Custom-Designed Major

Major: Custom-Designed Major
Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Science (BS)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Minimum Required Credits: 180.0

Co-op Options: Three Co-op (Five years); One Co-op (Four years)
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, interdisciplinary 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 academic 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 disciplines and 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 by internal or external transfer. Incoming first-year students interested in Custom-Designed Major should apply to the First Year Exploratory Studies (FYES) program; for the students entering FYES with Custom-Designed already in mind as their major, part of their time in FYES will be spent formulating their formal application to the major. 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, so that they have a minimum of 5 academic terms in the major prior to graduation. Students do not need to be members of the Honors Program to be eligible to apply to the program.

Additional Information

For more information about this program, please visit the Custom-Designed Major webpage.

For additional questions, please contact either Associate Director Dr. Katie Barak at ksb89@drexel.edu or Director of Academic Programs Dr. Kevin D. Egan kde25@drexel.edu

Admission Requirements

Applicants may apply to the Custom-Designed Major (CSDN) as incoming, first-year students, current Drexel students, and transfer students. Please visit the CSDN application webpage for the most up-to-date information about how to apply, application materials, and setting up an introductory meeting to learn more about the program with the CSDN staff. Please note: Students do not need to be members of the Honors Program in order to apply to the major.

Degree Requirements

Foundation Requirements
CIVC 101Introduction to Civic Engagement1.0
COOP 101Career Management and Professional Development *1.0
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 210 [WI] Methods of Interdisciplinary Inquiry3.0
CSDN 220 [WI] Integrative Research Methods3.0
CSDN 304Custom-Designed Major Proj I3.0
CSDN 305Custom-Designed Major Project II3.0
CSDN 306Custom-Designed Major Project III3.0
UNIV X101The Drexel Experience1.0
Humanities electives **9.0
Mathematics electives ***6.0
Science electives 8.0
Social Sciences electives ††9.0
Individualized Course Requirements †††118.0
Individualized course requirements make up the bulk of the student’s curriculum. These courses are selected from across multiple disciplines, and they must demonstrate interdisciplinary breadth (e.g. cannot replicate preexisting major curricula) and intellectual depth (e.g. significant advanced coursework). Typically, at least three different disciplines will be represented by individualized course requirements. 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.
Total Credits180.0
*

Co-op cycles may vary. Students are assigned a co-op cycle (fall/winter, spring/summer, summer-only) based on their co-op program (4-year, 5-year) and major.

COOP 101 registration is determined by the co-op cycle assigned and may be scheduled in a different term. Select students may be eligible to take COOP 001 in place of COOP 101.

**

Any 100-level course and above in the following subjects: AFAS, ARTH, COM, ENGL, HIST, LING, PHIL, RELS, WGST, WRIT, ARBC, CHIN, FREN, GER, HBRW, ITAL, JAPN, KOR, RUSS, or SPAN

***

Any 100-level course and above in the following subjects: MATH, STAT, or STS

Any 100-level course and above in the following subjects: ANAT, BIO, CHEM, CS, GEO, PHYS, ENVS, HSCI, AE, BET, CHE, CAE, CIVE, ECE, EGMT, ENGR, ENVE, INDE, MATE, MEM, MET, MHT, SYSE, ENSS, PHEV, or NFS.

††

Any 100-level course and above in the following subjects: AFAS, ANTH, CJS, COM, ECON, GST, PSCI, PSY, SOC, or WGST

†††

Three 300- or 400-level courses in each discipline comprising a significant component of the custom-designed curriculum. All prerequisite courses for these selected courses must also be satisfied.

 

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.

Sample Plan of Study

4 year, one co-op in Fall/Winter

First Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
CSDN 1011.0CSDN 1021.0CIVC 1011.0VACATION
ENGL 1013.0ENGL 1023.0ENGL 1033.0 
UNIV 1011.0Humanities Elective3.0Individualized Requirements6.0 
Individualized Requirements9.0Individualized Requirements6.0Math Elective3.0 
 Math Elective3.0Social Science Elective3.0 
 14 16 16 0
Second Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
Individualized Requirements9.0COOP 101*1.0CSDN 2103.0Individualized Requirements16.0
Science Elective4.0CSDN 2031.0Humanities Elective3.0 
Social Science Elective3.0Humanities Elective3.0Individualized Requirements3.0 
 Individualized Requirements6.0Social Science Elective3.0 
 Science Elective4.0  
 16 15 12 16
Third Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
COOP EXPERIENCECOOP EXPERIENCECSDN 2203.0Individualized Requirements15.0
  Individualized Requirements12.0 
 0 0 15 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCredits 
CSDN 3043.0CSDN 3053.0CSDN 3063.0 
Individualized Requirements12.0Individualized Requirements12.0Individualized Requirements12.0 
 15 15 15 
Total Credits 180
*

Co-op cycles may vary. Students are assigned a co-op cycle (fall/winter, spring/summer, summer-only) based on their co-op program (4-year, 5-year) and major.

COOP 101 registration is determined by the co-op cycle assigned and may be scheduled in a different term. Select students may be eligible to take COOP 001 in place of COOP 101.

