Undergraduate Catalog 2020-2021

Honors Self-Designed Studies (566, 633, 539, 634)

Department website: https://www.wku.edu/honors/academics/self-designed-studies/index.php


Program Coordinator

Susann Davis, susann.davis@wku.edu, (270) 745-3171

The Honors Self-Designed Studies (HSDS) major and minor permit students to design unique programs of study when WKU’s existing programs do not adequately fit their needs. To better serve the needs of students, there are five separate options for pursuing an HSDS major/minor.

What are the general requirements for Honors Self-Designed Studies?

  • Any proposed HSDS must be a major or minor WKU does not already have.
  • At least one-half of the hours in any HSDS major or minor must be upper-division (numbered 300 or above).
  • No more than six hours of courses used to satisfy Colonnade requirements may be used in the HSDS major or minor.
  • The HSDS must include honors coursework, either through dedicated honors courses, or Honors Augmentation Contracts (HACs)
  • In accordance with WKU degree requirements, any two separate academic degree programs must total a minimum of 54 credit hours and have at least 48 non-duplicated credit hours.
  • Students completing an HSDS major or minor must complete all other requirements of the Mahurin Honors College.
  • Students must meet with an MHC advisor and their HSDS faculty sponsor every semester and provide and update on progress.

How do I begin the process of creating an Honors Self-Designed Studies Major/Minor?
Choosing to create an HSDS major or minor is a highly personalized decision requiring you to carefully consider what educational options currently exist at WKU and your long-term academic and professional goals.

Step 1: Clearly understand and articulate your professional and personal goals.

Step 2: Refer to the Guide to Planning an HSDS Program to brainstorm, refine and, ultimately, design your major or minor.

Step 3:  Meet with your MHC academic advisor to discuss how the HSDS major/minor fits with the MHC curriculum, including the required CE/T project.

Step 4: Submit your HSDS Proposal, which includes:

  • A statement of 250 words describing how and why your academic, professional and intellectual goals are best achieved by an HSDS major/minor.
  • A program of study detailing each course that will be part of your HSDS major and the semester in which you plan to take each course and which courses will be taken for honors credit.
  • A list of three main learning outcomes that you will achieve through your HSDS major. These should focus on what the program of study will help you learn and understand, and how these outcomes are preparing you for the next stage of your academic, professional and intellectual journey.
  • Signature from a faculty sponsor who supports and approves your HSDS major. 

Proposal Forms:

What happens after I submit my proposal?

The Assistant Director for Academics of the MHC reviews all proposals within two weeks. You will be notified by email if your proposal is accepted as is, or if revisions are required.

Upon approval: Work with your MHC advisor to change your major on TopNet. Use your approved proposal for planning and registration.

Upon earning 75 credit hours in residence: Work with your MHC Advisor to submit the Honors Self-Designed Course Sheet. This form will direct the Registrar’s Office to create your program on iCAP.