Cluster proposals

Cluster proposals are required for students who declared a general studies major prior to Fall 2016.

The cluster proposal is the heart of the general studies degree. The cluster proposal paper is designed to synthesize the coursework from a student's thematic cluster. This academic narrative should clearly explain the importance of the thematic cluster to a student's educational and/or career goals. This narrative is evaluated based upon the following components:

  • Completion of the thematic cluster form
  • A title representative of the content of your thematic cluster
  • A description of the courses that are proposed to be included in the thematic cluster
  • An explanation of how the content of the courses fit together to form a coherent program of study that interests the student
  • A discussion of the ways in which the thematic cluster fits your educational, career, and/or personal goals
  • Overall writing quality

If student needs to change a course that they have already proposed in their thematic cluster proposal, they must submit a substitution request, including a brief write-up of how the new course fits with the approved thematic cluster.

Cluster proposal deadlines

For those students who started the program prior to Fall 2016, we suggest that you submit your cluster proposal at least two semesters in advance of graduation. In addition, there are final deadlines which students must abide by in order to graduate in the appropriate semester. Those dates are as follows:

  • For Fall graduation: August 1st
  • For Spring graduation:  November 1st
  • For Summer graduation:  February 1st

All cluster proposals must be submitted to the Exploratory & Pre-Professional Advising Center in Pennington Student Achievement Center, Suite 405.

Helpful resources for the thematic cluster

You can view sample cluster proposals, including those that received high marks as well as those that did not, by emailing the advising center at

To submit your cluster proposal, please fill out the cluster form available from the Exploratory and Pre-Professional Advising Center at the Pennington Student Achievement Center room 405.