Select the field to read a short excerpt from the student's proposal.


Alternative Medicine in Modern Society »

 “One of the main questions I want to explore is which alternative treatments are truly effective and which are not. I would like to explore why herbal therapy appears to relieve rheumatoid arthritis, why acupuncture seems to cure different aches and pains, why eating bitter melon during the summer is believed to be good for digestion, and other supposed solutions to medical ailments…”

The Anatomy of Artistry »

 “‘The Anatomy of Artistry’ seeks to investigate the correlation between creativity and biography, with a focus on the creative signatures of artists working in two fields, literature and film…”

Anatomy of Story »

 “In my proposed topic, I will examine the sociological value of stories by examining their anthropological, historical, and psychological components to assess how tales fit into the larger texture of real life, and to determine their function in society and individual development…”

Art in American Social Movements »

 “Popular forms of art have been so integrated into American society that we often do not recognize their full significance, especially in the context of politics. Beyond aesthetics and entertainment, the art we enjoy is social and many times politically significant and influential, even if unintentionally so…”

Child Development and Mental Disability »

 “I hope to discover and compare, from conception on, the prevention, the cause, the symptoms, and the treatments for some of the most common mental disorders children face…”

Children and the Media »

 “…I propose to examine how different types of media may influence eating disorders and distorted self-image in children of both genders…”

Consumer Culture »

 “…I propose to investigate the relationship between people and things. In other words, I want to examine the psychology, rhetoric, culture, and environmental consequences of materialistic consumerism: the impulse to want and acquire products, and to define ourselves in terms of those products…”

Contemporary American Musical Theatre »

 “Musical theatre both acts as a reflection of American society as well as a major influence to the Fine Arts community. I want to trace the history of Broadway musicals in order to determine the sustainability of this economic sector for future generations of actors and singers…”

The Conversion Experience »

 “…I propose to examine the causes and characteristics of a distinct, categorical exchange from one’s spiritual or philosophical worldview for that of another…”

Culture and Story »

 “Through my proposed topic, I will examine how narratives function within a culture and cross-culturally by studying how they structure people’s lives through behavioral examples, how they establish and preserve traditions through community involvement, and how they give meaning to people’s lives…”

The Culture of Environmentalism »

 “In my interdisciplinary field of study, I propose to examine how American media and politics influence individual behavior and policy concerning the environment…”

Culture of the Macabre »

 “…I hope to gain an understanding of our culture’s attraction to the macabre as entertainment. By ‘macabre’ I refer to the gruesome, particularly in stories, factual and invented, that have death as a subject and tend to or should produce horror in any person…”

Death and Dying »

 “Medical advances have made it possible to define death in multiple ways. Is it when a person has lost consciousness and has no reasonable hope of regaining it? Is it when a person is unresponsive to all stimuli? Is it when a patient is unable to breathe on his own? Or is it when no brain activity can be detected? Doctors and medical ethicists disagree. As a result, death has become more complicated than at any time in history, and the decisions of healthcare professionals more critical.”

Disability Studies »

 “…I wish to examine the cultural and social aspects of what it means to be ‘disabled,’ both from the perspectives of the disabled themselves and from those of others. In other words, I want to examine the definition of ‘disability,’ which in its literal meaning suggests a mental or physical defect, and how this perception affects the way the disabled are treated by others and how they regard themselves.”

The Ethics of Food Marketing to Children »

 “…My field of study, ‘The Ethics of Food Marketing to Children,’ will investigate the following question: Should there be advertisement restrictions in the media in order to prevent the marketing of unhealthy food items geared towards elementary-aged children? …”

Ethics of Health Policy and Food and Drug Regulation »

 “…I propose to examine how societal views are influenced by health policy for the regulation of food and drugs…”

Existentialism and Theism »

 “In my proposed field of study, ‘Existentialism and Theism,’ I intend to examine the intersection of philosophy, religion, and what people refer to as ‘the quest for meaning’ in contemporary Western culture. Existentialism–the idea that meaning and purpose can only be found through personal experience– is the historically recent alternative to the traditional impulse of deriving meaning from religious institutions…”

Family Influence on Patients with Disabilities »

 “In my interdisciplinary field of study, I propose to examine the role that family and support plays on patients with disabilities and the outcomes of their treatment…”

Financial Mathematics »

 “Within financial mathematics, I am particularly interested in technical analysis–more specifically, evaluating past prices, volume, and market activity and generating tools and charts to attempt to identify patterns and suggest future prices…”

Forensic Science »

 “Forensic science contains several different subdivisions ranging from forensic archaeology to forensic entomology to forensic psychology. I intend to narrow my study down to two science-based divisions: forensic anthropology and forensic pathology.”

France and America »

 “…In my proposed field, ‘France and America,’ I will strive to study and understand the complex and tangled relationship that the two countries and their peoples have shared throughout history and that endures today…”

Global Health and Health Care »

 “There are many questions in this field that I hope to investigate. What types of organizations–government, international, or local NGOs–are most effective in given situations? Can more careful monitoring reduce corruption and waste? In countries without well-developed health care delivery, can aid organizations encourage the formation of self-sufficient systems instead of fostering dependence? How can health systems in poor countries and aid organizations work together to maximize their combined impact?”

Habitat Change and the Future of Animals »

 “…In my interdisciplinary curriculum, I plan to study how the habitats, adaptations, and behaviors of animals are affected by human activity…”

Health and Poverty in the Developing World »

 “…I propose to examine how underlying social structures influence the health of individuals and communities, especially those who live in underdeveloped countries…”

History of Esoteric Thought »

 “In my proposed topic, I will study the origin of esoteric ideas and their geographical journeys from the Egyptian, Hellenistic, and Mesopotamian worlds to Europe and across to America. In this study, I will examine how these thought forms have evolved and adapted across various organized religions and independent practices…”

Immigration Law and Culture »

 “…I propose to examine the processes of legal immigration and the laws related to immigration in the United States as well as the current humanitarian and cultural climate surrounding immigrants…”

Marriage and Divorce »

 “…I plan to examine the characteristics of successful marriages and the dynamics of family structures, particularly the communication and interaction between members as well as different cultural concepts of family, and how to effectively counsel families…”

Medicine, Ethics, and Public Policy »

 “This field of study will examine the political, social, and ethical considerations that go into formulating modern health policy in America. I will give special attention to the distribution of health care as a resource and society’s obligation (if any) to make this resource readily available to all…”

Medicine, Policy, and Public Ethics »

 “I will examine how health care practices are influenced by politics, law, and policy, all of which are shaped by what I call public ethics: the collective expression of moral principles in a democracy.”

The Mind-Body Connection »

 “Put simply, I want to study the vast power of the human mind. The details of how the mind works compose a universe of mystery that neuroscientists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and philosophers have only begun to comprehend. My field would focus on how the mind can affect the body in positive and negative ways, or, in other words, how mental health can influence physical health…”

Music and Emotion »

 “In my field of study, I propose to investigate the psychological and physiological effects of music on human beings. I would like to understand why music induces certain emotions and sensations in individuals, and how these effects in turn impact communities and encourage collective action…”

Music and Expression »

 “…[Music] can take listeners into a different mental and emotional world, and when lyrics are involved and listeners do understand them, can sometimes even change their perspective and behavior…”

Music and the Brain »

 “Music’s role in human experience has been a widely studied topic dating back to Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle. These philosophers studied the influence and effects of music on an individual and a society as a whole; each knew that music was a powerful force but lacked the tools to understand why. Today, research in this field has the potential to clarify fundamental aspects of human brain function, from language and complex sequence processing to how the auditory and motor systems are joined together in beat perception and synchronization…”

New Media »

 “…I propose to investigate the influence of new communication technologies in both developing and developed worlds and how society has changed in response to these tools.”

New Practices and Evolving Norms: Advances in Medicine and Medical Ethics »

 “…I propose to examine how the evolution of medical technology, drugs, and research is creating a number of increasingly complicated ethical dilemmas…”

Philosophy of Physics »

 “After Bohr, Heisenberg, Einstein and Schrodinger developed quantum mechanics and Einstein proposed the theory of relativity, the old ideas of space and time as fixed absolutes were no longer sufficient to describe the universe, and our notion that the world is deterministic was replaced by a probabilistic view, at least of the microscopic world…”

Pokernomics: Decision Theory and Probability »

 “In my proposed field of study I would utilize game theory, probability, logic, and psychology to understand the formation and execution of decisions within economic and governmental systems. Moreover, by using poker as a the focal point I would be able to better study how economies and governments are affected by different parties’ various decisions.”

Poverty Studies »

 “…I propose to study how various socioeconomic factors influence the cycle of poverty, a cycle that determines that when children are born into poverty they will most likely stay impoverished…”

Race and Class in Brazil »

 “For years, there has been a popular idea that Brazil is a post-racial country, where race and ethnicity are almost irrelevant. However, socioeconomic divisions still break down along racial and ethnic lines…”

The Rise of the BRICs and the End of American Hegemony »

 “The term BRIC was coined by economist Jim O’Neill in his paper on the four emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, China, and India and their rapidly increasing influence on the global economy . In my proposed topic . . . I will study the developing markets of these four countries and what it means for the hegemonic power that the United States has enjoyed since the end of WWII.”

The Science and Culture of Martial Arts »

 “…In addition to studying something that I’m passionate about, the ultimate goal in creating this minor is to educate people about the difference between legitimate and illegitimate martial arts practice…”

The Sociology and Politics of Healthcare »

 “…I will study the effects of political decisions and social norms regarding health and the healthcare system. I am especially interested in how our society defines health, well-being, and illness and how funding for research is allocated towards some health areas, but not towards others…”

Spirituality and Happiness »

 “…I propose to examine whether there is, as some recent psychological studies suggest, a positive relationship between commitment to a spiritual life, or religiosity, and psychological and physical well-being…”

Spirituality, Creativity, and Healing »

 “…In my studies, I am interested in exploring the internal sources of healing; particularly, the methods that enhance consciousness and creativity, which serve as guidance to cure the self and allow the person to find release from daily struggles…”

Spoken Word »

 “Spoken word is a form of poetry that uses prose or verse to express personal ideas or social commentary. It is performed on stage and traditionally presented in first person. Stemming from poetry of the Harlem Renaissance and blues music, the art gained popularity with the Last Poets, an underground African American community…”

Sports Psychology »

 “In my proposed topic, I hope to better understand the effects of exercise and sports on psychology and how psychological factors affect athletic performance. I am particularly interested in what many athletes refer to as ‘flow’ and the psychological aspects underlying this enhanced state of performance…”

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