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Student-Designed, Bachelor

  • Application Deadline
  • 48 months
South Bend, IN, United States
If you're self-motivated and academically determined, we invite you to reach your educational goals through a combination of courses from existing majors and minors. Our Student-Designed Major (SDM) enables qualified students, with advising, to design an independent, interdisciplinary course of study outside the traditional department structure at SSaint Mary's College.
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The Experience

Student-Designed at Saint Mary's College is a highly ambitious program, and is offered only to independent students with specific educational objectives, and a passion for those objectives. Working with faculty, you will develop your own interdisciplinary degree proposal, tailored to suit your specific interests and explore your chosen fields.

The Requirements

As an SDM, you'll embark on a journey of your own making across the College curriculum. Guided by two faculty advisors, you'll experience the independence of learning outside the box. Explore the interconnectedness of knowledge from varying disciplines, and direct your own course through an academically dynamic program. You'll also fulfill the Senior Comprehensive requirement. 

The Writing

You'll complete various kinds of writing assignments based on the courses that comprise your major. Some of these assignments may include case studies, essays, fiction, reflective papers, reviews, and research papers. 

The Results

Past SDM students have gone on to pursue graduate school and careers in different fields, including anthropology, politics, service positions, social work, and education. 

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 48 months
  • Credits
    120 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

The SDM requires that you complete 30 credit hours of coursework, including at least 24 hours at the 300 and 400 levels. As with all other majors at Saint Mary’s, you must complete the Advanced Writing and senior comprehensive requirements (unless you do these in a second major.)

For more information visit the program website.

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120.

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

General Requirements

  • academic accomplishments as evidenced by rigor of coursework, grades, grade trends
  • self-reported SAT or ACT scores (unless you plan to apply Test Optional). We'll accept your self-reported scores off the application for admission and scholarship consideration, but in order for you to ultimately enroll at Saint Mary's, you will be required to submit your official test scores. So, report them accurately!
  • extracurricular activities
  • community service and leadership experience
  • personal essay
  • recommendations from counselors, teachers, coaches and other personal acquaintances

Tuition Fee

  • International

    43040 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 43040 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
  • National

    43040 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 43040 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for South Bend

  • 885 - 1440 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.


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