What is a Focus Field? What is a Plan of Study?

A focus field is an interdisciplinary area of study chosen in the junior year and refined in the senior year; it should be associated with the student’s senior thesis topic. Students will be asked to submit an advisor-approved description of their focus field and their plan of study to the Social Studies Board of Instruction around October 1st of their junior year. The plan of study should include a minimum of four half-courses, normally drawn from at least two social science departments, and including at least one half-course on an historical topic. Members of the Board of Instruction will review this plan and may request revisions; students must have an approved plan on file by November 15th of their junior year.

Students will be allowed to make changes to their plans of study and will be asked to file their updated plan of study around October 1st of their senior year; the updated plan must be approved by November 15th. The senior plan of study must include the student’s senior thesis topic.

Students applying to Social Studies will be asked to describe a potential interdisciplinary focus field on their application, but will not be held to this focus field.