The following forms are central to every student’s INDS degree. In each case, the course indicated in parentheses to the left of the hyperlinked form indicates where it applies within the INDS curriculum. If you have any questions, please contact a member of INDS staff.
Proposing an INDS Degree
Degree plan proposal (INDS335)
Degree plan rubric (INDS335)
Course Timeline Worksheet (INDS335)
Students may declare INDS as their major at any point as undergraduates, but must submit an individualized degree plan proposal to our Interdisciplinary Studies Committee (ISC) and receive a vote of approval BEFORE they can proceed through the core curriculum of INDS399->INDS480->INDS490. To find out more, please contact your INDS advisor.
The associated degree plan rubric describes the contents of an ideal degree plan proposal. Note that it is a two-page document: one page gives a full description of what is being looked for in each section of the proposal; the other side uses a reduced form of this text in order to make space for notes. Members of the ISC literally make notes on this paper for each proposal submitted to them, and bring these notes to the meeting at which the proposal is discussed and voted upon.
Once a degree plan has been approved by the ISC, it is a binding contract (i.e. a student may only graduate by fulfilling the commitments made within the approved proposal). Exceptions are sometimes necessary – for example, if a course is no longer offered by the time a student reaches that point in their degree. Under these circumstances, a student must complete Course Substitution Application, in which a specific change is requested and reasons for that change are provided. Signatures are required from faculty mentors of the approved degree plan and the INDS advisor in support of the application, which is then submitted by the INDS advisor to the INDS program director.
Extending learning opportunities beyond the courses offered by UMBC
Independent Study (INDS400)
Many INDS degrees are strengthened by including learning opportunities that extend beyond the coursework offered by UMBC. Some of these can be used to earn academic credit towards the degree.
The Independent Study form enables students to apply (to their INDS academic advisor) to be enrolled in INDS400 for credit. As part of planning, students are encouraged to check carefully the add/drop dates for independent study in the appropriate UMBC academic calendar. Students may apply to earn between 1 and 3 credits of independent research per semester. The course is repeatable up to a total of 12 credits in an INDS degree. Each credit is associated with an expectation of ~40 hours of work, supervised by a member of UMBC faculty or professional staff and their INDS advisor. Work conducted under INDS400 should be scholarly in nature (e.g. reading and writing, collecting data, producing a work of art etc.) Internship credit may also be sought from the Career Services Center.
Work that is instead applied/professional in nature (e.g. performing service to an organization or individual, shadowing a professional or experiencing a job) should instead apply for an Internship. To take advantage of this opportunity, students should apply (to their INDS academic advisor) to be enrolled in INDS410 for credit. Students may apply to earn between 1 and 3 credits for a semester’s internship. The course is repeatable up to a total of 6 credits in an INDS degree. Each credit is associated with an expectation of ~40 hours of work, under the mentorship of one, named supervising professional and the careful supervision of an INDS advisor. For an internship, this work should be applied and professional in nature (e.g. performing service to an organization or individual, shadowing a professional or experiencing a job)
A third alternative to formally extending studies beyond UMBC coursework is provided by the Career Services Center and the Shriver Center, in the form of a practicum: this appears on a student’s transcript, but does not add academic credit. In general, a practicum through the Shriver Center is focused upon community service and learning, whereas a practicum through the Career Services Center focuses upon professional development.
Developing a capstone research project
Capstone Project detailed plan form (INDS480)
Capstone Project Types description (INDS480)
Capstone Project presentation rubric (INDS490)
All students graduating with an INDS degree are required to complete a capstone research project. This involves a sequence of three courses: INDS399, INDS480 and INDS490. INDS399 has no forms associated because it is web-based and requires each student to develop a web portfolio. Upon reaching INDS480, students are required to complete a Capstone Project detailed plan form in order for them to receive a final grade in that course. A completed version of this form, received by INDS, is therefore a prerequisite for enrollment into INDS 490, the capstone project course.
As part of a capstone research project, all students are required to make a formal presentation of their work. This presentation, which accounts for 10% of the final grade in INDS490, is scored according to the Capstone Project presentation rubric. As always, presentations designed to match the rubric are most likely to score well! Please ask your adviser if the intended meaning behind any rubric item is unclear.●●
During 2016, the INDS program altered capstone project descriptions to ask that each clearly identified which, of two types, it aims to be. This document explains the two types.