One of the first questions an American college student often gets is, ?What are you majoring in Meaning, what academic subject are you spending most of your time studying?
A typical answer would be ?chemistry,? ?pre-law,? ?journalism,? ?sociology,? or ?English.?
What is not typical is an answer such as ?Keepin? It Real? or ?Grand Romantic Gestures.?
That?s right: ?Grand Romantic Gestures.? It?s an actual course of study at the University of Maryland. But only for Elizabeth Limberakis.
You see, Maryland is one of a growing number of U.S. colleges that allows students to custom-design their own majors, tailored to their interests. As The New York Times reports, Limberakis happens to be interested in the study of love.
At Wesleyan College in Georgia, a little more than half of the undergraduate students individualize their majors, as it?s called.
A number of University of Washington students do too, after receiving a warning from the university that cooking up your own academic program does not mean you can design a ?light? major just to get an easy degree.
Instead, that university makes clear, individualized studies are for ?the intellectually curious, reflective and highly self-directed students who embrace learning for its own sake.?
In fact, many colleges require those who invent their own majors to take classes in at least three widely-different disciplines.
Even the ?Keepin? It Real? major at the University of Maryland was a more serious undertaking that it sounds.
The Times says it included courses in pop culture and the ?purity of art,? because the student was planning an undefined entertainment career.