Individualized Major Program or IMP for short, is exactly what it sounds like; a program for students who don’t quite fit the mold of any other major program. At first glance, to some this may seem like a really cool way to avoid all those tedious and boring courses. Not the case, at all. IMP students still have to take those same tedious, boring courses as well. They are called “core courses” after all. The IMP is not for the student who thinks that they can string together any group of courses to devise a major, a lot of hard work and effort goes in to creating a program.
Each student in the program must successfully convince the director of the program, that there was thought put into the potential major. This is even before you are declared a (pre)-IMP student. After that initial step, then the following steps may be taken:
- In your Junior year, find a professor to mentor you and help find appropriate courses.
- Find a good mix of courses, making sure any pre-requisites are met, as well as verifying if/when the course will run.
- With the help of your mentor, find at least an additional two professors to serve on your committee.
- Write a rationale, typically four (4) pages, formally proposing your major, the courses will take/have taken, and why these needs cannot be met with an already established major program. This will be presented to your committee.
- Upon committee approval, you become an official IMP student, and may embark on your courses.
- During your Senior year, create a Capstone project to work on and subsequently present to your committee. This process is very similar to the process you go through for your rationale.
That is the IMP in a nutshell, we have to work really hard to make sure that we are staying on top of our schedules and taking all the courses that we are supposed to be. We must also maintain active lines of communication with our mentors and keep them in the loop for everything that we are involved with. This is not a slacker’s program. Quite the opposite, this is a program for students who are making things happen for themselves regardless if there is a path or not.