The Individualized Major Programs Network is an informal organization of individualized major programs at colleges and universities across the United States and beyond. In 2008-09, conversations among the directors of IMPs at the University of Massachusetts, Indiana University, University of Connecticut, and New College at the University of Alabama led to a conference in Bloomington, Indiana and the emergence of this network.
What are Individualized Major Programs?
Individualized major programs offer highly motivated and self-directed students the opportunity to design their own major. As an alternative to traditional majors, IMPs allow students to pursue their educational goals in areas not available within an existing departmental curriculum. Students, with the help of faculty and professional advisors, focus their major and select courses on the basis of a unifying issue, topic, theme, culture, period, or question.
An individualized major is typically highly interdisciplinary and combines at least two distinct areas of knowledge. Also characteristic of an individualized major is the ability to integrate experiential learning and professional training with the liberal arts and sciences.
What are the goals of the IMP Network?
- to share information among individualized major programs about best practices and solutions to common challenges
- to organize a regular conference to bring together faculty, staff, and students of individualized major programs
- to serve as a resource to colleges and universities considering the creation of an individualized major program