Campus Spotlight: Indiana University, Bloomington

Want to go to college but don't know what to major in? That's no problem at Indiana University in Bloomington. Through the Individualized Major Program (IMP), students can design courses of study that incorporate a wide range of academic interests.

Indiana University individualized major programs

Indiana University in Bloomington

An Outside-the-Box Degree Option

Students who have interests that extend beyond one area of study often struggle to choose a single academic program to pursue. If this sounds familiar, you may want to consider the Individualized Major Program (IMP) at Indiana University.

The Individualized Major Program is built on the belief that self-directed students who engage with material they enjoy will be motivated learners. The program is designed to give individuals the opportunity to work toward their own respective educational and professional goals, even if they lie beyond the bounds of a single academic discipline.

The IMP at Indiana University is offered through the College of Arts and Sciences and results in a bachelor of arts degree. Students design programs of study that are tailored to their interests, taking coursework from across academic departments, designing tutorials and completing a self-designed final project.

An important aspect of the IMP at Indiana University is faculty involvement. Individuals design their programs with the help of at least one professor, and many have two faculty sponsors who help them to stay on track as they build cross-disciplinary skills. Many students begin individualizing their studies as sophomores or juniors.

Indian University individualized major programs

An Institutional Legacy

Students who pursue a degree through the IMP at Indiana University do so at a school renowned for individualized learning. The university recently held the first national conference on effective practices for administering individualized majors, and enrollment in the IMP has increased by 15 percent over the past decade.

Students who create their own major not only have the opportunity to fully explore their academic interests, they can also position themselves well for employment in fields that value learning across disciplines. Many people also use individualized majors to prepare for graduate programs, including areas of emerging scholarship.

The Individualized Major Program at Indiana University has produced some notable alumni, including Will Shortz, crossword puzzle editor for The New York Times. Shortz earned a degree in enigmatology, which is the study of puzzles. Without the IMP at IU, Shortz may never have had the opportunity to explore his passion for word puzzles - and we might have all missed the opportunity to witness his genius in syndicated puzzles that appear throughout the world.

While currently limited in number, individualized major programs are growing in popularity; more than 900 colleges now feature student-designed programs. This represents an increase of more than 5 percent over the past five years. Indiana University remains a leader in the practice, possessing a level of experience and expertise that benefits each class of IU students.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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