Proposal Process

A critical part of the interdepartmental proposal process is to identify a parallel plan in the event that a proposal is not approved. This parallel plan identifies an existing program of study that the student can complete and meet graduation requirements.

How to get started

  1. Create a list of UR courses you are considering as part of your proposal
  2. Review all of the pages in the interdepartmental programs section of this website to prepare for step 3
  3. Meet with an advisor in the Multidisciplinary Studies Center (after steps 1 and 2 are complete)
  4. Identify potential faculty advisors
    1. At least one of the faculty advisors must be at the level of assistant professor or above
    2. Your potential faculty advisor(s) need to be connected in some way to the program you are proposing
    3. For interdepartmental majors the two faculty advisors must be from different departments
  5. Know proposal deadlines and student responsibilities
  6. Develop your parallel plan
  7. Decide in which semester to propose your interdepartmental program (first-semester students are not eligible to propose an interdepartmental program)
    1. Be sure you have completed enough Arts, Sciences, & Engineering (AS&E) courses to demonstrate to the Committee on Individualized Interdepartmental Programs (CIIP) that you can meet the graduation requirements in the interdepartmental endeavor you are proposing

Developing your proposal

You are strongly encouraged to meet early and often with your faculty advisor(s) as you develop your interdepartmental proposal. Advisors can be helpful in determining the most appropriate courses, and in helping you develop a title for their proposed interdepartmental program.

  1. Meet with potential faculty advisor(s) and review your proposal idea and list of prospective courses
  2. Select your faculty advisor(s) and share with them your intended proposal timeline
  3. Ask faculty advisor(s) for their preferred form of communication
  4. Share the Faculty Recommender Agreement and Faculty Recommendation forms along with information about form submission deadlines with the selected faculty advisor(s)
  5. Research pre-requisites and restrictions for the courses you have included in your proposal
    1. CIIP will expect you to share in your proposal the plans you have in place to be prepared for the courses you have selected
    2. Look for the primary (or parent) department that offers the course
    3. Use UR Student to get a sense of how often the course is offered (encouraged to review two academic years)
  6. Begin to work on proposal essays
    1. Use of campus resources is strongly encouraged (Writing Fellows, etc.)

Submission of proposal

Completed proposals include:

  • Interdepartmental proposal form
  • Proposal essays
  • Completed faculty recommendation form(s)

Completed proposals must be submitted by the interdepartmental deadline posted.

Incomplete proposals will not be reviewed.

After Submission

All proposals are reviewed by the Committee on Individualized Interdepartmental Programs (CIIP) which has representatives from each divisional area: humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. You will be notified in writing by email of the committee's decision.

If your proposal is approved: you will receive an approval letter. You will also receive a completed declaration form once your interdepartmental program is officially declared.

If your proposal is conditionally approved: CIIP will give conditions that need to be met in order for the proposal to be approved.

If your proposal is not approved: CIIP will share its reasons for the decision. The committee's decision cannot be appealed. Students may submit a new proposal to be reviewed in the next proposal cycle if they met eligibility requirements.