The CIS and its Faculty Review Committees are guided by prevailing standards of scope and substance for a departmental or program major at St. Olaf, and by the following:

  1. A student’s plan must meet CIS requirements for the quantity of academic experience constituting an individual major – generally the equivalent of ten to twelve units of academic work, in addition to the two units devoted to the senior project.
  2. A student’s plan must include evidence that it provides

    the skills, concepts, and methods appropriate to the proposed area of study;

    opportunities for exploration and development of skills, sub-fields, and special topics; and

    opportunities for significant advanced study culminating in an integrative senior project.

  3. A student’s plan must include consideration of an integrative, capstone project to be completed during the two semesters of the senior year. The senior project is a sustained exploration of the subject matter of the major, using appropriate methods, and permitting a reflective reexamination of material encountered earlier in the major.  The project may take many possible forms, with either a single piece of work or a connected portfolio of work to be submitted for evaluation.  All senior projects include a research component, either as part of the work itself, or to set that work in its intellectual context.
  4. A student’s plan must include significant advanced work, usually two or more Level III courses, besides the two CIS units (IS 391 and 392) designated for the senior project.