Choose your own adventure with a Self-Designed Major!
Sterling College tends to attract independent-minded souls, so it’s no surprise that many Sterling students choose our interdisciplinary Self-Designed Major. Actually, 60 percent of all Sterling students do just that!
The Self-Designed Major allows you to march to the beat of your own heart, charting a path that looks uniquely like you. Are you interested in tropical ecology, nature writing, or urban agriculture? Do you have a passion for woodworking, raising bees, or educating people about the environment or agriculture? How do you want to make an impact on planetary sustainability and how can we help you get there?
With the help of faculty advisors, you will have the opportunity to navigate the Sterling College curriculum your way, creating an interdisciplinary studies degree program that aligns with your interests and values.
Students who graduate as Self-Designed Majors go on to design their own lives in a wide variety of occupations. From Peace Corps volunteers and nonprofit executive directors to farmers, ecologists, and sustainable home builders, Sterling College’s self-designed majors are making their marks as environmental stewards worldwide.
“The classes here will change the way you want to lead your life.” —Favor Ellis, M.A., Sterling College Dean of Community
What will I do as a Sterling College Self-Designed Major?
- Complete the for-credit Self-Designed Major Workshop in which you will work with faculty and other students to draft your interdisciplinary studies Self-Designed Major Proposal.
- Combine classes from Sterling’s major programs in Ecology, Environmental Humanities, Outdoor Education, Sustainable Agriculture and Sustainable Food Systems with Independent Study courses you develop with favorite faculty members to create your ideal degree program.
- Travel with purpose as part of Sterling College’s Global Field Studies program [lsp1] (included as part of your tuition) where you can choose from immersive cultural and environmental study-abroad experiences ranging from Arctic Canada to Belize.
- Intern at places that support your Self-Designed Major such as The Center for Agricultural Economy, Independent Power, the Regenerative Design Center, Chandler Pond Farm, Rocky Mountain National Park, and more.
- Complete a Senior Year Research Project (SYRP).
More than 60 percent of Sterling College students self-design their majors. Are you transferring into Sterling College? Then you may be able to apply some of your previous coursework to your Self-Designed Major at Sterling.
Recent Self-Designed Major Examples
- Aquatic Ecology
- Conservation Education
- Ecological Anthropology
- Environmental Chemistry
- Environmental Education and the Media
- Environmental Justice
- Handcrafts and Folklore
- Human Ecology
- Integrated Forestry and Woodworking
- International Agriculture and Business
- Northern Ecology
- Northern Studies
- Sustainable Development/Agricultural Practices and Politics
- Sustainable Living Systems
- Sustainable Support Systems
- Sustainability Education
- Wildlife Ecology and Management