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Each candidate for the bachelor's degree must complete one major with at least a 2.0 (C) grade point average and a satisfactory senior capstone.

Types of Majors

There are three types of majors offered in the College of Liberal Arts: departmental, inter-departmental and interdisciplinary. In the School of Music, the major is associated with the degree: Performance with the Bachelor of Music, Music with the Bachelor of Musical Arts, and Music Education with the Bachelor of Music Education.

Departmental major.  The departmental major consists of eight to 10 courses in a single academic department, including at least three courses at the 300-400 level. A department may also require as many as six courses from related departments. The total number of course credits required for a major may not exceed 14 (including pre-requisites). In departments designated as single-subject departments, i.e., history or political science, at least 19 of the 31 courses required for graduation must be outside the major subject. In departments designated as dual-subject departments, i.e., sociology and anthropology or modern languages, a minimum of 19 courses must be outside the student's major subject, and 16 of 31 courses must be outside the major department.

Inter-departmental major. This major involves coursework from two or three complementary departments. The inter-departmental major is administered by a joint committee of the contributing departments. It consists of 10-12 course credits from the contributing departments and may include additional courses from other departments, with the total requirements not to exceed 14 course credits (including pre-requisite courses). A minimum of 16 course credits must be from outside the contributing departments.

Interdisciplinary major. An interdisciplinary major consists of an integrated series of courses selected from at least two of the conventional academic disciplines. Interdisciplinary majors may be administered by an interdisciplinary program (Africana Studies, Asian Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, Film Studies, Global Health and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies) or an academic department. Also, there is an option for a student-designed independent interdisciplinary major.

The interdisciplinary major includes a total of 10 to 14 courses in at least two disciplines. At least four courses in the total must be at the 300-400 level.

Interdisciplinary majors must have at least 16 courses outside the subject matter of the major and may have no more than eight courses in any one discipline (subject) comprising the major.

Independent Interdisciplinary Major. Students also have the opportunity to devise, in consultation with faculty advisors, an independent interdisciplinary major. Although any general problem of a genuine academic, scientific or intellectual nature may constitute the subject of an interdisciplinary major, such a major is ordinarily defined in one of three ways:

  • an area of the world, geographically, politically or culturally prescribed, such as the United States, Latin America, Asia, East Europe or the Middle East;
  • a period of time in the history of some part of the world, such as the Victorian Age, the Enlightenment, the Renaissance or the Middle Ages; or
  • a specific problem that is treated by several disciplines, such as the concept of social justice, the artist in the modern world, the rhetoric of revolutionary movements or political modernization.

In selecting a subject for an independently designed interdisciplinary major, students should be guided by two further considerations. First, a mere interest in certain academic disciplines, however closely related they may appear, is not a significant justification for an interdisciplinary major. Students must have in mind a subject that can serve as a focal point for the courses chosen. Second, although the subject to be examined in the major may coincide with the vocational interests of a student, it must at the same time be a legitimate object of study in its own right.

Each individualized major is supervised by a committee of three faculty members. Upon the recommendation of two faculty members from the disciplines relevant to the major, students apply to the Office of Academic Affairs for admission early in the second semester of the sophomore year. Students taking an independent interdisciplinary major should have the major approved and filed with the Office of the Registrar by the end of the sixth week of the second semester of the sophomore year. The latest that applications may be considered is the sixth week of the junior year.

Senior Capstone Experience

The Senior Capstone experience may consist of one or more of the following options, as determined by departments, schools or programs: senior seminar, comprehensive examination, theses, projects, performances and/or exhibitions.  Descriptions of the senior capstone experience requirement for each major are included in the catalog description of the major.

Satisfactory completion of a senior capstone is required to complete a major at DePauw. For departments, schools, or programs that require an examination as a component of the senior capstone experience, satisfactory performance on this exam is required to earn a major. Students who do not perform satisfactorily on the comprehensive examination the first time have the right to be reexamined once. Students must pass the comprehensive examination within one academic year after the first commencement date following the initial examination. At the discretion of the department, school, or program, a student may take a maximum of two re-examinations.

Each student completes at least one major as a part of the degree program. Although not required, a student may also elect to complete a minor area of study.

