Individually Designed Thematic Option Concentration
If none of the traditional majors or formally designed options meet your needs, you
may pursue the second Interdisciplinary Studies alternative: the individually designed
thematic option. This option provides you with the opportunity to complete a major
that is available at other colleges or universities, but not currently offered at
Towson University. Examples of such majors might include nature writing or recreation
If you are interested in the individually designed option, you should first consult
catalogs from the colleges or universities offering the desired major to determine
whether Towson University offers the course work needed to complete the major. You
should then meet with one or more professors who have expertise in your proposed area
of study. With a professor’s assistance, you will design and submit for approval a
plan of study. This proposal must include a title for the program (e.g., Nature Writing)
and a description of the program’s goals. It will also list the courses you will take
to complete the requirements of your major.
An individually designed thematic option major must fulfill the following course requirements:
A program of study consisting of a minimum of 45 units of courses directly related
to the academic theme or area of academic study defined in the program of study.
At least 21 of these units must be taken after formal approval of the program of study.
Courses must be drawn from at least three departments or programs.
All courses must be upper-division (300-400 level) unless the faculty adviser and
the Director of Interdisciplinary Studies approve the inclusion of significant course
work at the lower division. For example, a course important to the student's theme
might exist only at the lower division.
An individually designed thematic option minor is also available. Please refer to
the Undergraduate Catalog for specific requirements.
The IDIS Thematic Option major is neither a ‘degree completion major’ nor a ‘design
your own major.’ The IDIS TOM is a complete, planned program major that recreates
a major or program offered at another university that is not offered at Towson University
currently. Significant course work is required after the formal approval of the IDIS
Thematic Option Major Program of Study.
Additionally, an IDIS Thematic Option major cannot resemble in any way a major or
program currently offered at Towson University. In short, an IDIS Thematic Option
major cannot be a ‘major lite,’ a program that excludes a particular course or set
of courses required for a major at Towson University.
Anyone considering an IDIS Thematic Option major should contact the IDIS Director
as soon as possible to discuss the IDIS Thematic Option major proposal process.
All individually designed programs must be approved by a faculty adviser and by the
Director of Interdisciplinary Studies. No unapproved plan of study may be used for
Contact the director of Interdisciplinary Studies for further information and for
help in finding a faculty adviser or advisers with relevant expertise.
Carol Caronna, Ph.D. Director, Interdisciplinary Studies Liberal Arts Building Room 3347 410-704-2659 ccaronna AT_TOWSON