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Integrative Master’s Project (IMP)


Central to Bank Street’s focus on integrating theory with practice is the Integrative Master’s Project, for which students register after completing substantial portions of supervised fieldwork and coursework. As the culminating project for a Bank Street degree, the IMP is designed to be a significant, academically rigorous body of work that demonstrates your ability to apply theoretical knowledge to your work as an educator. It is intended to further your professional growth through inquiry, reflection and integration.

Instructions and forms for submitting your Independent Study are now available on the website. For the other IMP options (Portfolio, Site-based Inquiry, Collaborative Student/Faculty Inquiry or Mentored Directed Essay) confer with your mentor for the completion processes.

An Overview of IMP Options

The IMP can take many forms depending upon your areas of interest and available timeframe. IMPs can grow out of your coursework, work experiences, or take the form of an original inquiry or project of your design. Most IMP options involve sharing your completed project with faculty, peers, friends and family at the end of the semester. More information is available in  A Guide to the Integrative Master's Project.

The Independent Study is an original work that you initiate, often growing out of a meaningful course assignment or an idea, question, or experience rooted in a fieldwork or work setting. Students work with a faculty mentor who has expertise in the particular area of study. The Independent Study usually includes two semesters of research and writing, and is most closely aligned with a traditional master’s thesis. Independent Studies are made accessible to the public though the Bank Street Library's online catalogue.

The Portfolio takes the form of a series of reflective essays developed through an emergent process of collecting documents and objects called artifacts which are significant markers of pivotal experiences in your professional and personal development. Students work with a faculty mentor as well as a small peer group throughout the fall and spring semesters. Students present their Portfolios the evening before graduation.

Students who are currently employed in a classroom or other educational setting may choose the one-semester Site-based Inquiry option. You would work with a faculty mentor and a small peer group to identify an educational problem or concern within your current work situation, investigate the problem, and generate an action plan to move toward resolution. Students present their projects in mid-January or the week of graduation. Offered fall and spring.

The Collaborative Student-Faculty Inquiry is a one-semester small peer group option focused on a specific topic or issue. These topics, based on professional interests faculty would like to explore along with students, are posted each fall and spring. You identify a particular aspect of the topic or issue to investigate and, with your peers, determine a format in which to coordinate and present the findings. Students present their projects in mid-January or the week of graduation.

Students choosing to do a Mentored Directed Essay work with an assigned faculty mentor to design an essay that is based on existing, program-specific prepared questions. These questions are designed to help you think and write about the salient issues pertaining to your chosen area of study. Working with your mentor, you may adapt questions to support the distinctive needs of your professional growth, interests, and current work situation. This option is designed to provide structure and focus with maximum flexibility, and is intended to be completed within a single semester. This option is offered all semesters.

The Registrar's Office provides more detailed information regarding registering for the Integrative Master's Project.