Design Your Own Degree

Individualized Studies

It has long been a tradition at Burlington College for students to design majors that meet their own particular needs and interests. Today, a significant number of our students work with their advisors to design a major. The individualized major can be a variation on one of the College’s existing majors or it can be a course of study unique to the student’s interests.

Students who choose individualized majors are ready to undertake independent learning modes and work closely with their academic advisor in designing a plan of study and seeking out qualified faculty. The plan may be composed of a variety of different modes of learning, including classes, tutorials, guided independent studies, mini-courses or learning modules. All individualized majors must include 6 credits of foundational coursework; 6 credits of theoretical coursework; 6 credits of application coursework; 3 credits of research methods (in either the social sciences or the humanities, depending on the major); 3 credits in an internship; 6 credits of focused courses in the student’s interest; and 6 credits in a degree project.

Examples of Individualized Studies
Although many self-designed majors differ only slightly from the established majors at the College, others may diverge significantly from those more typically offered at Burlington College. Generally, we can help students design individualized majors in most disciplines within the arts, humanities, and social sciences because we have a variety of community faculty with strong backgrounds in those areas.

The following is a sample of some self-designed majors:
Arts and Social Change
Arts, Culture, and Community
Bereavement Studies
Children’s Literature
Comparative Religion
Contemporary Spirituality
Creative Arts Therapy
Creative Writing
Culture and Critical Theory
Cultural Studies
Film, Music, and Audio Production
Holistic Studies
Media and Social Justice
Media Literacy and Social Change
Music and Film
Political Philosophy
Political Science/Community Organizing
Psychology, Religion, and Culture
Social Ecology
Transpersonal and Counseling Psychology
Transpersonal Studies/Writing
Urban Affairs and Public Policy
World History
Writing and Film

All students are required to complete an upper-level internship in the major, including participation in the Action Learning Seminar. Each student also undertakes a 6-credit capstone Degree Project in the last two semesters that is either research-based or that includes both a creative component (usually a portfolio of work and a public show displayed in our gallery) and a process paper. Every Bachelor of Arts degree candidate must complete Burlington College’s General Education requirements and must earn a minimum of 120 credits to achieve a degree. The following course requirements are specific to the Individualized Major.

36 credits within the major are required. 12 credits may be at the 200 level, 24 must be at the 300 level, including Degree Project I and II and the Internship.