Self-Designed studies is intended for students whose academic interests and goals can be best met outside the structure of a single discipline or departmental major or combination of majors and minors. By nature, the self-designed studies major is interdisciplinary, while also having a central theme or interest. Self-Designed studies is a versatile major that can serve as excellent preparation for a variety of graduate school programs and professional careers.
Self-Designed studies majors are actively engaged in research projects—some during the summer, others as independent senior honors projects or assisting with faculty research. Students often present the results of their research at conferences or in a campus presentation.
Students are encouraged to study abroad with Central College to enhance their development as global citizens. Academic opportunities and internship programs also are available in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Learn more about Central’s study abroad programs.
Central College is one of the most beautiful college campuses you'll find. A perfect mix of old and new, our buildings reflect our history and our future. Central's distinctive library is a spacious and popular haven with more than 230,000 volumes, computer stations, a multimedia collection and extensive online catalog.
Self-Designed studies is designed to create endless opportunities for students as they tailor their degree to their academic needs and interests. Popular areas of emphasis include allied health, American studies, arts management, food systems, gender studies, global health and not-for-profit management.
Recently, self-designed studies major Gregory Teets '13 accepted a Fulbright award to teach English in Malaysia. Teets designed a course of study titled "People and Cultural Perspectives." The major drew from the disciplines of Spanish, religion, psychology and communication studies to focus on understanding different people and cultures. Read more about Teets' research and future plans. Other recent careers include:
Central College is adding a self-designed studies minor in data science beginning Fall 2020.
No matter what your interests are, Central has a student group for you! Learn how you can get involved with groups and organizations at Central.
Self-Designed studies majors are accepted to top graduate schools, often using their senior project as an example of the research they wish to pursue. Overall, 90 percent of Central students are admitted into the graduate school of their choice.
Self-Designed studies students intern with a variety of businesses and organizations, both locally and abroad. Depending on areas of emphasis, sites can include hospitals and health care settings, not-for-profits and educational institutions, as well as research opportunities.
Every self-designed studies student experiences the major a little differently—students can explore a variety of courses to find what fits them best.
Students are encouraged to include an experiential component to their major including internships, practicum or directed research. In their senior year, students complete a 3-6 credit-hour integrated capstone thesis or project to round out their education and bring closure to their narrative.
Learn more about Self-Designed Studies in the course catalog.