Admission Process

Fall 2014 Application Materials

In addition to these forms, the application requires a 2-3 page essay called the Admission Statement. All materials must be approved by your sponsor(s) and submitted to the IMP office in Ballantine 129.

Important Dates:

September 5, 3-4 p.m., Ballantine 244: Call-out meeting for prospective applicants

October 13: Draft application deadline

October 31: FINAL application deadline

November 17-21 and December 1-19: Admission interviews


The Individualized Major Program admits new students twice a year, in spring and fall. The steps of the application process are described below. See the box at right for current application forms and deadlines.


When to Apply

Students generally apply to the IMP as sophomores or juniors, but it is possible to apply as early as the second semester of your freshman year or as late as the beginning of your senior year. You will need to complete at least three semesters in the IMP, so if you wait to apply until the beginning of your senior year, plan to spend at least one extra semester at IU.

There are no prerequisite courses for the IMP, but we do require a minimum GPA of 2.5. The general requirements (foreign language, breadth of inquiry, etc.) are the same as those for any other bachelor of arts degree from the College of Arts and Sciences.

Back to top

Initial Consultation

Prospective IMP students should schedule an initial consultation with the IMP assistant director. This is an informational session when you can ask questions about the program and the assistant director can get a better sense of your interests. To schedule an appointment, contact the IMP office. Please include your schedule availability and a brief description of your academic goals.

Back to top

Find a Sponsor

Once you have met with the assistant director and established an interest in the IMP, the next step is to find a faculty sponsor who will supervise your individualized study program. Along with the IMP staff, your sponsor will help you prepare the IMP application materials (namely the Curriculum Planning Form and the Admission Statement) and will accompany you to the admission interview. See Finding a Sponsor for more information.

Back to top

Submit Application

See the top of this page for upcoming deadlines. All materials must be approved by your sponsor and submitted to the IMP office in Ballantine 129. A complete application consists of the following:

If you are unsure about which forms to use, please contact the IMP office.

Curriculum Planning Form

IMP students design their own curricula using the Curriculum Planning Form. This form details your proposed plan of study. The form should indicate how all College requirements will be met as well as allocate 30 to 42 hours for the major, at least 2/3 of which must be from the College of Arts and Sciences. The Curriculum Planning Form is understood to be a tentative document but is an essential component for admission.

Admission Statement

When students apply to the IMP, they are presenting both themselves and their majors for consideration by a faculty committee. Whereas the curriculum planning form gives the outline of the major in terms of courses and their rationale for inclusion, as well as the studentís remaining courses for general requirements and other degree objectives like additional majors, minors, and certificates, the admission statement is an opportunity to be more expansive, to stress the studentís sense of the importance of the major and the reasons it should be approved by the committee. It is generally two to three pages long and provides a point of departure for the admission interview.

Every admission statement should address the following topics:

  • Whether the major resembles others that are regularly offered at IU Bloomington and, if so, how the proposed IMP major differs from others it may resemble.
  • The scope of the major and how it achieves both comprehensiveness and coherence (or, put another way, how it avoids being either too broad or too narrowly focused). Many established majors such as history, political science, etc., are designed to balance qualities of breadth and depth. Depth is generally achieved by focusing three of the required 300-400 level courses on a single subtopic.
  • What you hope to learn from completing the proposed major. This might seem self-explanatory; however, the committee will want assurance that youíve thought it through carefully. Your statement of objectives can include the goal of acquiring skills that will assist you in some future career, but it shouldnít be limited to that. Every major in the IMP should be designed to expand the studentís awareness of the cultural and social significance of the subject, its history, its relationship with various intellectual disciplines, and/or other broad contexts that are consistent with the goals of other areas of instruction in the liberal arts.
  • How your proposed final project will integrate the various elements of your major (courses, internships, etc.).
  • Why the major is a good fit for you, whether youíll be successful pursuing it, and how your academic record reflects your qualifications (or, if you feel your record doesnít accurately reflect your potential for success, what assures you your performance will be stronger in the future).
Back to top

Admission Interview

The culmination of the admission process is the admission interview. Each applicant, along with his or her faculty sponsor(s), is interviewed by a two-member subcommittee of the IMP Faculty Committee. The discussion will revolve around the proposed course of study and the submitted application materials. Generally admission interviews take place near the end of the semester.

With a few exceptions, admission interviews are allotted 90 minutes. The committee chair normally asks the student to leave the room for the first and last 15 minutes of the interview to allow committee members to deliberate among themselves and consult with the faculty sponsor about any specific concerns.

You should be prepared to discuss the following topics during your admission interview:

  • Why your educational needs cannot be met by majors in other departments, double majors, or interdepartmental majors.
  • The rationale behind the program of study and the Curriculum Planning Form. These discussions may lead to recommended or required changes to the course selection that will add coherence, depth, or usefulness to the major.
  • The professors who will help supervise your proposed independent-study courses. IMP students most commonly work with their faculty sponsors on independent-study courses, but there will be cases when the sponsor may not be the most appropriate supervisor for a given course.
  • How the proposed course of study relates to career aspirations or plans for postgraduate work.
  • Plans for the final project: The degree of emphasis and the degree of specificity regarding the final project will vary from case to case.

The committee will render its decision immediately following the interview, and admitted students also receive an official admission letter a few weeks later.

Back to top