Thematic Sequences

Students in a tai-chi class in McGuffey.

A Thematic Sequence is a series of related courses (usually three) that focuses on a theme or subject in a developmental way. Each course builds or expands upon knowledge or perspective gained from preceding courses, and some sequences prepare students for Capstone experiences. The first course may be a Foundation course and may count as hours in both Foundation and Thematic Sequence requirements. (Should the Thematic Sequence contain more than one Foundation course, only one of those courses can be counted for both requirements.) In interdepartmental Thematic Sequences, students must select those courses that are offered outside their department of major. For example, English majors who enroll in a Thematic Sequence comprised of English and history courses must register for the history courses.

Students who are completing the Global Miami Plan for Liberal Education must complete at least one Thematic Sequence outside the department of their major. Exceptions to this requirement include either students with majors in two different academic departments or students with minors outside their department of major. Students should consult divisional requirements for further restrictions on Thematic Sequences.

Students who wish to meet the Thematic Sequence requirement through a double major or a minor must complete the second major or minor outside their department of major. A student who uses a minor to complete the thematic sequence requirement must have 9 hours in the minor outside the department/program of his/her major, and at least 6 hours of these courses at the 200 level or above.

Typically, you are expected to complete most of your Foundation courses before beginning a Thematic Sequence. To enroll in a sequence, contact the department.

Frequently Asked Questions

Selecting and Declaring a Thematic Sequence

  • Where do I get advice about choosing a Thematic Sequence?
    Your academic advisor and the department contact person for each sequence are the best sources of information.
  • Should I declare a sequence as soon as possible?
    Normally, you would begin a sequence second semester of your sophomore year or first semester of your junior year, after you have completed most of your Foundation courses.
  • How do I declare a Thematic Sequence?
    You complete a "Change of Major" form available from the department in which the sequence is housed.
  • What if I change my declared sequence?
    Simply submit a new "Change of Major" form and your prior declaration will be dropped automatically. Only one sequence will be listed on your academic record.
  • May I complete more than one Thematic Sequence?
    Only one sequence is required and only one will be recorded on your degree audit report (DARS).

Thematic Sequences and Department of Major/Minor

  • May I complete a sequence in the same department as my major?
    No, you must complete a sequence outside the department of your major. Students in the Farmer School of Business must complete a sequence outside of the FSB.
  • May I take a sequence if it is made up of courses which include options from my department of major?
    Yes, but you must be able to complete the sequence without taking any courses from your department of major. 
  • May I include cross-listed courses that involve contributions from my department of major?
    No, you must enroll in a section of the course that is outside your department of major.
  • If I complete two majors, is it necessary for me to complete a Thematic Sequence?
    Students who complete a double major automatically fulfill the sequence requirement, as long as their majors are within two different academic departments.
  • If I complete a minor, will this satisfy my Thematic Sequence requirement?
    Yes, if you complete the minor with at least 6 hours at the 200-level or above, and at least 9 hours of the minor are outside of your department of major.

Other Considerations

  • May I complete Thematic Sequence courses on a credit/no-credit basis?
    Yes, but such a decision is irrevocable. If you earn a grade below a "D", you will not receive credit for a course taken credit/no-credit.
  • May I use Advanced Placement credit to complete a portion of the sequence?
    Yes.
  • May I use transfer credit to meet the sequence requirement? 
    Yes, as long as the courses are comparable to courses in the sequence offered at Miami. Where this is not apparent, a petition must be filed.
  • Are all courses in a Thematic Sequence offered every semester? 
    No, there are sequences in which courses are not available every semester. Check with the department that houses the sequence to find out when courses will be offered.
  • Must I take the component courses in three successive semesters?
    Ideally, yes. However, course availability and scheduling pressures may make it necessary for students to take courses in a Thematic Sequence concurrently.
  • May I take the courses that fulfill my Thematic Sequence out of order?
    Please consult the department that houses the sequence if you wish to take courses out of order. This is not recommended practice, but no regulations preclude taking more than one of the component courses in the same semester or taking them out of order.
  • Will my Degree Audit Report reflect my progress toward completion of a sequence?
    Yes if you have declared the sequence. If you have not declared a sequence by the second semester of your sophomore year, your DAR will prompt you to do so.
  • May I complete a Senior Capstone that is related to my sequence?
    Capstones may be completed in your major, in an area related to your Thematic Sequence, or in any area where you qualify. However, a course may not count for both your Senior Capstone requirement and your Thematic Sequence.