The Organizing Theme Major is best suited for the self-motivated student who has a well-defined intellectual curiosity for a topic involving multiple disciplines and which cannot be accommodated by the already existing majors, double majors, or interdepartmental majors at Union College. The Organizing Theme Major encourages the exploration of thematically related connections across disciplines, and therefore must incorporate courses from at least three different departments, with no more than four courses from any one department to count toward the major. The student must choose and work with an advisor (or advisors) who is supportive of the student’s proposed Organizing Theme Major and has a clear understanding of what the project entails.
The Application Process
The Organizing Theme Major proposal requires the approval of the chosen Organizing Theme advisor(s) and then a faculty committee established by the Dean of Studies. It may be proposed no sooner than the spring term of the freshman year and no later than the sixth week of the spring term sophomore year. Exceptions to the timeline must be approved by the Director of the Scholars Program, who serves as Chair to the Organizing Theme Major Committee. For more information about the Organizing Theme Major and the application process, see the Organizing Theme Web page or contact the Director of Scholars Program, who serves as Chair to the committee.
To propose an Organizing Theme Major, students complete the Organizing Theme Application Form. The Organizing Theme Major proposal must be prepared with the guidance, input and approval of the Organizing Theme Major advisor(s) you have chosen to work with before it is submitted using the online form. It is suggested that prospective candidates meet with the Director of the Scholars Program to discuss their proposal before submitting the application.
The Organizing Theme Major Committee will review the proposal and if necessary, suggest revisions for the student to make in consultation with the advisor(s).
If no revisions are required, the Organizing Theme Major Committee will consider the proposal for final approval. If revisions are required, the student along with the advisor(s) will make them, submitting a revised application form.
The committee reviews and officially approves the proposal, and gives it to the Director of the Scholars Program who forwards it to the Registrar. The student then completes a Declaration of Major form and submits it to the Registrar. If all the paperwork in is order, the Registrar lists the student’s major as Organizing Theme.
Please note that this process often takes a month or more.