"By taking courses in education, social work, human development, political science and more, I was equipped with a variety of different lenses and frameworks to think about the various immigration cases that I worked on in my internship." See why Emma Staff '21 is excited about her experience as an IDM Major.
As a UVM undergraduate student in the College of Education and Social Services (CESS), you can design your own program of study with an Individually Designed Major (IDM) leading a Bachelor of Science in Education (non-licensure).
Is the IDM a great fit for you?
Are you a student interested in creating your own interdisciplinary academic path examining your interests in children, families and communities?
Would you like to engage in research and practical experience that helps you learn more about conditions, innovations, programs and public policies that shape communal and individual experiences?
If so, the IDM is an interdisciplinary program that allows you to connect CESS courses with University-wide courses to create an unique major aligned with your interests and goals.
Interdisciplinary Academics, Experiential Learning, Research Options, and Capstone Project
The IDM provides a framework for you to connect courses within CESS and across the University to create an interdisciplinary academic experience.
Our innovative, research-informed coursework provides you with many opportunities to learn collaboratively with your peers in the classroom, and through practical experience in a variety of diverse field settings. In addition to working with local community partners, you may choose to explore our global study opportunities in the U.S. and throughout the world.
You can get involved with a variety of research projects that fit with your specific academic and career interests.
Your capstone will include a culminating project or thesis advised by an academic mentor.
Step One: Explore
Schedule an appointment with the CESS Assistant Dean for Student and Academic Affairs. This meeting is to discuss your goals and to create a preliminary proposal that addresses the following questions:
- What is the overarching theme of this major? How would you describe your major, and what does it encompass?
- How does this major relate to the overall focus of the College of Education and Social Services (CESS)?
- What makes your major distinct from other majors within CESS? If possible, identify potential coursework that you would like to complete that aligns with your major theme and academic aspirations.
- How do you imagine the individually designed major advancing your career aspirations? In addition to answering the questions, you will review your existing coursework to see how it aligns with the IDM academic requirements.
Step Two: Develop
Use our form to submit your preliminary proposal.
With guidance from the Assistant Dean and Program Coordinator for the Individually Designed Major, you will identify faculty advisors and mentors to guide your academic journey. Collaboratively, you will enhance your proposal and create a plan, complete with proposed courses, to submit for formal approval by the Program.
Step Three: Initiate
Once approved, you will be admitted into the Individually Designed Major, and assigned an academic advisor to support and guide you in your program.
Total Credits Required to Graduate: 120
University General Education
D1 – Race Relations in the U.S.
D2 – Diversity of Human Experience
|Writing and Information Literacy|
ENGS 001, HCOL 085 or TAP course
Any course with an "SU" designation
Any course with a "QR" designation
|Total Credits for University General Education||15|
CESS General Education
ARTH, ARTS, DNCE, FTS, MU, SPCH, THE
CLAS, ENGS, WLIT
ASL, Any Foreign Language
ARTH, CLAS, PHIL, REL
CS, MATH, PHIL (013), or STAT
|Natural or Environmental Science|
ASTR, BCOR, BIOL, CHEM, ENSC, ENVS, GEOL, PBIO, PHYS
ANTH, CRES, EC, GEOG, HST, LING, POLS, PSYS, SOC, VS
|Total Credits for CESS General Education||21|
Individually Designed Major
|Individually Designed Core Courses (18 - 24 credits)|
|SWSS 002: Foundations of Social Work||3|
| HDFS 005: Human Development and/or|
HDFS 060: Family Context of Development
|3 - 6|
|ECLD 056: D1 Language Policy Issues, Race and Racism||3|
|EDFS 002: School and Society||3|
| EDFS 197: Undergraduate Research or approved|
| EDSS 201: Individually Designed Capstone|
(project or thesis with IDM advisor)
|3 - 6|
|Self-Selected Individually Designed Major courses (30 credits)|
| Students and their advisor work together to select|
a minimum of 30 credits to reflect the core focus
of the individually designed major. At least 12 credits
must be at the 100 level or above. At least 3 credits
must come from an applied experience: such as,
travel courses, service learning or a practicum.
|Total Credits for Individually Designed Major||48 - 54|
|Total Minor Credits or Approved Undergraduate Certificate*||12 - 21|
*Exception through appeal may include substitution of a group of thematically arranged courses
|Minimum of Electives to complete minimum of 120 credits||9 - 24|