Part two: Getting Out
Johnston prides itself on individualizing learning. But it's far from a totally unstructured school, where you - or the faculty - can do anything you like. We have guidelines for the B.A. or B.S. degree which you need to address in your graduation contract, the core of a Johnstonian's education. You'll typically negotiate your contract in the sophomore or first semester of your junior year. A contract must be on file by the time you complete 80 units, or your status as a Johnston student may be forfeited. If your status changes, you will need to register as a CAS student and complete your degree with a declared major and in accordance with the LAF requirements.
Your contract puts forward a written plan for the completion of your undergraduate education that meets your goals and purposes and meets institutional expectations. You negotiate your ideal educational plan with a committee made up of yourself, your advisor, three faculty, two students, and a representative from the Registrar's Office. Negotiations leading to a degree in Art, or a Bachelor of Music must have a faculty member present from these respective disciplines. In the case of a Bachelor of Science, a majority of the committee must be drawn from the Science Center faculty.
There is no single perfect template for a contract, but you are expected to provide three main parts: a personal narrative followed by chronological and area course lists. Additionally, the contract addresses three major learning expectations: depth in an area of emphasis, breadth, and a cross cultural experience. These "trios" inform your thinking and planning with your advisor, and help you prepare to share your contract with the committee. As you read about the contracts in more detail below, you will notice that we don't require specific courses or disciplines as a basis for your educational plan. We do offer advice about how to consider the general expectations on which committees make their suggestions and stipulations. We hope our tips on how to "make your best case" to the committee prove helpful!