This website is part of an effort to coordinate individualized major programs across the country. The idea is to create a network of such programs so we can collectively publicize the benefits of an individualized approach to undergraduate education. We also wish to share best practices and besetting challenges.
The website is also a resource for colleges and universities that do not have individualized major programs but are thinking of developing them.
What is an IMP? Individualized major programs offer highly motivated and self-directed students the opportunity to design their own major. As an alternative to traditional majors, IMPs allow students to pursue their educational goals in areas not available within an existing departmental curriculum. Students, with the help of faculty and professional advisors, focus their major and select courses on the basis of a unifying issue, topic, theme, culture, period, or question called an area of concentration.
An individualized major is typically highly interdisciplinary and combines at least two distinct areas of knowledge. Also characteristic of an individualized major is the ability to integrate professional training with the liberal arts and sciences. IMPs are the wave of the future in a world where versatility and innovation are at a premium.
The first national conference for directiors and advisors of IMPs took place at Indiana University, Bloomington, March 5 - 6, 2009. For a summary of the conference, click here.
The conference will be held again at Indiana University, March 4 - 5 2010. Participans will share examples of effective curricular features, courses, and tyles of student learning through case studies and detailed examples.
Click here to view the conference web site.