Self-designed Major Proposal Format
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


General format requirements include the following: Proposals must be typewritten, double-spaced in 12 point type or larger print, using 8 1/2 by 11-inch paper with 1-inch margins. There is a 10-page limit for the proposal. Pages must be numbered.

We expect your thoughtful proposal to be comprehensive and well written.

A. Title Page: The title page should contain a title; the name of the student; the local address, telephone number, and email address of the student; the name of the faculty advisor; the date; and signatures of the student and faculty advisor.

B. Table of Contents: A one-page table listing the different parts of your proposal and the page number on which each part begins.

C. Proposal Narrative:

  1. Goals and Objectives: Describe your short- and long-term goals. How will your self-designed major prepare you for your short-term and long-term career goals? We would like to see the larger vision of what you want to accomplish. What knowledge, skills, and experience do you think are critical in order to meet your above goals.
  2. Justification: Describe specifically why your study program cannot be met by existing programs within CALS or the University. How does your self-designed program integrate areas of study in CALS and the University to create a program that is unique?
  3. The Plan: The Plan is your opportunity to explain to the review committee how you anticipate meeting the objectives and goals of your self-designed major. In this part of your document describe in detail your approach to your academic coursework and describe your approach to your independent learning experience(s). Flesh out what you would like to do, what you want to achieve, and how you will do it.

    The Plan Should:

    A.  Allow you to complete a minimum of 40 credit hours in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, 20 credits of this total must be at the 100 level or higher and outside of the CALS distribution requirements.

    B.  Include a unique combination of courses elected from various departments and programs of the University as well as independent studies, special topics, internships, or work experiences.

    C.  Consider both on- and off-campus experiences.

    D.  Contain a list of each specific course and other experience which is proposed. Be sure to describe the relevance of each course to the objectives of your self-designed program.

    E.  Include a semester by semester schedule that shows the formal courses or other experiences that you apply each semester. Remember to consult the University Catalog, departments, and "Schedule of Courses" to be sure that specific courses are offered during the semesters that you plan to take them and that times of offerings do not conflict.

    F.   Identify your faculty advisor and describe how their expertise relates to your course of study. Why have you chosen this advisor?