Personalized Study Program
What is the PSP?
The Personalized Study Program (PSP) is intended for undergraduate students who wish to pursue a major that falls outside an established academic department or program. The PSP is open to any student in the Arts and Sciences once the proposed program has been approved by a faculty advisor and the Arts and Sciences college office. The PSP permits intellectually coherent majors designed by the student, assisted by faculty.
Considering a PSP
Students seeking to pursue a PSP should plan to study in a focused area outside the boundaries of a traditional academic major. By definition, a PSP is interdisciplinary, incorporating course work from at least two, and sometimes three or more, different departments.
The PSP is best suited for students who want to plan, design, and complete a major not otherwise available. If the program you want to pursue could be accomplished within the structure of an existing major, then you should complete the standard major.
Designing your own major does not mean that you will be left, academically, to find your own way; you will need at least one faculty member to advise you on your selection of courses and to approve the program. To assure that happens, you should expect to initiate contacts with faculty interested in what you are doing and willing to work with you. This advisor will be your best source of advice about what course work is most appropriate to your academic objectives.
What is the Integrated Social Studies PSP?
All of the courses for this major meet the state-mandated content area for Integrated Social Studies (grades 7-12) and may be completed in an undergraduate program by selecting the Personalized Study Program (PSP) as a major (BA), Geography as a minor.Please note that the path to teacher licensure at The Ohio State University is through a Master's of Education program (M.Ed.). Admission to M.Ed programs is competitive, and completion of the bachelor degree is no guarantee that you will be admitted to the M.Ed program. Please also note that you will need to meet with your academic advisor regarding your GEC's and the Personalized Study Program (PSP), and a College of Education advisor regarding the Master's of Education admission and program requirements.
Study the current Course Offerings Bulletin: get to know what courses are offered in majors that interest you; find out whether a traditional major might not serve you just as well as the alternative PSP.
Brainstorm around the majors or classes of interest to you: write down the class or major in the middle of a blank piece of paper, and then write down all of the reasons why the discipline interests you; this can help you to focus your interests and your program of study, whether you choose a PSP or a traditional major program.
Call the departments you are interested in, ask to speak with advisors, and discuss with them the area that interests you, the PSP option, and course availability.
Make an appointment with a PSP academic advisor in Arts and Sciences Advising. Ask to see an example of a model PSP to use as a guide.
Contact key faculty, faculty you would like to work with, and discuss the PSP with them. Ask them for advice, tell them why you want to work with them, ask them for references to other faculty. Don't expect to find your advisor in the first faculty member you speak to; a simple willingness to discuss your intentions with faculty may help to make the connections that will lead you to the right advisor for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the GPA requirement to declare a PSP?
Students must have a 3.0 cumulative GPA at Ohio State in order for a PSP to be approved.
What kind of student is a PSP right for?
Most students who complete a PSP are highly motivated and independent self-starters in need of a challenge. They are, typically, both creative and disciplined, and thrive on the interdisciplinary structure of the major, which allows them to explore a non-traditional discipline to an extent that a standard major would not permit. (As more and more interdisciplinary settings emerge in all areas of work, from business to education, study options like the PSP will become increasingly valuable and necessary.)
The PSP is an ideal option for students interested in exploring "diversity" issues and other concerns of contemporary social, political, artistic, and scientific relevance. Ohio State offers a wide array of courses taught from various intellectual perspectives, which often complement and enrich one another. This multiplicity and depth is not always readily available in the structure of a traditional major.
Will I be able to graduate in four years?
Yes. Even though this is not a "traditional" track, the PSP is still designed to be completed in four years providing the student stays on track, checks regularly with advisors and faculty, and completes all GEC requirements.
Is this a Major for people who aren't doing well enough to get into a "normal" major?
No. The PSP should not be thought of, nor approached, as a lesser major or option. Students who pursue the PSP major must meet high academic and University standards just like any other University Major.
What can I study or what would I call my course of study?
You get to design your course of study as long as it is a coherent academic course of study, as long as you have the interest of an appropriate faculty advisor, and as long as your program is not a plan that can be covered through a traditional departmental major.
Some examples could include:
- Social Consciousness Issues
- Jewish / African-American Comparative History and Politics
- Photo Journalism
- Biological Illustration
- Sound Design
For more information about pursuing a PSP, schedule an appointment with your assigned academic advisor by calling (614) 292-6961 or visiting Arts and Sciences Advising in 100 Denney Hall.