Policies for Majors

Declaring a Major. Each student is required to select a major and a faculty advisor in that major department or interdisciplinary program by the sixth week in the second semester of the sophomore year. Faculty advisors, staff members in the offices of academic affairs, the registrar, and career services may assist students in making appropriate choices. Students planning for a study abroad program must declare a major prior to applying for off-campus study.

The Academic Standing Committee will take appropriate warning actions in the case of students who have failed to declare their major by the end of the sophomore year. The committee may also require students who fail to demonstrate satisfactory progress toward the major to drop that major and select a new major before continuing at DePauw.

Two Majors.  Students may complete a maximum of two majors. A student with two majors must meet all requirements for each major. Students who have double majors must have at least six courses that do not overlap between the two majors.

Changes in Major Requirements. Department, school or program requirements for the major are those in effect at the time the student declares the major. Changes in departmental requirements after a major is declared may apply provided they do not require a student to enroll in more than a normal course load in any semester or do not prolong the time needed to meet degree requirements. Departments, schools and programs are responsible for determining and certifying that each student in the major is sufficiently prepared in the field as a whole.

Majors in the College of Liberal Arts

(see the School of Music in this section for description of the majors available within the three music degree options.)

Actuarial Science  Communication French Philosophy
Africana Studies Computer Science Geology Physics
Anthropology Conflict Studies German Political Science
Art (History) Earth Sciences Global Health Pre-engineering
Art (Studio)  Economics Greek Psychology
Asian Studies Education Studies History Religious Studies
Biochemistry English (Writing) Independent Interdisciplinary Romance Languages
Biology English (Literature) Kinesiology Sociology
Cellular and Molecular Biology Environmental Biology Latin Spanish
Chemistry Environmental Geoscience Mathematics  Theatre 
Classical Civilization Film Studies Music (College of Liberal Arts)   Women's Studies


The Minor

A student may elect a minor that consists of at least four courses in a single subject or centers on a specific interdisciplinary topic. At least one course must be at the 300-400 level.

A 2.0 grade point average must be achieved in the minor, and no courses in the minor subject may be taken on a Pass/Fail basis. Double minors must have at least four courses that do not overlap. At least three courses in the minor must be outside the student's major area.

Declaring a Minor: To complete a minor a student should declare it by the end of the junior year. Final certification must be filed in the Office of the Registrar by November 15 of the senior year.

Minors at DePauw

Anthropology Conflict Studies International Business (described below) Political Science
Art (History) Earth Sciences Italian Psychology
Art (Studio) Economics Japanese Religious Studies
Asian Studies Education Studies Jazz Studies Rhetoric and Interpersonal Communication
Astronomy Environmental Geoscience Jewish Studies (described below) Russian
Biochemistry European Studies (described below) Kinesiology Russian Studies
Biology Film Studies Latin Sociology
Black Studies French Latin American and Caribbean Studies Spanish
Business Administration (described below) Geography Literature  Statistics
Chemistry Geology Mathematics Theatre
Chinese German Media Studies   Women's Studies
Classical Archaeology Greek Music (Applied)  World Literature
Classical Civilization History Philosophy  
 Computer Science   Physics  



Africana Studies

DePauw University offers an interdisciplinary minor in the area of Africana Studies. For further information, see Africana Studies, in this section.

Asian Studies

DePauw University offers an interdisciplinary major and minor in the area of Asian Studies. For further information, see Asian Studies.

Business Administration

This interdisciplinary minor is designed for students interested in obtaining exposure to the concepts of business administration from a liberal arts perspective. Six courses are needed to complete this minor.

Requirements for the Minor

  • Required Core: ECON 100, ECON 220, ECON 280
  • Selected Core (choose one of the following): ECON 393*, PSY 364*, MATH 422*
  • Quantitative Analysis Requirement (choose one of the following): BIO 275*, COMM 350, ECON 350, MATH 240, MATH 441*, MATH 442*, POLS 318, PSY 214*, SOC 401
  • Elective Course(s) (Choose a minimum of one additional course from the following): CFT 100, COMM 326, COMM 335*, CSC 121, ECON 360*, ECON 393*, ECON 398, ECON 420*, ECON 430*, ECON 470*, MATH 331*, MATH 422*, PHIL 233, PSY 254*, PSY 364*
  • At least four of these courses must be outside the student’s major or second minor.
  • Students with a minor in Business Administration are required to attend at least six Management Center lectures during their senior year. (The McDermond Center for Management & Entrepreneurship must be notified of a student’s intention to complete this minor during the spring of their junior year.)
  • Completion of an internship approved by the Director of the McDermond Center is required.

