SIP Planning

The Senior Individualized Project is the capstone of Kalamazoo College’s program of liberal arts education, offering you the opportunity to make use of all your experiences at the College. The SIP is an occasion for independent scholarship, often in conjunction with an internship or other creative activity, resulting in a written report, performance, or exhibit.

On this page:


General Information about SIPs

  • Every senior must complete a SIP in a department, program, or Independent Interdisciplinary Major committee.
  • Every SIP must have a faculty advisor (also known as the SIP supervisor) within that department, program, or IIM committee.
  • The SIP does not necessarily have to be done in the major department.
  • All departments and programs provide written guidelines or requirements for SIPs done within their disciplines. A list of links to departmental SIP guidelines can be found below. Ask your department or faculty advisor for guidelines early in the process.
  • Departments and potential SIP supervisors are not obliged to approve every SIP proposal that is presented to them. You may have to meet certain prerequisites, or you may have to adjust your ideas or modify your proposal, before it gains the approval of a SIP supervisor.
  • The College reserves the right to archive your SIP within academic department, the Upjohn Library and/or an online digital archive.

The SIP Quarter

  • Each student must complete at least a 1-unit SIP. Departments and programs have the option of allowing or requiring a 2-unit SIP.
  • A student may split a SIP between two departments, be it 1 or 2 units. In this case, the student may have more than one faculty SIP advisor.
  • Students may conduct SIP work over the summer (as part of an extended fall term), during the fall quarter, or during the winter.
  • Students may not overload while working on their SIP. With the exception of performance-based SIPs in specific departments, which may have partial units spread over multiple quarters, students will have a “SIP quarter” in which at least one unit is devoted to the SIP. During this term, students may take no more than 2 non-SIP courses (not counting partial credit courses).
SIP UnitsMaximum Additional Coursework Units Allowed
1 unit Summer SIP3 courses (up to 3.9 units) in the Fall
2 unit Summer*/Fall SIP2 courses (up to 2.9 units) in the Fall
2 unit Summer*/Winter SIP3 courses (up to 3.9 units) in the Fall
2 courses (up to 2.9 units) in the Winter
Summer component must be finished before Fall term
1 unit Fall SIP2 course (up to 2.9 units) in the Fall
2 unit Fall SIP1 course (up to 1.9 units) in the Fall
2 unit Fall/Winter SIP2 courses (up to 2.9 units) in each Fall and Winter
1 unit Winter SIP2 course (up to 2.9 units) in the Winter
2 unit Winter SIP1 course (up to 1.9 units) in the Winter
Multi-term Performance SIP in Art or MusicPlease see multi-term SIP below
*A “Summer” SIP unit is registered during the extended Fall term (a variation on the Fall term that begins July 1), and is included in the Fall tuition.
Units and Performance Term Unit breakdown Fall/Winter/Spring
1 unit Fall performance 1 unit Fall
1 unit Winter performance.3 unit Fall/ .7 unit Winter
1 unit Spring performance.25 unit Fall/ .25 unit Winter/ .5 unit Spring
2 term Fall performance 2 units Fall
2 unit Winter performance .6 unit Fall/ 1.4 units Winter
2 unit Spring performance.5 unit Fall/ .5 unit Winter/ 1 unit Spring
An overload (registration above 3.9 units) is not allowed in the term in which the majority of the SIP is registered.

SIP Registration Policies

The SIP registration form should be submitted to the Registrar’s Office. Your SIP advisor or your academic advisor or your friend CANNOT submit it for you – you must do so yourself. Some departments may also require a SIP contract, which should be submitted to your SIP department.

Once the SIP Registration form is submitted, the Registrar’s Office will register you for your SIP. You cannot register for your SIP through the normal Hornet HQ process.

SIP Quarter Registration Form Due

SIP TermRegistration Form Due
ALL SIPS involving work over the Summer (extended Fall term)Friday of 10th week, Junior Spring term
Fall and Fall/Winter SIPSFriday of 1st week, Senior Fall term
Winter SIPSFriday of 1st week, Senior Winter term

Your SIP department may require you to submit your SIP contract earlier than these due dates, and it is recommended that you submit your registration form at the same time. Some departments require all SIP proposals to be submitted in the spring.

