Individualized Studies

Degree Offered

  • Bachelor of Arts

Overview of the Individualized Studies Major program

The Individualized Studies Major program provides highly motivated undergraduate students with an opportunity to complete an individually tailored program when their educational aims fall between established department or program boundaries.  Students interested in this program should first explore the possibility that their academic goals can be met through a combination of established majors and minors, or through the Multidisciplinary Studies Program (  The Multidisciplinary Studies Program allows a student to combine three minors to create an interdisciplinary major.

The Individualized Studies Major involves two or more academic areas, at least one of which must be in the Eberly College.  The major program should be planned so that the academic depth and rigor meets or exceeds that of a traditional major.  Since its approval in 1972, the individualized major program has attracted a number of interesting and challenging student proposals.  Representative examples include a program in religious studies including courses in both religious studies and communication studies, a psycho-biology program focused on the integration of knowledge about the physiological and psychological mechanisms involved in learning, and a European culture program which combined elements from the Departments of History, World Languages, and Political Science.

The Individualized Studies Major program is administered by the Associate Dean for undergraduate studies of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences. Students interested in considering an Individualized Studies major should carefully read the catalog information and then make an appointment to meet with the Associate Dean for undergraduate studies of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences by calling (304) 293-7476 to discuss their goals and the procedures they will need to follow to develop and complete an Individualized Studies major program of study.  Students should normally obtain approval for their program of study and be admitted to the Individualized Major by the Eberly College Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies no later than the end of their sophomore year. 

Click here to view the Suggested Plan of Study

General Education FOUNDATIONS

Please use this link to view a list of courses that meet each GEF requirement.

NOTE: Some major requirements will fulfill specific GEF requirements. Please see the curriculum requirements listed below for details on which GEFs you will need to select.

General Education Foundations
F1 - Composition & Rhetoric3-6
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research
Accelerated Academic Writing
F2A/F2B - Science & Technology4-6
F3 - Math & Quantitative Skills3-4
F4 - Society & Connections3
F5 - Human Inquiry & the Past3
F6 - The Arts & Creativity3
F7 - Global Studies & Diversity3
F8 - Focus (may be satisfied by completion of a minor, double major, or dual degree)9
Total Hours31-37

Please note that not all of the GEF courses are offered at all campuses. Students should consult with their advisor or academic department regarding the GEF course offerings available at their campus.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete WVU General Education Foundations requirements, College B.A. requirements, major requirements, and electives to total 120 hours. For complete details on these requirements, visit the B.A. Degrees tab on the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences page.

Departmental Requirements for the Individualized Studies Major B.A.

The Individualized Studies Major requires a minimum of thirty hours in two different areas in a minimum of two semesters under the direction of the advisory committee as a declared Individualized Studies Major.  A maximum of forty-two hours in the same discipline, as designated by course prefix, may be included within the 120 hours required for graduation.

The program of study developed in consultation with, and approved by, the Eberly College Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies becomes the student’s formal agreement with the College for degree completion.

  • Capstone Requirement: The university require students to take a capstone course. Capstone may be an approved capstone courses selected from the disciplines included in the Individualized Studies major, or may be an independent study course developed with the student’s advisory committee and approved by the Associate Dean.
  • Writing and Communication Skills Requirement:  Individualized Studies Bachelor of Arts students fulfill the Writing and Communication Skills requirement by completing ENGL 101 and ENGL 102 (or ENGL 103), and two additional SpeakWrite Certified Courses TM that are selected in consultation with the advisory committee and identified in the student’s formal Individualized Studies program proposal approved by the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies.
  • Calculation of the GPA in the major: A cumulative grade point average of at least 2.00 is required across  all courses counted toward the major. If a course is repeated, all attempts will be included in the calculation of the GPA unless the course is eligible for a D/F repeat.
  • Residence Requirement: Courses in the individualized major program may not be taken at another institution, unless approval has been given by the advisory committee and the Associate Dean.
  • Course Substitution: One course may be substituted for another with advance approval of the advisory committee and the Associate Dean. A change in program emphasis or substitution of multiple courses requires approval of both the advisory committee and the Associate Dean. The student must formally request and justify such a change.

Curriculum Requirements

University Requirements37
First Year Seminar
GEF Requirements (credits may vary due to overlap)
ECAS B.A. Requirements 12
Foreign Language
Fine Arts Requirement
Global Studies & Diversity Requirement
Program Requirements
Area I12
Area II15
Capstone Experience3
General Electives (credits may vary depending on overlap)41
Total Hours120

Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
WVUE 1911ENGL 101 (F 1)3
GEF 23GEF 23
GEF 33GEF 53
GEF 43GEF 6 (ECAS Fine Arts Requirement)3
Foreign Language 1013Foreign Language 1023
General Elective2 
 15 15
Second Year
ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3GEF 8*3
GEF 8*3Foreign Language 2043
GEF 8*3ECAS Global Studies & Diversity Requirement (GEF 7)3
Foreign Language 2033General Elective3
General Elective3General Elective3
 15 15
Third Year
Area I3Area I3
Area I3Area II3
Area II3General Elective3
Area II3General Elective3
General Elective3General Elective3
 15 15
Fourth Year
Area I Capstone3Area I3
Area II3General Elective3
Area II3General Elective3
General Elective3General Elective3
General Elective3General Elective3
 15 15
Total credit hours: 120

 Students completing a minor, a double major or a dual degree already meet F8.

Major Learning Goals

Individualized studies

Individualized Studies

Students proposing an Individualized Studies major articulate individualized goals in a formal program proposal. The proposal is developed in consultation with the student’s advisory committee and approved by the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies. The Individualized Studies program proposal requires the student to operationalize expected outcomes of her/his program. The statement of objectives includes the competencies or skills to be developed in the program, the scope and flexibility of outcomes desired, and the academic goals of the program. The statement includes discussion of potential career goals that may be facilitated by the program of study. At the end of each semester, the student submits a self-evaluation of progress toward meeting the program objectives.

Upon successful completion of the B.A. degree, Individualized Studies majors will be able to:

1.  Formulate and defend ideas using effective written, verbal, and mediated communication skills.

2.  Analyze problems and make judgements based on criteria and standards.

3.  Articulate their program of study’s area of concentration as a coherent, functional whole, with pattern and structure among its elements.

4.  Apply central theories, principles, and skill sets of two or more disciplines to the program of study’s individualized goals:

a. From the individualized studies program proposal
b. From the individualized studies program proposal
c. From the individualized studies program proposal
d. From the individualized studies program proposal
e. From the individualized studies program proposal

5.  Successfully apply for graduate study or post baccalaureate degree job placement.



  • Valérie Lastinger - Ph.D. (University of Georgia)
    Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies