Office of the Registrar
Campus Address
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03755-3529
Phone: (603) 646-xxxx
Fax: (603) 646-xxxx
Email: reg@Dartmouth.EDU

Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2013

Modified Major

Departments and Programs may offer modified majors, intended to fit the needs of students who have a definite interest in the major department/program but are also interested in some specific problem or topic, the study of which depends on courses in related fields.

Basically a modified major contains ten courses, six in one field and four in a second field or perhaps in more than one area. It should be planned as a unified, coherent whole, and not consist of a series of unrelated courses. Students must file a written statement with the primary department or program and with the Registrar, explaining their rationale for the courses selected for the modified major. Each department or program sets its own prerequisite and prescribed courses for a Modified Major, within the limit described above, and in greater detail in the following paragraphs. Courses which form part of a modified major are subject to the same requirements described in the section ‘Standard Department Major’ above; they must serve in satisfaction of a major in the department or program offering the course unless specifically listed in this Catalog as suitable for a modified major. The Registrar may refuse to accept a modified major that does not meet the ‘unified and coherent’ requirement. If the issue cannot be resolved between the Registrar and the department(s) or programs(s) concerned, it will go to the Committee on Instruction for decision.

The primary part of the major must consist of six courses in a single major-offering department/program (e.g., English, Biology, History, Comparative Literature). The secondary part must consist of four courses, none of which may bear the same department/program title as that of the primary part. (Exception: when a department or program offers officially distinct subjects, as indicated by differing names, an internal modified major may be constructed, e.g., of six French and four Italian courses [or the converse].) Furthermore, there will always be at least one course prerequisite to the primary part and normally one or two prerequisite to the secondary part. In case the primary department/program has no prerequisites for its standard major, seven courses are required in the primary part of a modified major.

If a student desires a modified major consisting of the necessary primary part with six courses from one department or program and four courses that are not from a single second department or program as the second part, the major requires the approval of the chair (or approved faculty delegate) of the primary department/program only. There is no direct advantage to securing a second approval. When a student completes the major, it will be entered in the permanent record as, for instance, ‘Psychology Modified,’ no indication of the second part appearing.

It is also possible for a student to arrange a Modified Major that will receive full recognition. The student works with one major-offering department/program (primary) and a second such, or a non -major-offering department/program (secondary). The major card must show six courses (plus prerequisites) in the primary field (standing for department or program) and four courses (plus prerequisites) in the secondary field. The various prerequisite courses should be identified as such. The primary field, as noted, must be a department or program authorized to offer a major; the card will bear the signature of the chair (or faculty delegate) of this department or program indicating specific and overall approval. The card will also be signed below the first signature by the chair (or faculty delegate) for the secondary department or program, again indicating specific and overall approval. Both faculty members, in signing the major card, indicate that the resulting major is an intellectually integrated package; it must not be a ‘major’ and a ‘minor’ with little or no relationship between the two fields. When such a major has been completed, the final records will show a major for, say, ‘History Modified with Economics,’ or ‘English Modified with Women’s Studies.’ Please note that a student might take exactly the same courses, but not have the signature of approval by the secondary department or program; if so, the major would be recorded as ‘History Modified’ or ‘English Modified.’

In other respects a modified major is like a standard one. A student may or may not carry out an Honors Program, the potential results being wholly similar. Please be sure to consult the last paragraph of the previous ‘Standard Departmental Major’ section for directions on the filling out and filing of the major cards.