Custom-Designed Major

Major: Custom-Designed Major
Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Science (BS)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 180.0
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 24.0101
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 11-9199

About the Program

The Custom-Designed Major enables students to pursue an individualized course of study at Drexel University not readily available through an existing major, or a combination of existing majors and/or minors. The program is designed for highly motivated students whose interdisciplinary curiosity and career ambitions cannot be satisfied by a traditional major. Students typically interested in pursuing a Custom-Designed Major are motivated by a particular theme, topic, issue, or problem that can be more holistically addressed by combining multiple fields of knowledge.

The major offers students the opportunity for an early intensive research experience, incorporates cooperative education as part of its degree requirements (either four years with one co-op, or five years with three co-ops), and culminates in an original, interdisciplinary senior-year project.

Each student accepted into the program will be advised by the program staff and closely mentored during their senior year by one or more Drexel faculty members with expertise in at least one of the disciplines composing the student's proposed course of study. Students may be admitted as entering freshmen or by external or internal transfer. Current Drexel students seeking a change of major to Custom-Designed must have final applications submitted by Week One of the summer term preceding their junior year. Students do not need to be members of the Honors Program to be eligible to apply to the program.

For additional information about applying to this program, contact either the Program Director, Dr. Kevin D. Egan at or Associate Director, Dr. Katie Barak at

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Custom-Designed Major will be determined on the basis of an application portfolio. Please note: Students do not need to be members of the Honors Program in order to apply to the major. In addition to the standard admissions application, the portfolio will contain:

  • A vision statement describing in detail what the student hopes to accomplish during their time in the program, as well as explaining why the student's educational goals cannot be met by pursuing a traditional Drexel major, a double major, or a major combined with minors.
  • A plausible plan of study for achieving the student's aims by drawing upon multiple existing Drexel programs and mapping out term by term which courses the student intends on taking
  • Student transcript
  • SAT scores
  • Two letters of support from individuals who can speak to the student's desire and ability to embark on an unconventional, individualized course of study
  • When requested, examples of projects completed independently by the student in either a school or an extracurricular setting

Degree Requirements

Foundation Requirements
COOP 101Career Management and Professional Development1.0
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
UNIV X101The Drexel Experience1.0
ENGL 101Composition and Rhetoric I: Inquiry and Exploratory Research3.0
or ENGL 111 English Composition I
ENGL 102Composition and Rhetoric II: Advanced Research and Evidence-Based Writing3.0
or ENGL 112 English Composition II
ENGL 103Composition and Rhetoric III: Themes and Genres3.0
or ENGL 113 English Composition III
CSDN 101 [WI] Introduction to Multi-Disciplinary Methods1.0
CSDN 102Knowledge by Design Seminar1.0
CSDN 203Custom-Designed Major Seminar1.0
CSDN 210Methods of Interdisciplinary Inquiry3.0
CSDN 220Integrative Research Methods3.0
CSDN 304Custom-Designed Major Proj I3.0
CSDN 305Custom-Designed Major Project II3.0
CSDN 306Custom-Designed Major Project III3.0
Humanities courses9.0
Social sciences courses9.0
Mathematics courses6.0
Science courses8.0
Customized Course Selection*
Built out in the student's proposed plan of study, these courses are approved by CSDN advisers, departmental representatives, and/or expert faculty during the application process. Students work with their CSDN advisers quarterly to determine updated course selections and sequencing.118.0
Total Credits180.0


Writing-Intensive Course Requirements

In order to graduate, all students must pass three writing-intensive courses after their freshman year. Two writing-intensive courses must be in a student's major. The third can be in any discipline. Students are advised to take one writing-intensive class each year, beginning with the sophomore year, and to avoid “clustering” these courses near the end of their matriculation. Transfer students need to meet with an academic advisor to review the number of writing-intensive courses required to graduate.

A "WI" next to a course in this catalog may indicate that this course can fulfill a writing-intensive requirement. For the most up-to-date list of writing-intensive courses being offered, students should check the Writing Intensive Course List at the University Writing Program. Students scheduling their courses can also conduct a search for courses with the attribute "WI" to bring up a list of all writing-intensive courses available that term.

Co-op and Career Services

Students in the program have the option of two co-op cycles: one is a 5-year program with 3 co-op cycles (5COP), and the second option is 4-year program with one co-op cycle (4COP). Students will meet with their career services adviser during their time in the program to closely match career objectives with curriculum design and co-op/research opportunities.

  • Schedule of Classes
  • All Course Descriptions
  • Co-op
  • Academic Advising
  • Admissions
  • Tuition & Fees