While there are as many paths to completing an IAS degree as there are individual students, below we outline some of the most popular options and important milestones students pass en route to completing their degree.
About 20 freshmen each year choose to participate in the Global Citizenship Program (GCP), a special year-long program designed as an introduction to the IAS major. However, it is entirely possibly to major in IAS without taking the ILP.
If you are thinking about majoring in IAS, freshmen year is the perfect time to explore introductory classes in a variety of departments, get started on your language coursework, and talk with your four year advisor about which IAS concentration is the best for you. You might also consider a summer study abroad opportunity or internship—many freshmen use their first summer for a language-intensive program abroad or an internship.
In this year you will declare your major (the deadline is in early February each year). After completing the online declaration form, you will meet with Mrs. Toni Loomis, who will assign you a Major Advisor and help you fill out your IAS study plan worksheet. Definitely consider joining Sigma Iota Rho, the IAS honorary, to get to know your fellow IAS majors!
Sophomore year is also the ideal time to start thinking about pursing independent research. As you begin to take upper-level courses, take time to cultivate relationships with faculty members and reflect on what topics interest you most. Attend research methods workshops hosted by the IAS program to cultivate new skills.
Study abroad applications for spending one or both semesters of your junior year abroad are due in the spring of your sophomore year. Meet with the advisors in the Office of Overseas Programs in the fall to select a program that fits with your concentration and language skills.
In this year, you will continue taking upper-level courses, complete your language requirement, and ideally spend one or more semesters abroad. Many students choose to conduct independent research while studying abroad, and this research often forms the basis of a student's Senior Honors Thesis. If you think you might want to conduct research abroad, be sure to plan ahead with the help of a faculty advisor.
If you are considering writing a Senior Honors Thesis, you must secure your faculty advisor by the end of your junior year. Therefore, it is important to continue developing relationships with faculty throughout your junior year.
Junior year is also the time to start thinking about your post-graduation plans. Applications for fellowships like the Fulbright and Teach for America, as well as many graduate school applications, are due in the fall semester or early spring semester of senior year. Many students participate in internship programs—either in the US or abroad—in the summer after their junior year to gain experience applying their IAS skills in a less academic environment.
Senior year is the time to take any remaining IAS and/or language courses needed to complete your degree. If you spent time abroad, you might also consider applying to be a Study Abroad Ambassador and mentor to younger students preparing to go abroad.
If you are writing a thesis, a significant amount of time senior year will be dedicated to completing your research and your thesis.
As you continue to pursue opportunities for after graduation, look for opportunities to network with IAS alumni—the Program maintains a database of alumni contacts that you are welcome to peruse.
Finally, celebrate your graduation with IAS! Each spring, the IAS program hosts a reception for graduates at which we recognize students graduating with Latin Honors and Eliot Honors as well as the recipients of various program prizes and awards.