3.2    Majors

Yale-NUS College is a dynamic innovation in the world of higher education. Its faculty are continuously engaged in the exciting process of formulating curricula which draws on the best from the tradition of liberal arts and science education, while rethinking old practices in light of pedagogical innovations, advanced learning technologies, and the needs of 21st century students.

The majors offered represent current thinking of the content, structure, and intellectual flavour of disciplinary study. They are unique as they are designed by faculty in collaboration with students. Students who enter the College are more than recipients of an education; they are crucial participants in the development of an education fit for a rapidly changing world.

Each major provides systematic training in a specific academic discipline or interdisciplinary area. Built on a foundation provided by the Common Curriculum, each major is designed to give students ample scope and flexibility to explore their interest in a chosen area of knowledge, while also providing direction and depth to their studies. The planning and selection of a major is guided by close personalized interactions with faculty advisors at Yale-NUS. In establishing the majors and helping each student map a path through them, faculty members consider not only the merits of each programme component, but also the way in which the components work together to build a coherent set of insights, skills, and knowledge for each student.

At the end of the second year, students are invited to select a Major and they will need to read a total of 11 relevant and related courses throughout their third and fourth year of study. Most majors would require  students to complete at least one ‘gateway’ course prior the student’s third year at Yale-NUS.

Every student at Yale-NUS is also required to complete a capstone project as part of the major. The capstone project is a year-long supervised endeavor that will develop initiative and independence in research, and represents two of the 11 courses constituting the major. Students will present the results of their work at the end of the fourth year in presentations to audiences of their peers in the field as well as to faculty and students in other disciplines.

Each major has a support network for students in capstone projects, including faculty-led seminars for sharing work-in-progress, laboratories, studio spaces, and resources for enhancing research presentations. Graduating students will develop self-confidence and skills development that comes from having successfully conducted an independent research inquiry.