Individual Program of Study

The Individual Program of Study (IPS) is an option for first year students at UM-Dearborn under the new Dearborn Discovery Core general education requirements. The Individual Program may not duplicate an already existing major in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters and it is recommended that an interdisciplinary curriculum, in the true spirit of a Liberal Arts education, be created. 

  • Example 1: German Studies; language and culture, as well as the history of German speaking countries. An interdisciplinary major could be created including course work in language, philosophy, history, art history, music history, global studies and environmental science at the 300 and above level. 
  • Example 2: Middle Eastern History; Arabic culture and literature as well as early civilization history courses. An interdisciplinary major could be created including course work in Islamic Art History and Philosophy, along with Middle East Economics and Political Science at the 300 and above level. 

After completing 30 hours at UM-Dearborn with a 3.25 or higher GPA, a rising sophomore would seek out a Professor on a tenure track faculty appointment to propose their individual major idea. Anyone interested should plan to write up the proposal before meeting with the possible faculty advisor, or if meetings have already occurred, frame the discussions that have occurred in the written proposal with a possible title. 

Approval requires: 

  • A title
  • A formal program of study, unlike any other taught in the College
  • The student rationale
  • The faculty rationale
  • A proposed regular advising schedule so student and faculty member will remain in regular communication

Once written up, the proposal must move to the Department Executive Committees from which curriculum has been pulled for approval. Followed by approval from the IPS Committee and UCDC.

For more information, contact CASL Advising and Academic Success: room 1039 CB; or 313-593-5293. 

In addition to the major requirements, students must complete all CASL Degree Requirements.

Major Requirements

A minimum of 24 hours of 300 level or above course work is required. Keep in mind the title will go on the official transcript at graduation. If the proposed faculty advisor is an Assistant Professor, an Associate or Full Professor must also be brought into the plan before approval will be granted. 

Learning Goals

An Individual Program of Study (IPS) may be initiated by a student with a tenure-stream faculty member. In the approval process, both the student and the faculty member must provide a program rationale. The rationale should include an explanation of learning goals and how those learning goals are not met by an existing program.

An IPS must undertake a program assessment similar to other CASL majors:

  1. Clearly identify, define, and plan learning goals
  2. Select appropriate assessment measures and assess the learning goals
  3. Analyze the results of the goals assessed
  4. Adjust or improve programs following the results of the learning goals assessed