Memo to Students

To: INDS Students without approved degree plans

From: INDS Program

Date: January 2015

Re: INDS Degree Plan

Congratulations! You have begun the process of proposing a formal degree plan for Interdisciplinary Studies at UMBC. This memorandum will review the four elements required for your INDS Degree Plan.

Write a cover letter to introduce yourself and your degree plan. Your cover letter should be addressed to the members of the Interdisciplinary Studies Committee (ISC). In your one page letter, explain to the ISC what you wish to study and why INDS is the appropriate place for you. Give a brief discussion of your background and how you developed an interest in the subject of your degree plan. Also, briefly discuss how your INDS degree might enable your future endeavors. You will have an opportunity on the degree plan form to discuss your future plans in greater depth. You may also include an acknowledgement of any help or inspiration you received writing your proposal from your faculty mentors, INDS advisor(s), or other relevant persons.   The cover letter is your chance to advocate for yourself and your individualized degree. Let the ISC know why you and your plan are right for INDS.

Submit a complete draft of the INDS Degree Plan form. When completing the form please remember to do the following:

□ Carefully check that your degree title is correct

□ Make sure that the names, titles, and campus information for your faculty mentors are accurate

□ Sign the degree plan form

□ Verify that the grades for your classes are filled in and accurate, and that your credit totals are correct

□ Pay close attention to grammar and professionalism. Consider visiting the Writing Center.

Provide a letter of support from each of your faculty mentors. In the letter your mentors should affirm that the degree plan you have described is worthy of pursuit, that it is either consistent with or intellectually linked to areas of study with which they are familiar, and that the coursework you have listed is sufficient to achieve your learning objectives. Your mentors should also affirm that they will be able to support you in your area of capstone research.

Submit an up to date copy of your UMBC academic transcript. An official copy is not required.

All four of these elements must be submitted to INDS at least one full week before the ISC meeting during which you would like your proposal to be reviewed. Proposals that are incomplete or arrive after the deadline will be considered for the following ISC meeting. Your INDS advisor will be working closely with you to make sure that all the parts of your proposal are complete and in order. We are here to make sure that INDS affords you the best possible opportunity for fulfilling your academic goals at UMBC.

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