Proposal Guidelines

Proposing Your Independent Study

Students may apply for an IS after completing a minimum of two courses, and should speak with the program director for recommendations of faculty who have expertise related to the student’s IS topic.

Students design the IS in consultation with the supervising faculty member. The IS advisor should work with the student to formulate the proposal.

Drafts of the IS proposal should be submitted to the supervising faculty for review and approval approximately two weeks prior to the deadline.

Proposals without proper signatures will not be reviewed when the Curriculum Committee meets. The proposal form is available below and in the MALS office.

Deadlines for Proposal Submission

  • For summer: April 15
  • For fall: August 1
  • For winter: October 15
  • For spring: February 1

The Curriculum Committee will not review late submissions. The student, not the faculty supervisor, is responsible for ensuring a timely proposal submission to the MALS office.

Submission Requirements

The proposal is expected to include:

  • The independent study proposal form, with signatures of the student, the faculty advisor for the IS, and the concentration chair.
  • A narrative description of the project, with clearly stated goals and components that can be understood by the non-specialist, as outlined on the Independent Study Proposal Form. It is expected that there will be a significant written component (25-35 pages in length).
  • A comprehensive bibliography, breakdown of weekly activities, (syllabus or weekly calendar of topics to be covered during that time and specific reading/writing assignments), and a schedule of meeting times with the supervising faculty member. Meetings should be scheduled weekly or, at minimum, bi-weekly.
  • A plan of study form.