Individual Plans of Study

What Is It?

Students in Liberal Arts and Sciences may choose any of the undergraduate degree programs offered within the college.  In order to encourage the growth of new academic disciplines, the college sponsors the experimental major: Individual Plans of Study (IPS). IPS allows students to create an original major more appropriate for the individual's educational needs characterized by a unique academic direction. Examples of innovative majors developed through IPS include Cinematography, Entomology, Environmental Studies, Meteorology, Middle Eastern studies, and Neuroscience.

The development of an IPS program begins with the student's perception that a more appropriate field of study could exist beyond the present majors. Consultation with the secretary of the IPS advisory committee and with faculty members in related fields will soon establish whether an original major is appropriate. Then, with the cooperation of one or more faculty members who consent to serve as advisors, an IPS major is planned and justified as carefully as if this were a departmental major.

Once an IPS program is formulated, the student and advisor make formal application to the IPS advisory committee, which evaluates and decides whether a proposed IPS program is appropriate for the aims of both the student and the college. The IPS Advisory Committee and the college will determine whether BA or BS is appropriate for the proposed program of study. Students interested in IPS are encouraged to inquire as early as possible in the sophomore year. In all cases, IPS programs must be initiated and approved before the end of the student's junior year.