Luther College's liberal education balances the breadth symbolized in the general requirements with the depth possible in an individual major. Each major incorporates a body of knowledge, a methodology, applications, and ethical concerns. Each student must complete one major according to catalog specifications, earning a C average (2.00) or better in the number of hours required in the major. The specific requirements for the various majors are listed under each department in the catalog. In most cases students who transfer to Luther as juniors or seniors will be required to complete a minimum of two courses in the major at Luther. All transfer students must consult with the head of their intended major department as soon as possible after entering Luther College to determine what will be required to complete the major at Luther College.
If a major or minor is discontinued, students who are currently declared in the major or minor will still have the opportunity to complete those requirements. Students who matriculated in a catalog year during which a major or minor was available (but were not declared at the time the decision to discontinue was made), may still declare the major or minor. However, they will need to work with the department to discuss the feasibility for major or minor completion. In some situations, required coursework may no longer be available and there may not be an opportunity for course substitution, thus, making the discontinued major or minor unattainable.
The following majors are described in the catalog: accounting, Africana studies, allied health sciences, anthropology, art, biblical languages, biology, chemistry, classics, communication studies, computer science, data science, economics, elementary education, English, environmental studies, exercise science, French, German, health promotion, history, international studies, management, mathematics, mathematics/statistics, music, music education, neuroscience, Nordic studies, nursing, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, religion, social work, sociology, Spanish, theatre, visual communication, and women and gender studies.
A student may also propose an individualized interdisciplinary major, developed in consultation with a faculty advisor. An interested student should obtain an application form from the office of the registrar. Constructing a major is a complex venture; therefore, students should spend time planning and consulting with faculty and the advisor about the development of an IIM. It is the responsibility of the student to prepare the proposal and provide any necessary supporting documentation. Conversations about the IIM should begin well in advance of the proposal deadline in order to ensure a thorough rationale and supporting documentation. An IIM proposal should have sufficient coherence in the disciplines, programs, and departments involved to achieve a knowledge base and an understanding of the philosophy and methods comparable to those of a traditional major. The rationale should include an explanation of how the upper-level coursework demonstrates intentionality within the proposed program.
In addition, IIM proposals should meet the following criteria:
1. GPA. Students should have a GPA of at least 3.00 at the time an IIM proposal is submitted. (A person with GPA lower than 3.00 may petition for an exception, providing a rationale for the request.)
2. CREDITS. An IIM proposal should have between 30 and 40 credit hours. At least 16 credits in the proposed IIM must be in courses numbered 300 and above. The IIM must designate a Writing course and specify a suitable Senior Project (1-4 credits) unless a Senior Project is completed with another major. Careful consideration should be given to the number of credits fulfilled through independent study or directed readings.
3. REVIEW PROCESS. The proposal must be approved by a faculty advisor, in consultation with the department and program heads who sign off on the coursework. After the proposal has been submitted to the Registrar’s Office, it will be reviewed by the Registrar and the Course and Program Review Subcommittee (CPR) of the Academic Planning Committee (APC).
4. TIMING. Proposals must show when the student anticipates enrolling in each course included in the proposed IIM. Each proposed course must be signed by the relevant department or program head prior to the proposal deadline.
5. DEADLINES. An IIM proposal should be submitted to the Registrar’s Office by October 1st of the student’s junior year. Students may expect a committee response no later than March 1 of the student’s Junior year.
6. RATIONALE. Every IIM proposal should be accompanied by a two-page typed rationale in which the student, in close consultation with the faculty advisor, describes how and why the IIM relates to the student’s educational goals, the purpose of these individual courses, the relationship that exists among the courses, and how they fit together to support the proposed major. The rationale should include an explanation of how the upper-level coursework demonstrates intentionality within the proposed program. Courses taken at other institutions may be included in the plan. In such cases, supplementary documentation of course availability should be provided.
7. NOTIFICATIONS. Following review by the Registrar and CPR Subcommittee of APC, the Subcommittee Chair will notify the student and faculty advisor of the decision. The Subcommittee Chair and Registrar will finalize the decision by signing the proposal. The proposal and any accompanying documentation will be added to the student’s confidential file in the Registrar’s Office.
Students may designate a minor field of specialization, although minors are not required for graduation. The requirements for these academic minors are described in the catalog: Africana studies, anthropology, applied leadership studies, art, art history, biology, chemistry, Chinese studies, classics, classical studies, communication studies, computer science, dance, data science, economics, English, English writing, environmental science, environmental studies, exercise science, French, German, health promotion, history, international business, international studies, journalism, linguistics, management, mathematics, museum studies, music, musical theatre, Nordic studies, philosophy, physics, psychology, religion, secondary education, social welfare, sociology, Spanish, theatre, visual communication, women and gender studies, and K–12 teaching of art. Students must have a C (2.00) average in the number of hours required for the minor.