Individually Planned Major

You have the chance to personalize your major.

You’re unique – why shouldn’t your course of study be unique, too? An individually planned major, or IPM, allows students to formulate and stylize their education based on their interests, desired career path and where they want to go in life. Each student’s individualism and creativity is allowed to flourish in this personalized, one-of-a-kind education.

Offered as:

  • B.A. in [Title of IP Major]
  • B.A.L.S. in [Title of IP Major]
  • Minor in [Title of IP Minor] (TU)


Samples of past IPMs have included:

  • Art Business
  • Art and Film
  • Biology and Athletic Training
  • Communication and Project Management
  • Communication and the Arts
  • Creative Writing
  • Dramatic Writing
  • East-Asian Studies with a Japanese Focus
  • Forensic Anthropology
  • International Communications, Cultural Relations and Social Economics
  • International Culture and Development
  • Marketing and Visual Communications
  • Medical Illustration– Art and Science
  • Museum Studies
  • Political Communications and Economic Development
  • Psycho-Literary Connections
  • Religious Studies
  • Socio-Urbanism: Urban Studies and City Planning
  • Urban Studies

You may also choose to do an individually planned minor (IPM). Oglethorpe’s individually planned minor serves the same basic role as does the individually planned major (IPM) except that the former is smaller in scope, more narrowly focused.



How does it work?

An IPM is not for everyone. In most cases, you’ll find that in consultation with your academic advisor, a regular major in combination with a minor may meet your goal, particularly when planned with the right elective courses, internships, research experiences and study abroad.

In the case you decide that the IPM is your best option, you’ll need to complete an application with your academic advisor (download below). This application should be submitted by the end of the second semester of your sophomore year and will not be accepted within one year of your projected graduation date. The application must specify the following:

  • The major’s or minor’s coverage and definition.
  • An “area of concentration” (the principal discipline in which the individually planned major’s or minor’s courses reside) and “other fields of study” (those disciplines which also contribute required courses to the major or minor, thereby emphasizing its interdisciplinary nature).
  • The observed or expected conceptual linkages among the area of concentration and the other subject(s) included in the major or minor.
  • The expected outcomes of the completion of the major or minor in terms of the student’s intellectual growth and plans for graduate study or career.


The application must be approved by your advisor, the faculty chairperson of the division in which the proposed major’s area of concentration is housed and by the provost or associate provost. Once the requisite approvals are gathered, then you will submit the completed application to enrollment services. The registrar will notify you and your advisor of the acceptance of the proposal.

Sample IPM Proposals

The Creative Impulse in 20th Century America

Justin Hutson arrived at Oglethorpe as a junior transfer student. According to Dr. Linda Taylor, Professor of English, Justin quickly distinguished himself as being “among the most gifted, widely read and consistently serious students in a very good [Writing Biography and Autobiography] class… He was unusually effective and fluent in introducing into his nonfictional prose not only concrete details of his own or another’s experience, but also references to art, theater, and particularly 20th Century literature. He very naturally combines these in ways that are literary and enhance the effect of his writing.” Justin’s proposal, “The Creative Impulse in 20th Century America,” stands as perhaps the most literary, lyrical piece of writing ever to serve as an IPM application. As Dr. Taylor states, Justin “sees his art very much in the context of other art. He studies it, with great rigor and respect, then uses it. That gives his nonfiction a maturity unusual in undergraduate writing.” [download PDF of his proposal]

Visual Anthropology

Cassie Wells’ IPM focused on “Visual Anthropology.” Of her work, Cassie says, “As more and more new technologies are thrust into society, it is imperative to study the effects of these technologies from an anthropological standpoint. In particular, I have a special interest in research regarding virtual internet communities and video games, specifically their effects on a generation growing up in the ‘media age.’ In my Effects of Mass Media class, I investigated the potential of online gaming communities in enhancing traditional methods of education, drawing my conclusions from literature in the field of media effects. After two anthropology classes with Dr. [Jeffrey] Collins, I completed a research project entitled “Video Games as a Medium for the 21st Century Revival of Religion and Myth,” in which I discussed the use and presentation of various religious archetypes in a number of popular games. I then outlined methods by which we should further study the known implications of religion and myth as presented in video games, as well as implications that have yet to be considered.” [pdf]

Business Management and Music Theory

Carlos Carthen II played on the men’s varsity tennis team, was the president of Voices of Inspiration Gospel Choir and served as an assistant to Oglethorpe’s Sports Information Director. His IPM, “Business Management and Music Theory” combined his passion for music with learning the management and business principles that he feels are needed for a successful music career. While at OU, Carlos was one of nine students who travelled to Netherlands, Belgium and France as a part of Dr. Cassandra Copeland’s course, International Trade and Business in the Euro-zone. Dr. Copeland, Associate Professor of Economics, says of Carlos, “He is extraordinarily energetic and creative. During our trip he would sometimes sit down in the hotel lobby and play the piano, quite beautifully, for the guests. One night he was even invited to sit in on the drums at a jazz club we were visiting.” Carlos also produced (along with classmate Joey Kosciolek) a video of pictures, film clips and music as a way of portraying the trip to others. Finally, each student was required to keep a journal of his/her experiences. Of Carlos’ chronicle, Dr. Copeland says, “He included original song lyrics, poems and sketches. It was fantastic, and like no other journal.” [pdf]