ICP Proposal Guidelines

What Is Your ICP Proposal?

  • A link between your past and future, your experience, and your course of study. To show this link, you may want to describe the chronological development of your areas of interest. When did you have the first inklings of your mature interests? Who and what have been the most important formative influences on your life? Have your choices been shaped by a pivotal event, or experiences at work or in a volunteer job?
  • A chance to make connections. Are the areas you are selecting complementary? Do they reinforce each other in some way? Explain very specifically why you are interested in each area, not just “because I like it.”
  • A chance to design your own program of study. Which courses will you take? How and when will you take them? When you work with your advisors to choose the specific courses in your program, you'll need to have some ideas about the program you want to create and the demands that your choices will involve. 

Academic and Career Goals Section 

Form: One paragraph  

  • Identify the concentration areas you propose to study: “I'm proposing a three-area BS degree in Life Science, Sociology, and Public Health.”
  • Identify your immediate and long-term academic and career goals: “My immediate career goal is to get an entry-level job in the health care field, such as _____. After getting some firsthand experience in client service, I hope someday to open my own health consulting business.”
  • Describe any further training you'll need to achieve your long-term goals: “I will need some business coursework and perhaps an MBA or MPH in Health Care Administration.”

This section should be short and succinct, citing specific job titles, companies, industries, graduate schools, and professional programs. It should give us a clear sense of where you want to be after completing your ICP degree. 

Background Section 

Form: Three- to four-page personal essay 

  • How have you arrived at the academic and career goals you've outlined? Again, be specific. If your choices have been formed by a particular experience, such as work, volunteering, travel, or living abroad, relate some stories to show us what that experience was like in vivid detail. How did that experience change you? Did you have a moment of transformation? 
  • If your interests have been shaped by a class, book, or magazine article you have read, explain in depth the nature of those ideas and how you were affected by them.
  • Develop some threads that tie your interests together. This is important for a focused, integrated statement. For example, link your path in life up to now to the areas of interest you have chosen.
  • Reflect on the transitions from one stage of your life to the next. After describing each stage of your life, assess what happened to you at that point and why you changed or chose to begin a new path.

Course of Study Section 

Form: Brief introduction and table of courses 

  • Introduce each area briefly: Explain the relevance of each area to your career goals and background and explain how the courses you have selected relate to each other.
  • Create a table of courses for each area: course designator, number, title, credit, and grade (if available).
  • Discuss the course content and relevance to your areas of study. Why have you chosen these particular courses out of all the courses you might take? Are there any common threads in your list?

Contact your advisor if you have any questions.