Frequently Asked Questions
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.
How Do I Design My Own Thematic Sequence?
The purpose of the self-designed Thematic Sequence is to provide students with the opportunity to design a specialized Thematic Sequence beyond those that are currently offered. Providing this opportunity, the university invites students to create a course of study reflective of requirements and goals represented by the Global Miami Plan and relevant to students' specific academic, professional, social, and political concerns.
Students may submit self-designed Thematic Sequence proposals to the Office of Liberal Education in 103 Campus Avenue Building. Proposals are reviewed by the University Director of Liberal Education. Please refer to the Self-Designed Thematic Sequence Proposal to view and print the proposal cover sheet and instructions. All components of the proposal must be turned in before it will be reviewed.
The review of your petition will consider how critical thinking and understanding context will likely be fostered in the sequence, the degree to which the sequence will allow you to interact with other learners, and the ways the course work is likely to offer opportunities for you to reflect on your learning and act upon it. In this regard, any discussion you might supply as to how the sequence will help you to develop your personal moral commitments, ethical understanding, and abilities for civic engagement can be helpful. In addition, the review will also take into consideration the significance of the proposal in regard to your intellectual and academic pursuits (and, as the case may be, your career aspirations).
You must obtain the following to be uploaded as part of the proposal packet:
- Statement of Explanation—Upload a statement of explanation detailing the courses in your proposed sequence. Describe your goals and objectives for the sequence, what you expect to learn, and how this sequence will enable you to accomplish your academic and intellectual goals and objectives. Also, describe how you expect each of the proposed courses meet the four Miami Plan principles. Be sure to include any additional information that you feel would be helpful, such as the uniqueness of the opportunity. Statements are typically around 1000 words in length.
- Degree Audit Report—Upload a current DAR with your proposal. Please be sure to print the detailed version of your DAR that lists which courses are meeting requirements.
- Contact information for Thematic Sequence Faculty Advisor—You must select a faculty advisor for your thematic sequence. The faculty advisor is often a member of the department that houses the majority of the coursework for your sequence. If you are proposing an interdisciplinary sequence, select an advisor who is familiar with the overarching theme. He/she must sign an authorization and may include a letter of support. We will send the authorization to your advisor after you submit the proposal. You must provide the faculty advisor's name, department, and Miami email address.
All components of the proposal must be turned in before it will be reviewed by the Director of Liberal Education.