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College of Liberal Arts

TIPS FOR PREPARING A SUCCESSFUL INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES MAJOR PROPOSAL


The Interdisciplinary Studies Committee scrutinizes applications carefully, because these become curricular contracts for highly individualized courses of study. Each application is unique and the following tips may help you.

Allow plenty of time. Most students need a few weeks to get the application ready.

Read the instructions and form carefully, trying to fill in the blanks mentally and noting things you have to learn.

Get lots of faculty advice. Faculty members know about their own disciplines and departmental requirements, but each one may not be well informed about other components of your proposed major.

Make an appointment and keep it.

Bring along a draft of your "Statement of Purpose."

If you think a person would be a good advisor, ask if he or she would be willing to serve (the information sheet tells what the advisor's responsibilities are on your committee).

Get to know the UMD Catalog. Theoretically, any course at UMD is available for incorporating into an Interdisciplinary Studies major, but in actual practice there are real limitations of prerequisites and prior knowledge, as well as restrictions on space available.

Many courses list prerequisites . These should be on page 2 of the application.

Sometimes prerequisites can be waived by the instructor or department for I.S. Majors. If you do this, list the appropriate persons on your application form as Consulting Advisors-and get their signatures before submitting the form!

If your proposal includes courses in accounting , finance and information science or management studies, you must also show that you will have taken at least one course in economics one in accounting and one in statistics.

Written communication is important in any field, you should include your Advanced Writing course.

Statement of purpose. This is where a student addresses the purpose of the major being proposed. Be concise and to the point, and after you have written your statement, ask "Did I make a convincing case for this particular major?".

Proofread and correct the entire application. Are the course numbers correct? Any spelling errors? Did you name your advisors? Is your current address and telephone number correct? Did you date the application?

Get a current transcript & APAS and attach them to your proposal. When satisfied with the application, get your advisors' signatures (both principal and consulting).

Make a copy for your files and take the original to the Advisor. Make an appointment to discuss your draft proposal with the Director and, after discussion, revise your proposal if necessary. Submit your final draft to the Director before the end of the 8th week of the semester. The I.S. committee will meet to consider applications the week or two after the deadline. A letter reporting the Committee's action will be sent a few days after the meeting.

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