Accessibility Navigation:

CIS Schedule Planning for Juniors

As a CIS major, your thesis is a significant part of your experience and it is important to stay on track with planning and key milestones/deliverables during your junior and senior years. In planning for your junior year, you should consider the following. 

CIS Lunches

The lunches are one of the most beloved CIS traditions. It is a way for interdisciplinary majors and their advisers to get to know each other away from the office or the classroom. At these lunches, students, faculty members, and sometimes visiting scholars present research to the group. This helps to build community and stimulate thinking. In addition, seniors writing theses are given an opportunity to explain their research and to practice their oral presentation skills. Lunches will be held on the second Monday and the fourth Tuesday of every month–mark your calendar! 

Adviser Meetings

In preparation for your prospectus defense, you are expected to meet early with your adviser to design a research study, to create a capstone project, or to develop an extensive reading list. At the end of each semester, advisers complete progress forms and send them to the CIS director.

Prospectus Defense for Thesis, Project, or Exam

During second semester, you must complete your prospectus defense with CIS advisers and a non-CIS faculty member. The defense process provides guidance for your research activities–you will discuss all aspects of research design, establish a plan to apply for grants, finalize your theories and methods, and plan research trips. A copy of your official prospectus and signed form must be submitted to the CIS director.


  • All prospectus defenses must be completed by the Friday before Spring Break. If you are studying abroad, then you will have to get special approval to have a virtual defense. Studying abroad does not excuse you from completing the junior year prospectus defense requirement.
  • If you are completing the comprehensive exam you must submit your final reading list to your advisers and the director. Your adviser will schedule a defense of the reading list.