Choose your quarter of registration and units carefully. Retroactive SIP registration changes (e.g., fall SIP to summer/fall SIP) to avoid quarter overloads/underloads or due to poor planning and lack of progress toward completion of the project will not be approved.

SIP Drop/Add Policies

SIPs must be added or dropped using the SIP Registration Change form, with the signature of the faculty SIP supervisor.

  • Any changes to SIP registrations must be made in the Registrar’s Office by the end of the drop/add period of the quarter of registration (Fall quarter for Summer and Fall units; Winter quarter for Winter units). This includes dropping a SIP, changing your department or SIP advisor, changing the number of units, etc.
  • After the end of the drop/add period, you may withdraw from a SIP as you would from any other class, and the SIP will appear on your transcript with a grade of W. The withdrawal period for SIPs ends on Friday of the first week of the term following the SIP quarter (the end of the drop/add period for the following term).

SIP Deadlines for Students

Each Department, Program, or IIM Committee is responsible for establishing and implementing specific SIP deadlines within SIP quarter. This may include deadlines for drafts, interim feedback, revisions, presentations, etc.

For all SIPs, the final copy (i.e., no more revisions) is due to the SIP supervisor no later than Friday of the second week of the term following the SIP quarter. Students are expected to be completely finished with all work associated with the SIP, with the exception of departmental or program symposia in Winter and Spring terms.

SIP Grades

Final SIP grades are due Friday of 6th week following the quarter of registration (Fall for Summer SIPs; Winter for Fall or Summer/Fall SIPs; Spring for Winter, Fall/Winter, or Summer/Winter SIPs) or 10th week of Spring term for multi-term performance SIPs. The SIP will receive a grade of Honors (H), Credit (CR), or No Credit (NC). If you complete a SIP in two departments, you may be graded separately by each department. The SIP grade is not included in the cumulative GPA calculation, though it is recorded on the academic transcript along with the title of the project. There are no college-wide rules regarding the length or breadth of paper that determine the difference between a CR and an H; the grade is determined solely by evaluators within the academic department or program, with the input of any outside mentors the student may have consulted.

Students who register for a 2-unit SIP but only complete enough work to earn 1 unit will receive a grade of CR for one unit and a grade of NC for the other unit. Faculty may also award a CR for one unit and an H grade for a second unit of a 2-unit SIP.

SIP Funding

There are many opportunities for SIP funding. Please check with individual departments.

Departmental SIP Pages

Additional information about requirements for SIPs in specific departments can be found via these links. If your chosen department is not located here – please contact the department for additional guidance.

FAQ’s

  • What is an acceptable SIP project?

Each department sets its own requirements for senior projects done in that department, including the range of acceptable projects, the required background of students doing projects, the format of the SIP, and the expected scope and depth of projects. Please see the departmental SIP links for more information.

  • How many credits is the SIP worth?

The amount of SIP credit (one or two units) is determined by the student and the SIP department at the beginning of the project. In consultation with the faculty member who will serve as your faculty SIP supervisor, and within the constraints set by the relevant department, you will determine your project’s form and the environment in which it is to be pursued. Please see the departmental SIP links for more information.

  • Can I do my SIP in the Spring?

There are NO Spring SIPs. SIPs may only be registered in the Extended Fall, Fall, or Winter quarters of your senior year. However, SIPs that have units distributed over multiple terms (e.g., performance based SIPs) may have some fraction of a unit registered during Spring. These SIPs would have been registered and substantial work completed during the Fall or Winter.

  • Can I just register for my SIP and no other courses?

A student may not take 1 unit of SIP as their only course during a quarter unless that is the only unit they need to graduate, in which case, they should speak with the Dean of Students. College policy does not allow students to enroll in just a single course without the express permission of the Dean of Students (see the College Enrollment Policy).

  • Can I register myself for my SIP online?

No. The SIP registration form must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office in order to register for the SIP. Your SIP advisor or your academic advisor or your friend CANNOT submit it for you – you must do so yourself. Once the SIP Registration form is submitted, the Registrar’s Office will register you for your SIP. You cannot register for the SIP through the normal Hornet HQ process.