Self-Designed Thematic Sequence

The purpose of the Self-Designed Thematic Sequence (SDTS) is to provide students with the opportunity to design a specialized course of study beyond those that are currently offered. Providing this opportunity, the university invites students, in direct collaboration with a faculty advisor, to create a Thematic Sequence reflective of requirements and goals represented by the Global Miami Plan and relevant to students' specific academic, professional, and social concerns. 

The Self-Designed Thematic Sequence must be completed outside of the department of your major, and courses in the SDTS can only be used for 3 hours of GMP Foundation credit.  NOTES: The SDTS cannot be used for non-FND hours, including IC, ADVW, or SC requirements of the GMP. Only one 100-level course may be included.

Approval Criteria

You must work directly with a faculty advisor before the completion of the SDTS. Applications will be judged on the relevance and thoughtfulness of the proposed course of study, including how the application statement answers to the questions below. Approval is also contingent upon compliance with the above requirements on GMP hours. Your advisor will help you read your DAR to avoid problems with double-counting GMP hours.


You must address the following components to be uploaded as part of any Self-Designed Thematic Sequence proposal:

  1. Contact information for SDTS Faculty AdvisorYou must select a faculty advisor for your SDTS. The faculty advisor is often a member of the department that houses the majority of the coursework for your sequence. It is expected that the faculty member will work closely with you to develop your proposal and think about connections between courses and topics. If you are proposing an interdisciplinary sequence, select an advisor who is familiar with the overarching theme. They 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.

  2. Statement of ExplanationUpload a detailed proposal outlining the proposed SDTS. Statements are around 1000 words. This proposal must answer each of the following questions with detailed examples: 

    1. How will this broaden your knowledge in the topic area chosen?

    2. How are you initially connecting the courses in relation to the topic area chosen?

    3. If you have already taken one or more of these courses, what are specific points and concepts that carry across the courses? How did you engage in critical thinking and communication in them?

    4. How would you explain to a potential employer, graduate school committee, or other relevant future audience the meaningfulness of this group of courses to your overall liberal education experience at Miami.  

  3. Degree Audit ReportUpload a newly generated  DAR with your proposal. Please be sure to print the detailed version of your DAR that lists which courses are meeting all Global Miami Plan and major/minor requirements.

  4. Obtain statements of support:  Your faculty advisor must sign an authorization and may include a letter of support. We will send the authorization form electronically to your advisor after you submit the proposal.  

All components of the Self-Designed Thematic Sequence must be completed before it will be reviewed by the Director and Associate Director of Liberal Education, including the advisor(s) support. Please allow 7-10 business days for the petition to be processed after all materials have been received.

View Thematic Sequence FAQs

Submit your Self-Designed Thematic Sequence Proposal