Individual Plans of Study, BALAS or BSLAS

For the Degree of Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences, or Bachelor of Science in Liberal Arts and Sciences Major in Individual Plans of Study

academic advisor: Tenaya Reifsteck

program address: 2002 Lincoln Hall, 702 S. Wright St., Urbana, IL 61801

program information:

overview of college admissions & requirements: Liberal Arts & Sciences

college website:


Minimum required major and supporting course work normally equates to 51-70 hours.

General education: Students must complete the Campus General Education requirements including the campus general education language requirement.

Twelve hours of 300- and 400-level courses in the major must be taken on this campus.

A Major Plan of Study Form must be completed and submitted to the LAS Student Academic Affairs Office before the end of the fifth semester (60-75 hours). Please see your adviser. 

Minimum hours required for graduation: 120 hours

Departmental distinction: To graduate with distinction, a student must

  1. have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.25 and
  2. successfully complete a project that has been approved by the IPS advisory committee.

Further information on requirements for graduation with distinction may be obtained from the secretary of the IPS advisory committee.

Students in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences may choose any of the undergraduate degree programs offered within the college. These majors and specialized curricula, each with its own pattern of requirements and electives, are continuously reviewed by the sponsoring departments and the college and revised as needed. At the same time, it is not possible to anticipate or specify all possible undergraduate fields of study. So, in order to encourage the growth of new academic disciplines, the college sponsors the experimental major-the Individual Plans of Study program. IPS allows the student to create an original major more appropriate for the individual's educational needs and characterized by a unique pattern of upper-level courses with a new academic direction. Recent IPS students have successfully pursued such innovative majors as Cinematography, Entomology, Neuroscience, Meteorology, and Middle Eastern Studies.

The development of an IPS program begins with the student's perception that a more appropriate field of study could exist beyond the present majors. Consultation with the secretary of the IPS advisory committee and with faculty members in related fields will soon establish whether an original major is appropriate. Then, with the cooperation of one or more faculty members who consent to serve as advisers for this IPS program, an IPS major is planned and justified as carefully as if this were a departmental major.

Once an IPS program is formulated, the student and adviser make formal application to the IPS advisory committee, which evaluates and decides whether a proposed IPS program is appropriate for the aims of both the student and the college. The IPS Advisory Committee and the college will determine whether BA or BS is appropriate for the proposed program of study. Students interested in IPS are encouraged to inquire as early as possible in the sophomore year. In all cases, IPS programs must be initiated and approved before the end of the student's junior year. If program innovation sounds challenging and attractive, additional information is available at the LAS Student Academic Affairs Office, 2002 Lincoln Hall.