Sunday, May 9, 2010

Majoring in Magic

For all those rising sophomores struggling to find a major, consider drawing inspiration from Jordan H. Goldklang.

He majored in magic.

A recent graduate of Indiana University, Goldklang earned his magic degree by taking "classes in subjects like psychology and theatre arts,” and practicing with cards “anytime [he] was not actively doing something." He also performed for faculty.
Upon graduation, Goldklang hopes to open a bar with his brother or continue performing magic.

Indiana University’s individualized-major program made Goldklang's unique pursuit possible.

A similar option, called the "independent concentration program," is also available at Princeton. According to the Office of the Registrar, any student with "academic interests that cannot be adequately served by existing concentrations" may apply.

So never despair, rising sophomores. Who knows? Princeton may allow you to major in magic.

By Hae Bin Kim, staff writer


Anonymous said...

This post is a little irresponsible about the way it presents independent concentrations. As someone who has helped a student through the process, I should tell all sophomores reading this...

The independent concentrator program at Princeton requires that student-initiated concentrations meet very strict and limiting criteria, meaning that most independent concentrations are either combinations of well tread disciplines, or disciplines that Princeton has a program, but not a department for, such as linguistics and bioethics. One such limitation is that no 'trade' or 'occupational' majors are allowed, so no journalism or pre-business, etc. You also have to write a thesis just like anyone else.

As a result, according to an article written a couple years ago, while 20 or so students start out in the application process, the board only ultimately approves 2 or 3 student-initiated concentrations each year. So, don't spend sophomore year thinking you can graduate from Princeton with the wave of a wand.

rob said...

Way to go Jordan. Drinks are on the house for your trainer, right? I can show you my magic trick on how quickly I can make several shots of tequila disappear!

Anonymous said...

The independent major at Indiana has many of the same guidelines that Princeton has for their program. This program is under the Arts and Sciences umbrella and requires the student to meet all of the traditional requirements for that program. The student has to write a paper to justify his major and meet with a committee that approves the major. At the end of the program, a thesis paper is required as part of completion for the program.