Millsaps College offers the opportunity to design a major to best fit your personality, career goals, and specific educational needs. The self-designed major is a customized major that you design, working closely with appropriate faculty. The curricular, instructional, and administrative framework for the pursuit of a self-designed major is not, by contrast with that of standard majors, already in place. It must be constructed by a special effort. Although members of the faculty and administration of the College stand ready to help you along the way, the initiative for this special effort lies with you. Consequently, a higher degree of self-motivation may be demanded if you are pursuing a self-designed major as opposed to a more established route to graduation.

Course for Self-Designed Majors

SDMA 4900 Senior Seminar for Self-Design Major (4 sem. hours).

This class serves as the senior capstone course for students with self-designed majors and includes intensive reading, discussion, and research on a topic directly related to the student's area of interest. Depending on the structure of the student's major, the course will include either specially designed comprehensive exams, a thesis, or an original research project including significant written analysis appropriate to the student's field.

  • Millsaps College, History, David C. Davis

    David C. Davis

    Associate Dean, Arts and Humanities, and Associate Professor of History; Director of the Self-Designed Major Program

    B.A., William Carey College; M.A., Baylor University; Ph.D., Northwestern University; Email


    "My passion for history developed in high school as I explored slave forts and castles along the coast of Ghana and listened to the stories told by the drummers in the northern regions of that country. The pursuit of this passion has led me on adventures from the Poverty Point mounds of Louisiana to the temples on Bali in Indonesia. My approach to teaching the history of Africa and the Middle East is to try and bring some of those places and faces into the classroom through the "artifacts" left behind by the very folk who lived out those events. The texts they wrote, the weapons they crafted, and the textiles they wove tell us about their world and invite us to share that world. It is from these pieces of evidence that historians ply their craft and try to answer some of the enduring questions of the human condition."