Individual Plans of Study

Individual Plans of Study students create an original major characterized by an interdisciplinary approach.

How to develop an IPS

Students interested in pursuing an IPS must meet with the IPS advisor to determine if their specific needs can be met with an existing major or multiple majors/minors. If not, then the student works with a faculty advisor and other faculty members of his or her committee, to plan and justify an interdisciplinary major that parallels the structure and complexity of departmental majors.

Although an IPS program is by definition interdisciplinary, combining courses from several departments and even colleges, the majority of courses in the major must come from LAS disciplines. Once an IPS program has been drafted, the student and advisor make formal application to the IPS Advisory Committee, which evaluates and decides whether the proposed IPS program is acceptable. Students interested in IPS are encouraged to inquire during their sophomore year, if possible. In all cases, IPS programs must be initiated and approved before the end of the student's junior year.

IPS students who also wish to pursue a minor or double major must receive the approval of their advisor. Dual degrees are not allowed with an IPS major. 

Examples of innovative majors developed through IPS

  • Entomology
  • Environmental studies
  • Meteorology
  • Middle Eastern studies

IPS candidates must complete all college and campus graduation requirements, including:

  • A minimum of 120 hours
  • All courses approved for their IPS major
  • LAS General Education requirements

*Please note: Individual Plans of Study will be reflected as the major on student transcripts. Diplomas will reflect either a B.A. or B.S. in Liberal Arts & Sciences, as is true for all students in LAS Sciences & Letters programs.