Integrative Arts Tips for Proposal

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Tips for a Successful IARAB Proposal





Tips for a Successful IARAB Proposal

As you now know, one of the requirements for entering the Integrative Arts major is a proposal discussing the courses you will take to complete the degree. This proposal is both a personal statement and a detailed outline that presents your understanding of—and justifications for—the courses constituting your chosen undergraduate major.


Here are some suggested methods to explain and justify coursework chosen for the major:


  • Demonstrate that a course has a direct and obvious relationship to the career you plan or imagine for yourself after college.

Example: Your combination of theater and psychology courses will prepare you for a career in drama therapy.

  • Show the relationship of your courses to a theme.

Example: Your combination of courses in business, art history, economics, and design relate to your theme titled, “Economic Impact of Innovations in Digital Design.”

  • Emphasize the achievement and exercise of academic skills as a result of your specific course selection. Skills such as…

the ability to analyze data and draw conclusions

the ability to think critically

the ability to understand theory and to apply it to specific situations

the ability to recognize and understand the factors surrounding decision-making

the capacity to be sensitive to the diverse backgrounds, talents, interests, and aspirations of other people

the ability to function as a member of a working group or team

the ability to write effectively

the ability to effectively express ideas orally.


In each course you propose for the major, you will acquire one or more of the above academic skills. When you discuss the classes for your Single or Dual Arts Area and the courses for your Supporting Areas, you should indicate which of the above academic skills that you plan to develop and what you expect to learn.


Finally, you should pay attention to the basic writing concerns of mechanics, style, usage, and “flow.” Your Integrative Arts adviser and Learning Center tutors can help you refine your proposal. Since this essay will be kept on file in the College as a rationale for your major, it must reveal your best thinking and exemplify your best writing.


Your job is to craft a proposal essay that clearly and coherently describes the major you design and is a good representation of the skills you are developing as an Abington student. You are responsible for defining what you expect to learn in the courses for the Integrative Arts major that you choose. The Division Head for Arts and Humanities, who has final approval authority, has high standards for Integrative Arts proposals, and you are expected to meet them.


Good luck with your proposal essay. We hope you find the process of writing not only challenging but also a rewarding opportunity to gather together your many interests into a cohesive academic plan.




Adapted from a document written by Ellen A. Knodt, former Division Head of Arts and Humanities by Thomas R. Smith, current Division Head. Revised by Stephanie O’Dea, July 2012