4 year, one co-op in Spring/Summer

First Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
CSDN 1011.0CSDN 1021.0CIVC 1011.0VACATION
ENGL 1013.0ENGL 1023.0ENGL 1033.0 
UNIV 1011.0Humanities Elective3.0Individualized Requirements6.0 
Individualized Requirements9.0Individualized Requirements6.0Math Elective3.0 
 Math Elective3.0Social Science Elective3.0 
 14 16 16 0
Second Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
Individualized Requirements9.0CSDN 2031.0CSDN 2103.0COOP 101*1.0
Science Elective4.0Humanities Elective3.0Humanities Elective3.0Individualized Requirements14.0
Social Science Elective3.0Individualized Requirements8.0Individualized Requirements3.0 
 Science Elective4.0Social Science Elective3.0 
 16 16 12 15
Third Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
Individualized Requirements15.0CSDN 2203.0COOP EXPERIENCECOOP EXPERIENCE
 Individualized Requirements12.0  
 15 15 0 0
Fourth Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCredits 
CSDN 3043.0CSDN 3053.0CSDN 3063.0 
Individualized Requirements12.0Individualized Requirements12.0Individualized Requirements12.0 
 15 15 15 
Total Credits 180
*

Co-op cycles may vary. Students are assigned a co-op cycle (fall/winter, spring/summer, summer-only) based on their co-op program (4-year, 5-year) and major.

COOP 101 registration is determined by the co-op cycle assigned and may be schedules in a different term. Select students may be eligible to take COOP 001 in place of COOP 101.

5 year, three co-op in Fall/Winter

First Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
CSDN 1011.0COOP 101*1.0CIVC 1011.0VACATION
ENGL 1013.0CSDN 1021.0ENGL 1033.0 
UNIV 1011.0CSDN 2031.0Individualized Requirements6.0 
Individualized Requirements8.0ENGL 1023.0Math Elective3.0 
 Individualized Requirements6.0Social Science Elective3.0 
 Math Elective3.0  
 13 15 16 0
Second Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
COOP EXPERIENCECOOP EXPERIENCEIndividualized Requirements9.0Humanities Elective3.0
  Science Elective4.0Individualized Requirements8.0
  Social Science Elective3.0Science Elective4.0
 0 0 16 15
Third Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
COOP EXPERIENCECOOP EXPERIENCECSDN 2103.0Humanities Elective3.0
  Humanities Elective3.0Individualized Requirements12.0
  Individualized Requirements9.0 
 0 0 15 15
Fourth Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
COOP EXPERIENCECOOP EXPERIENCECSDN 2203.0Individualized Requirements12.0
  Individualized Requirements12.0Social Science Elective3.0
 0 0 15 15
Fifth Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCredits 
CSDN 3043.0CSDN 3053.0CSDN 3063.0 
Individualized Requirements12.0Individualized Requirements12.0Individualized Requirements12.0 
 15 15 15 
Total Credits 180
*

Co-op cycles may vary. Students are assigned a co-op cycle (fall/winter, spring/summer, summer-only) based on their co-op program (4-year, 5-year) and major.

COOP 101 registration is determined by the co-op cycle assigned and may be scheduled in a different term. Select students may be eligible to take COOP 001 in place of COOP 101.

5 year, three co-op in Spring/Summer

First Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
CSDN 1011.0COOP 101*1.0CIVC 1011.0VACATION
ENGL 1013.0CSDN 1021.0ENGL 1033.0 
UNIV 1011.0ENGL 1023.0Individualized Requirements6.0 
Individualized Requirements8.0Individualized Requirements6.0Math Elective3.0 
 Math Elective3.0Social Science Elective3.0 
 13 14 16 0
Second Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
Individualized Requirements9.0CSDN 2031.0COOP EXPERIENCECOOP EXPERIENCE
Science Elective4.0CSDN 2103.0  
Social Science Elective3.0Individualized Requirements8.0  
 Science Elective4.0  
 16 16 0 0
Third Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
Humanities Elective3.0CSDN 2203.0COOP EXPERIENCECOOP EXPERIENCE
Individualized Requirements12.0Humanities Elective3.0  
 Individualized Requirements9.0  
 15 15 0 0
Fourth Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCreditsSummerCredits
Humanities Elective3.0Individualized Requirements12.0COOP EXPERIENCECOOP EXPERIENCE
Individualized Requirements12.0Social Science Elective3.0  
 15 15 0 0
Fifth Year
FallCreditsWinterCreditsSpringCredits 
CSDN 3043.0CSDN 3053.0CSDN 3063.0 
Individualized Requirements12.0Individualized Requirements12.0Individualized Requirements12.0 
 15 15 15 
Total Credits 180
*

Co-op cycles may vary. Students are assigned a co-op cycle (fall/winter, spring/summer, summer-only) based on their co-op program (4-year, 5-year) and major.

COOP 101 registration is determined by the co-op cycle assigned and may be scheduled in a different term. Select students may be eligible to take COOP 001 in place of COOP 101.

Co-op and Career Services

Students in the program have the option of two co-op cycles: One is a five-year program with three co-op cycles (5COP), and the second option is a four-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.

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