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02-03 LS&A Bulletin

Individual Concentration Program (ICP)

1255 Angell Hall
435 South State Street
(734) 764-0332 (phone)
(734) 764-2772 (fax)
David R. Smith, ICP Advisor

May be approved as a special concentration program



The Individual Concentration Program (ICP) is an option for students who wish to undertake a program of study within the College of LS&A that is not available either in an existing departmental concentration or interdepartmental program. ICPs are interdisciplinary and reflect the liberal arts perspective of LS&A. The ICP encourages diversity and flexibility, but all ICPs must have an identifiable academic focus and unifying theme. As with other concentrations, ICPs must stress development of skills to think critically, to understand and evaluate knowledge, and to develop ideas.

Since an ICP leads to an A.B. or B.S. degree, students must meet A.B./B.S. requirements (English Composition, language, race and ethnicity, and quantitative reasoning requirements, and an area distribution plan). Students may complete the upper-level writing requirement by electing any course approved for that purpose but are urged to seek courses relevant to their concentration. Courses in departments from which students have 12 or more concentration credits may not be used to meet the distribution requirement. Students with an ICP may elect a double concentration provided the ICP courses are not used as part of the second concentration or for area distribution. Recent ICPs have included Community Studies, Computers and Cultural Animation, International Relations, Studies in Religion, Science and Society, Urban Studies, Health and Illness, Studies in Criminal and Social Justice.

Students interested in developing an ICP must meet with the ICP advisor to discuss goals, academic options, and procedures. After this initial discussion, a formal application may be submitted. This application must include: (1) a title and supporting statement containing a coherent rationale for the proposed program; (2) a comprehensive academic plan of at least 30 upper-level credits; and (3) a letter of recommendation from two faculty members from two LS&A departments offering courses in the student's defined concentration. These faculty should have discussed the proposed program with the student and support the proposal. A maximum of six non-LS&A credits may be included in the concentration. No more than half the proposed concentration courses can be completed and/or currently elected at the time the ICP application is submitted. Applications are generally made prior to the senior year. Only one course from an ICP may be used toward completing the requirements of an academic minor.

The completed application is reviewed by the Committee on Interdisciplinary Studies , a five-member committee composed of four LS&A faculty members and a representative of the Academic Advising Center. The committee bases its decision on whether the proposed program ensures a coherent course of study comparable to that in other College concentration programs.

When an ICP has been approved, the student may proceed with the program. If it becomes necessary or desirable to modify an ICP, the student must consult the ICP advisor.

Advising. Appointments with the ICP advisor, David R. Smith, are scheduled at the Academic Advising Center, 1255 Angell Hall. ICP applications are available in 1255 Angell Hall and when completed should be returned there.

Honors Individual Concentration Program (HICP). The Honors ICP is intended for exceptional students who wish to undertake a liberal arts program of study not currently available in an existing departmental concentration or program. Most HICPs are interdepartmental or interdisciplinary in character and include courses from a variety of sources. While the HICP encourages diversity and flexibility, each HICP must have an identifiable academic focus within LS&A, an appropriate disciplinary base, and unifying theme, and culminate in the writing of an Honors thesis. An HICP should not be a specialization within an already existing concentration. It should include an adequate number of prerequisite courses.

Since HICPs require an unusual level of intellectual competence and maturity, an overall GPA of 3.5 and, in most cases, a 3.7 in courses related to the HICP subject are required for admission to the program. The Honors Academic Board reviews all proposals.

Graduation with "Honors," "High Honors," or "Highest Honors" is granted upon recommendation of the thesis advisor and readers.

Honors Advising. Students interested in submitting an HICP should schedule an appointment with Ms. Liina Wallin, Associate Director of the Honors Program, to discuss goals and procedures. A formal prospectus, developed in consultation with appropriate faculty advisor, is then submitted for review.

Residential College Individual Concentration Program (RCICP). The Residential College offers the opportunity to formulate an individualized concentration to RC students unable to find an existing degree program within the Residential College, or in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, which meets their specific academic needs and interests. Students wishing to pursue this option must have a good idea of what they want to achieve, consult with RC faculty and (where appropriate) other UM faculty, and develop a carefully thought out academic plan of study.

Note: Students who wish to declare an individualized concentration are strongly advised to do so before the end of their sophomore year. Under exceptional circumstances an individualized concentration may be approved as late as during the junior year, but in no cases during the senior year.

RC Advising. Students interested in this option should start by discussing the matter with the head of the RC Individualized Concentration Program (ICP), whose name can be obtained at the RC Counseling Office in 134 Tyler. With the assistance of the ICP head, the student will need to identify one or two faculty members — at least one of whom is on the RC faculty — willing to serve as her/his concentration advisor(s). The concentration advisor(s) will help the student formulate an appropriate academic plan of study, and that plan must be approved by the advisor(s) and by the ICP head before the student can formally declare the individualized concentration. After the concentration is declared, the student must continue to consult with her/his advisor(s) at least once a term before registering for courses in the following term; and completion of the concentration must be certified by an advisor who is a member of the RC faculty.

The Leaflet (non Honors)

The non-Honors Application (PDF)

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