When 76 majors aren't enough - The Stanford Daily Online - Sent Using Google Toolbar

When 76 majors aren't enough - The Stanford Daily Online

"I started school thinking I wanted to go into medicine, so I took a lot of biology, chemistry and physics courses freshman and sophomore year," she said.

After working for a venture capital company in the biotech industry, she changed her mind, and is now majoring in Financial Engineering in the Biotech Industry.

"I wanted to continue studying bio because I liked the coursework, but I also wanted to learn more about finance," Hdez said. "It's nice being able to pick and choose my courses across the different departments, rather than take courses that are required of a major, but not related to what I want to do."

Students and administrators alike say that this is the main benefit of the IDM program — it gives motivated students who are passionate about a subject the freedom to select their own core classes. It's the applications that show, according to IDM criteria, "breadth and depth within the academic discipline" and "a clear academic goal" that are accepted.

"Having to put that much time, energy and thought into what I want to do has just been so valuable for me," Bell said. "The whole process of figuring out your purpose and justifying every single class you take gives you such a clear understanding of what you want to get out of school."