Not all Ball State students have to study what everyone else is - they can make their own majors.

There are two programs that students can use to create their own majors: Integrated Studies and Medallion Scholars. Integrated Studies is for students who want to combine two majors together to create a major with at least 45 credit hours, while Medallion Scholars is for students who want their major to include a number of different disciplines. These scholars must create the major with a minimum of 55 credit hours. 

The Integrated Studies track is open to all Ball State students, while the Medallion Scholars program is designed specifically for students in the Honors College. 

Lizz White, junior speech pathology and applied theatre major, is a Medallion Scholar. After finding out about the program from an advisor and talking to a student who was creating her own major, White decided to do that same. She scheduled a meeting with John Emert, acting dean of the Honors College.

“When I came to college, I had a lot of things that I really loved to do, and I didn’t know how to combine them all together, and so when I found out there’s a way that I could make my own major and combine all the things I loved together, I thought, ‘Why not?’” White said. 

Medallion Scholars have to submit an application to the dean of the Honors College in order to be accepted into the program, whereas those in the Integrated Studies Program work more with the associate provost and dean of University College, said Jim Reubel, dean of the Honors College in a past Daily News article

Both programs have to maintain a 3.3 GPA. 

The Medallion Scholars requires two advisors from different concentration comprising the major, while the Integrated Studies major only need one.

“It’s nice to have more advisors on your board to collaborate and know what classes to take and what you should do,” White said.

White chose her major to set up to study drama therapy in graduate school.

“Eventually, I want to work with people that have disabilities," White said. "Doing theatre, I’m using it as a therapy in a sense maybe to help them cope with a traumatic event or build confidence or just maybe bring an inclusive theatre group of someone that might have not had the experience of being in theatre."

Corey Halbert, a sophomore and current computer science major, hopes to change his major to design development and analysis of emerging technologies through Integrated Studies.

“Yeah, it’s a mouthful,” Halbert said.

Halbert realized at the end of last year that he wanted to change his major from computer science, but he didn’t know what he wanted to switch to.

“I found my passion for [design], and then there really wasn’t any major to, like, pursue that in at Ball State," Halbert said. "There’s computer science and there’s vis comm, but they’re both very strictly in one area. There wasn’t any major or any group of majors and minors that overlapped there. So I found out about Integrated Studies.”

The next step was to meet with Dean Emert and find a course schedule.

“The first thing we did is we sat down, and he pulled out the big course book, and we went through and found classes I was interested in and thought would help me get to my goals, and then we narrowed it down and found a schedule of classes that would work,” Halbert said.

For his new major, Halbert will be taking telecommunications, design and English classes, among others. He hopes that his new major will help him transfer skills from school to a job.

“I really hope to go into web design and web development. That’s like, what I’m really passionate about and what I really enjoy doing," Halbert said. "So I hope to work for a start-up or something like that doing web design and development.”

White feels that creating her own major has made her Ball State experience unique.

“It’s kind of crazy to think after I graduate, nobody else will ever do this major again and nobody has done it up to this point. But I also wish there were more people that knew about this,” White said. “I’m so blessed I’ve had this opportunity to do that.”