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You may have heard of creating your own major once or twice before, but chances are, you don’t know exactly what it entails or how to create your own custom degree. Creating your own custom major or degree is a unique situation that not everybody has the opportunity to explore, but if you find yourself in a situation where you can and it’s of interest to you, there are plenty of reasons why it might be right for you. No matter what your niche area of interest and study is, there are ways to incorporate it into your major.
Whether you’re in the humanities, a STEM program, or you’re looking to combine elements of the two, creating your own major can lead you to exploring the exact topics and classes that interest you and will benefit your career path is a more specific, tailored way. There are so many schools that allow you to tailor or create your own major in some way, even if you don’t know it yet. Of course, designing your own major may not be the right choice for everyone — as some people fit nicely into their majors already — but if you have the itch to switch things up, creating your own path could be a good choice for you. Here are just a few of the reasons you may want to create your very own major in college.
1. Your Interests Go Together
One of the primary reasons you might want to think about creating your own major is if your interests coincide, and it would naturally create overlap to give you the best educational experience possible. For example, if you want to combine an English major, a communications major, and a comparative literature major to create a media analysis or media criticism program, that could be worth your while. Or, if fashion history is your primary interest, combining a history major with a fashion design major could be just what you’re looking for. Ideally, you’ll want to work in the overlap of classes between majors of interest and build out your specific interests from there.
2. Your School Has a Path for It
Another reason why you might want to consider creating your own major is if your school has a template for it and encourages it. There are more than 900 colleges and universities with some form of build-your-own major curriculum, and if you already exist in a supportive environment for self-led curriculum, building it for yourself can be much easier. Even if your school doesn’t always advertise it, inquiring about your options with your professors and advisors might just guide you in the right direction.
3. You Have a Specific Career Vision
Another reason you might want to create your own major is if you have a highly specific career vision or goal that could benefit from a more niche field of study. For example, if you know you want to become a sex therapist one day, being a psychology major with gender studies and sociology elements can open up a lot more doors for you. Or if you want to become a midwife, taking psychology classes along with your nursing degree could give you more insight. Or if you know you want to be a film critic, creating a media criticism major might be in your interest. While some majors are more straightforward, having a specific career direction that you want to follow might make it worth your while to tailor your major accordingly.
4. You Can Take Classes You Love
Another reason you may want to create your own major is so you can take the classes you want to take and explore all of your academic interests as a part of your major rather than relegating them to electives. Sometimes, studying what you want in college isn’t just about getting the degree, it’s about acquiring all of the knowledge you can and getting the best experience possible. If all of the extra classes that will actually help you learn are electives, you may not have room for all of them. Creating your own major ensures that you can get the learning experience you’re looking for, and the credit you deserve for it.
5. You’re Ready for the Hard Work
If you want to create your own major in school, one thing to keep in mind is all the hard work involved with forging your own path. Not only do you have the load of your classes and homework, but with the design elements of building your major, you also need to put in the work to thoughtfully choose the curriculum that will serve you best. Creating a major for yourself demands that you be involved in your education, perhaps more than the average student. If you’re ready to jump at the challenge, it could serve you quite well.
Reasons to Design Your Own Major
No matter what field — or fields — of study call your heart, designing your own degree and major could be exactly right for you. You get to work hard, embody your best academic vision, and take the classes that make you happy. And that sounds like a pretty sweet deal. Have you ever thought about designing your own major?