How to Apply
Pursuing an IDM is a significant commitment, which is reflected in the application process. The average time between initial IDM meeting and submitted application is 3 blocks. Successful applications undergo several drafts after receiving feedback from the OAP Director, faculty advisors, and the Curriculum Executive Committee. Because of the intensity of the application process, it is recommended that students begin the IDM process in their first year or the Fall semester of their second year at CC. Transfer students and students taking longer than four years to complete their degree have some flexibility in this timeline. Please contact the OAP Director for questions about your specific situation, or for assistance navigating the IDM application process. The final deadline for students on a traditional plan of study to submit an application is block 7 of their second year.
This page describes steps in the application process and the criteria for evaluation of IDM applications. For a copy of the application, please see the Forms section of this website. For more information on how to build a successful IDM proposal, please see the "How to Craft a Successful Proposal" page.
Dates & Deadlines (2020-2021)
The Curriculum Executive Committee typically reviews IDM applications three times per year. For 2020-2021, application review dates are:
- Block 1: August 27, 12pm - Final deadline for revised applications submitted in block 8 of 2019-2020.
- Block 4: November 16, 12pm
- Block 5: January 27, 12pm
- Block 7: March 29, 12pm
Although the process is unique to each student, a typical application progresses through the following steps:
Step 1: Exploratory meeting with OAP Director
Students usually begin by scheduling a meeting with the IDM Director to explore whether or not an IDM is right for them.
Step 2: First draft of application
Next, students typically develop a rough draft of their IDM rational and course grid, as well as identify potential faculty advisors. This typically happens via a second face-to-face meeting with the IDM Director, but can be handled via email as well.
Step 3: Meetings with faculty advisors and second draft of application
The third phase of the process is to identify two faculty advisors and complete a more comprehensive draft of the IDM application consultation with them and the OAP Director.
Step 4: Full application submitted for review
When the IDM application packet is complete it is submitted via email to the OAP Director, who will send it forward to the IDM subcommittee of the Curriculum Executive Committee (CEC) for review. The CEC subcommittee will evaluate the application based on the criteria below to determine whether the plan is accepted (with or without minor revisions), must be resubmitted with revisions, or will be rejected. The OAP Director will communicate the committee’s decision to all applicants.
- Students whose proposal is accepted with minor revisions must make all necessary changes within one block of receiving a notification from the CEC subcommittee.
- Students who are asked to revise and resubmit their proposal must do so before the next available review deadline set by the CEC subcommittee. Students may only revise a proposal one time.
- Students whose proposal is rejected will not be allowed to move forward in the process.
Step 5: Acceptance into the IDM
- Students who are accepted into the program will immediately begin coursework toward the major and meet regularly with both faculty advisors and the OAP Director to ensure successful progress toward their degree.
Criteria for Evaluation
To be approved by the CEC, an IDM application must meet the following four criteria:
The application must demonstrate a strong sense of purpose. The application must articulate a clearly defined field of study, identify its major characteristics, and place the field into a wider intellectual context. Ideally, the application will also draw connections between the proposed major and an established or emerging field of research and/or majors offered at colleges or universities outside CC.
The application must demonstrate that the major is distinct as an independent major. This includes a clear articulation of how the major (typically, through the thesis) will integrate two or more disciplines at CC. The proposed major also must be able to be reasonably accomplished within 15 units of study. Finally, the application must provide a preponderance of evidence that the goals articulated through the major cannot be accomplished through a combination of existing majors and minors at CC.
The application must demonstrate the major is driven by the student’s individual goals and ideas. This typically includes articulating a distinct set of questions framing the proposed field of study. Proposed majors must not be extrapolated from current or former IDM projects.
The application must demonstrate clear faculty support for the major. The faculty letters of affiliation must demonstrate commitment to providing intellectual mentorship for the student throughout the major, including serving as a thesis advisor. The faculty advisors' areas of expertise must show a clear connection to the proposed major. Finally, it should be clear that the faculty have been involved in helping the student craft the proposal.
Students whose application is rejected may appeal the decision. Students should initiate the appeal process within 14 calendar days of receiving the committee's decision by email. The appeal procedure is as follows:
- To initiate an appeal process, the student should email the OAP Director requesting a second review of the IDM application. In this request for appeal, the student also has the option of submitting a 1-2 page attached response to the CEC subcommittee’s decision in this request. The response should address why they believe CEC subcommittee’s evaluation was incorrect based on the criteria for evaluation of IDM applications.
- The OAP Director will submit the request, the student’s response to the decision, and the student’s original IDM application to the Chair of the CEC.
- The Chair will then have the materials evaluated by the full body of the CEC at the next available meeting. The CEC will either override the initial decision (and accept the student’s application) or re-assert the original decision.