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Requirements of a Major

All students must complete a major.

The major programs approved by the Faculty Assembly are called standing majors. Most of these are in a single field and are also called departmental majors (e.g., history, philosophy, physics). Others, called multiple-field interdisclinary majors, combine two or more fields (e.g., international business).

Standing majors, whether single-field or interdisciplinary, eligible for a B.A., B.S., or B.S.N. degree typically consist of 40 to 60 required credits, including prerequisites and supporting courses. Most single-field majors have a minimum of 30 and a maximum of 40 credits within the field. For a multiple-field major, each of the constituent core fields normally consists of 15-30 required credits.

Some majors require the completion of one or more courses that do not count toward the maxima indicated above.

A student must earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.000 in the courses required for completion of the declared major(s) unless otherwise specified by individual departments. At least 15 of the credits required for a major must be earned at Linfield.

Declaration of Major

Determining a major field of study is an important choice in a student’s academic career. Some students need time to explore a variety of interests prior to deciding on a major, whereas others come to college with a strong inclination toward a particular field of study. Linfield’s policy on declaring a major is flexible enough to honor the student’s desire to explore various options. At the same time, it recognizes that timely determination of an academic major facilitates planning and expedites progress toward a degree.

By spring semester of the sophomore year (or upon completion of 45 semester hours), students must file a “Declaration of Academic Program” approved by an advisor in the major department. This declaration must be completed before a student is permitted to register for the following semester.

Pre-Nursing students are strongly encouraged to declare their major as soon as possible after the end of the colloquium class (IDST 007). Transfer students (to McMinnville) are strongly encouraged to declare Pre-Nursing upon matriculation. All qualified Linfield students who have established residency will be admitted to the School of Nursing, with the following caveat. If necessary due to limited capacity in each start term, qualified students will be assigned a start term using a competitive selection process that considers factors that may include but are not limited to prerequisite course grades and overall grades. (See also the Nursing and Admission section of the Linfield University course catalog.)

Students desiring to enter one of Linfield’s teacher licensure programs signal their interest at this time to receive appropriate advising from the Education Department.

The Individual Major

The Individual Major (IM) is an opportunity designed for students who are serious about pursuing an area of scholarly inquiry that falls outside the scope of the standing majors of the college. The IM should be an interdisciplinary, intellectually coherent program of study developed by a student in consultation with selected faculty members and submitted for approval to the Faculty Assembly.

As the first step in initiating a proposal for an Individual Major, the student should meet with the Registrar, secure an academic advisor, and form a committee constituted of at least one tenure-track faculty member from each discipline emphasized in the proposed major. This committee’s first task is to assist the student in designing the major and securing its approval from the university Curriculum Committee, which in turn will recommend it to the Faculty Assembly. To be approved, proposals must possess scholarly merit, involve interdisciplinary study, and demonstrate that they can be completed with resources available at Linfield.

Guidelines for Applicants

  • The student proposing an Individual Major should have completed at least one year of college work and earned a cumulative GPA of at least 3.000 at the time of application.
  • Applications must be submitted by the end of the sophomore year, with approval of the Curriculum Committee coming early in the junior year.
  • The Individual Major must comprise at least 50 credits but no more than 60 credits, including all cognates and prerequisites.
  • The major must include work from at least two core fields, but not normally more than three, with a minimum of 15 and a maximum of 30 credits in any one core field included within the 60-credit maximum.
  • At least 25 credits in the major must be earned at Linfield, including at least 8 upper-division credits in each core field.
  • At least one-third of all course work must be in the upper-division (above the 200-level), with no less than half at the upper-division level in all core fields represented in the major.
  • Each major must include a culminating integrative experience such as an independent study course, an internship, a senior project or seminar.
  • Any individual major that bears the title of a generally recognized course of study should include descriptions of this program as offered at other institutions.

These guidelines abridge a lengthier document available from the registrar explaining the process of proposing an Individual Major. Prospective applicants should consult that document early in their planning.


In addition to a major, Linfield students may elect to complete the requirements for a minor. A minor program consists of 20-30 credits, including prerequisites and support courses. A single-field minor may require no more than 25 credits in the field.

Some but not all major programs have an associated minor; a few minors exist without corresponding majors. There are no individually designed minors. The requirements for specific minors may be found within the relevant departments, or, in the case of cross-disciplinary minors, on their own pages within the McMinnville Campus section.

A student must earn a minimum cumulative GPA of a 2.000 in the courses required for completion in the declared minor(s), unless otherwise specified by individual departments. At least 10 of the credits included in a minor must be taken at or through Linfield.