A contract major is a coherent program of studies leading to a B.A. or B.S. degree, proposed by a student in consultation with a faculty adviser. The program must fulfill general education and other university-wide degree requirements including a major comprising a minimum of 36 credits related to a specialized topic, theme or area of concentration. Credits in the major may be drawn from the course offerings of one or more academic departments and at least half of them must be taken at Western. The contract must be approved by the chairs of the departments from which nine or more credits are taken, by the Committee on Undergraduate Curriculum and Academic Standards, and by the Provost.  Following these approvals the student files a Change of Major request with the Registrar.

Proposals are normally presented before the completion of 75 credits. They must exhibit academic integrity and rigor. Therefore, students are cautioned that the later a proposal is presented, the greater the chance that more than the minimum number of credits for the bachelor’s degree will be required to complete the contract major. The student applicant must have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.5 and must have completed the general education requirements in writing and communication skills and mathematics. At least two-thirds of the credits in the major must be taken at the 200 level or above. Inclusion of a senior thesis or project is strongly advised.

The intent of the contract major is to allow students whose academic interests extend beyond existing majors sufficient flexibility to design a program of studies appropriate to their academic goals.

Departments and faculty advisers in fields related to the student’s interests may provide guidance on developing the proposal.