Courses that have a prerequisite outside the core are designated with *.

Recent changes in the minor: The number of courses required for this minor, the number of courses in the required core, and the number of courses outside the major were all reduced by a vote of the faculty on September 14, 2009. All students who have currently declared this minor may follow the new requirements.

Conflict Studies

DePauw University offers an interdisciplinary major and minor in the area of Conflict Studies. For further information, see Conflict Studies, in this section.

European Studies

DePauw University offers an interdisciplinary minor in the area of European Studies.

Requirements for the minor include language proficiency in a modern Western European language other than English (minimum 4th semester proficiency) that suits the logical and coherent grouping of the five courses for the minor. The language requirement can be fulfilled by coursework, placement tests, or approved off-campus study programs. The five courses for the minor must include a minimum of 2 core courses from ARTH 131, 132, 201, ENG 261, HIST 100, 111, 112, 201, 342, PHIL 215, 216, POLS 150, 230, 254; and a minimum of 3 elective courses in at least two different disciplines in Art History, Classical Studies, Communications, Economics, English, History, Modern Languages, Music, and Political Science. Contact the program director for specifics.

In cases where a student wishes to propose a modern Western European language not taught at DePauw at the 4th semester level, the student must arrange for proficiency testing (and cover any cost involved) with the Modern Language department. If needed, such testing may be arranged (with approval) from or another off-campus resource.

Film Studies

DePauw University offers an interdisciplinary major and minor in the area of Film Studies. For further information, see Film Studies.

Requirements for the minor include five courses with one core course chosen from either COMM 236, COMM 316 or COMM 319 and at least one class from each of the following areas: a) history and criticism; b) production and screenwriting; and c) cultural and genre studies. Students elect a fifth course from one of the three categories listed above. At least one of the courses must be at the 300 level or above.

International Business Program

The International Business Program is designed for those students preparing for careers in international trade or finance. Students electing this program major in one of the following areas--Asian Studies, Economics, French, German, Russian Studies or Spanish. In addition, students complete courses in the international business concentration as follows:

  • Core courses: Economics--ECON 100, 220, 280 or 393, 295 and 420; Foreign Language--a minimum of two courses beyond the intermediate (second year) level, to be selected in consultation with the chair of modern languages.
  • Elective courses: A minimum of four elective courses (none of which is counted toward the minimum number for the major or core) related to the international area of specialization, of which at least two must be from the departments of history and political science. Elective courses must be approved by the student's International Business Advising Committee. (The International Business Advising Committee consists of the director of The McDermond Center for Management and Entrepreneurship, the chair of the core department and the student's major advisor.)

It is strongly recommended that students seeking a concentration in International Business spend some time (Winter Term, semester or year) in an off-campus study program in the foreign country or region in which they are specializing. Appropriate courses taken in such approved off-campus programs will count toward fulfilling the requirements of this concentration. In addition, an internship arranged in consultation with the director of the McDermond Center is highly encouraged.

Economics majors take four electives and from two to six language courses depending on language placement. All other majors take five economics courses and four electives.

Jewish Studies

DePauw University offers an interdisciplinary minor in the area of Jewish Studies.

Requirements for the minor are: 5 courses including REL 244 and at least one course at the 300-400 level. One course should be chosen from approved courses in each of the following three areas: a) social science and history or archaeology; b) literature and the arts; and c) religious studies and philosophy. Two of these courses, in addition to REL 244, should be core courses. See website for additional information.

Latin American and Caribbean Studies

DePauw University offers an interdisciplinary minor in the area of Latin American and Caribbean Studies. For further information, see Latin American and Caribbean Studies, this section.

Russian Studies

DePauw University offers an interdisciplinary major and minor in the area of Russian Studies. For further information, see Russian Studies, this section.

Women's Studies

DePauw offers an interdisciplinary major and minor in Women's Studies. For further information, see Women's Studies, in this section.


For the most up-to-date course and departmental information, consult DePauw's Web site: [].