Academics The Plan of Concentration
What is a Plan?
It is a study that focuses on an area of the curriculum or on a set of related questions or issues that cross disciplinary boundaries. Plan is:
- an integrated course of study designed by the student
- in one or more areas of the curriculum
- under the guidance of a faculty sponsor or sponsors
- approved by the entire faculty
How do you choose a field of study?
The field, or fields, chosen for your Plan should reflect your strengths and the subject(s) you enjoy studying. Your idea may come from a class you especially enjoyed, a paper that sparked an idea or interest fostered by discussion in a class. The Plan should be an exciting adventure of your own, in which you explore matters of considerable interest to you, and in which you can observe your own development of confidence and maturity. A well-designed and well-focused Plan will be your best friend during your junior and senior years at Marlboro, and will help assure a most satisfying final result.
What are the fields of study/degree fields?
When does a student go on Plan?
At the end of second semester of the sophomore year; you must have accumulated at least 55 credits to go on Plan.
By filling out and filing a Preliminary Plan Application in collaboration with a Plan sponsor or sponsors. Applications are available online or in the bin outside the registrar’s office.
How do you find a sponsor?
Talk with your advisor about your ideas; talk with teachers with whom you have worked; talk with current Plan students; talk with your friends, and consult faculty Areas of Interest for Plan-level Work. Discuss your preliminary ideas with whomever on the faculty seems appropriate. If the faculty member is willing to work with you, then you enter into an agreement in the form of a Preliminary Plan Application.
How many credits do you need to earn on Plan?
50: You may apply up to 8 credits from the first year and sophomore year toward the 50 credits. You should average 15 credits per semester throughout the two years on Plan.
What is the academic structure like in the junior year?
- Emphasis on course work leading to a more precise definition of your Plan (filling in gaps)
- Strike a balance between course work and tutorials
- Off campus work and tutorials as appropriate
- Standard grades (A to F)
What is the academic structure like in the senior year?
- Emphasis on tutorials and independent work with supplementary course work
- Choice of standard grades for course work, not tutorials, or
- Progress grades (S, S-, U) (* asterisk recorded on transcript refers to final Plan grade).
How are you evaluated?
By a board of evaluators made up of
- A minimum of two Marlboro faculty members, and
- An outside evaluator
How do you do a cross-disciplinary Plan?
Carefully. Such Plans involve study in two or three different fields, sometimes with fairly equal distribution of weight, sometimes with one field clearly dominant. Whatever the structure, a cross-disciplinary Plan should have the same goal as a single-field Plan. That goal is the in-depth investigation of a single problem or a set of clearly related problems. In cross-disciplinary Plans, it is the notion of “clearly related” that determines the success of the Plan in meeting the stated goal. Any student who ignores or forgets this essential Plan concept risks considerable disappointment when the whole is finally evaluated.
Credit and Residency Requirement:
The Plan of Concentration consists of a minimum of 50 credits, not more than 8 of which may have been earned prior to the junior year. Students are expected to be in residence during the senior year, although sponsors may occasionally recommend a nonresidential term. Such terms must be approved by the dean of faculty. Students are required to register as full-time for the final senior semester.