proposed major. In the statement, the student should make clear the motivation for and goal of the major. The statement should specify how the courses to be taken relate to the major's goals. A proposed title for the major should be included.

The proposal statement should be followed by a four-year study plan that identifies the courses to be taken each quarter. The proposal should include a completed IDM Proposal Application form that has been signed by three faculty member advisers who certify that they endorse the major as described in the proposal and that they agree to serve as the student's permanent advisers. The proposal must be accompanied by a statement from the primary adviser giving an appraisal of the academic value and viability of the proposed major.

Any changes to a previously endorsed major must be endorsed by the adviser and approved by the Associate Dean of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies. A request by a student to make changes in her or his approved curriculum must be made sufficiently far in advance so that, should the request be denied, adequate time remains to complete the original, approved curriculum.

The application deadline for IDM proposals is the fifth week of Spring Quarter of the sophomore year. Applications are reviewed only once a year by an IDM Curriculum Committee in H&S. Information about proposal procedures and the procedure for an honors project is available at the Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in the School of Humanities and Sciences. Proposals should be submitted to the Associate Dean for Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in the School of Humanities and Sciences.

INDIVIDUALLY DESIGNED HONORS PROGRAM IN HUMANITIES

The Individually Designed Honors Program (IDHP) in Humanities is overseen by the Office of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in the School of Humanities and Sciences. This program is available to exceptional students who wish to complete an honors thesis in the Humanities and to have the notation "Honors in Humanities" recorded on their diplomas and transcripts in addition to their primary degree. The requirements for the IDHP are as follows:

  1. A minimum GPA of 3.5 for acceptance. The 3.5 GPA must be maintained throughout the course of the student's Stanford undergraduate career.
  2. Students must select two advisers for the honors thesis who are members of the Academic Council, at least one of whom is not from the student's major department. Both faculty members must be from humanities and arts departments.
  3. Students majoring in a humanities or arts department must complete 25 additional units in the humanities and arts, chosen from areas outside of the major department. Areas of concentration include arts, literature, history, and philosophy. Courses must be chosen in consultation with the student's advisers, and a potential list of such courses submitted with the proposal.
  4. Students majoring in a non-humanities and arts department must complete the equivalent of a minor in one humanities and arts department, and an additional 10 units in another. Winter-Spring IHUM courses may be used to satisfy part of this requirement. Courses must be chosen in consultation with the student's advisers, and a potential list of such courses submitted with the proposal.
  5. Students must complete a capstone, majors seminar, or honors seminar in a humanities and arts department.
  6. The honors thesis may be taken for a minimum of 5 units up to a maximum of 10 units. These units must be in addition to the requirements of 3 or 4 and 5 above. The student should determine the size and scope of the thesis in consultation with his or her two advisers.
  7. Students should consult with the Associate Dean for Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in the School of Humanities and Sciences before submitting a proposal.
  8. All proposals must be submitted no later than the third week of Autumn Quarter in the student's junior year, and preferably by Spring Quarter of the sophomore year. The H&S Curriculum Committee in the Humanities and Arts reviews and approves all proposals.

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