Integrative Arts The Proposal

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What is The Proposal?

New IARAB majors are required to write a proposal explaining how the courses they choose for their major help them achieve their educational goals. This essay must include detailed explanations describing how those courses work together to achieve the students’ educational goals and/or prepare them for their intended career. Due to the self-designed nature of the IARAB major, students may choose any courses appropriate to the design of the major as they outline it in their IARAB proposal. Each IARAB major is assigned an Integrative Arts Adviser, who provides guidance in drafting an effective proposal. Please note that the ultimate responsibility for creating, editing, and submitting the proposal belongs to the student, not the adviser.


Key points to remember as you work on your proposal:

  • It must investigate a theme or concept from the viewpoint of at least two different subject areas.
  • In designing your program, you may not attempt to duplicate existing majors at Penn State.
  • Expect to revise your proposal several times, and be sure to allow ample time for drafts, feedback, and revision.


What should The Proposal include?


Proposal Coversheet

To view the Proposal Coversheet, click here.


Be sure to list all the course names, numbers, and credit hours to complete the major, and then sign the sheet.


This essay should have (3) components:

  • An effective, detailed statement of theme, which is a descriptive introduction of your theme of study that includes an explanation of why you want to pursue the IARAB major
  • An academic plan that demonstrates how your theme reflects your individual interests and plans.
  • A statement of educational and career expectations, which is a conclusion to the essay discussing how the major as you have defined it prepares you for the world beyond college.


Statement of Theme

Think of your statement as a detailed introduction to an essay. It is your chance to introduce your theme, explain why you chose it, and explain how this theme benefits your educational goals. It should be approximately 250-500 words in length.


This essay should have (3) components:

  • An effective, detailed description of your theme of study
  • An explanation of why you want to pursue the IARAB major
  • A demonstration of how your theme reflects your individual interests and plans.


Build Your Curriculum

Before you can write about your chosen curriculum, you have to create it! To learn how to Build Your Curriculum and the requirements of the major, please click here.


This section requires a detailed justification of how each course relates to your theme and how each course leads to the development of the skills and tools that you plan to acquire with the major. Please note: How the course helped you is very personal, so simply copying general course descriptions from University Bulletins is unacceptable.


Courses that require these explanations include those that fulfill your:

  • College Requirements (History of the Arts) (6 credits)
  • Major Requirements (42 credits)

-  24 credits from either one or two art areas (“Single/Dual Arts”)

18 credits from other fields, whether art or others (“Supporting Courses”).


Statement of Educational and Career Expectations

This statement serves as your conclusion. It is a summary of your goals, plans, and expectations for the rest of your college education and your career. It should be approximately 500 words.


Further Tips for a Successful IARAB Proposal are available here.


Getting The Proposal Approved (Required for Graduation)

The Proposal must be approved by you IARAB advisor and the Head of Division of Arts and Humanities. An approved proposal is a requirement to confirm your entrance to major. If you do not have a proposal approved by the appropriate deadline, a hold will be placed on your registration, and you will not be able to add or schedule any courses. The deadline of July 1st applies to students entering the major Oct. 1-March 31; students entering April 1-Sept. 30 must have an approved proposal by January 1st of the following year.


Note: To be eligible to enter the Integrative Arts major in Abington College major, students must have:

  • A 2.00 cumulative grade point average
  • A “C” or higher in courses already taken that will be used for the IARAB major
  • At least 27.1 credits completed (2nd semester standing)