Integrative Master’s Project

As you move toward graduation, you will use the Integrative Master’s Project or the Professional Seminar to more deeply explore an area of your choice. These explorations enable you to synthesize and expand on what you have learned during your graduate studies to further your professional growth through inquiry and reflection.

grad student raising hand in class

The Integrative Master’s Project (IMP) can take many forms, depending upon your areas of interest and available timeframe. IMPs can grow out of your coursework or work experiences or they can 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.

Independent Study:

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 your fieldwork or work setting. Throughout the Independent Study option, you select with a faculty mentor who has relevant experience or expertise and who has agreed to work with you. 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 through the Bank Street Library’s online catalog. Registration: Online through myBankStreetConnect (myBSC). You must also complete a Google Form detailing your mentor relationship (available on the website schedule).

How to submit your Independent Study

Online Independent Studies


The Portfolio option is process across the fall and spring semesters where students generate a collection of five physical representations, called artifacts, and reflective essays, called captions, that provide evidence of their knowledge, skills, and dispositions in four domains:  human development, curriculum, philosophy/history, and social context of learning. Artifacts and reflective essays represent students’ growth through course work and classroom experiences as well as through related personal journeys. Student meet in a group monthly and work with an individual mentor. Portfolio concludes with a presentation. Registration: You will complete an application for the portfolio in June and receive notice of acceptance by the end of July.

Site-based Inquiry:

You may choose the one-semester Site-based Inquiry option if you are currently employed in a classroom or other educational setting. In this option, you 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 a resolution. You then present your project in mid-January or the week of graduation, respectively. This option is offered in the fall or spring. Registration: Online through myBSC

Collaborative Student-Faculty Inquiry:

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

Mentored Directed Essay:

Finally, you can choose to do a Mentored Directed Essay and work with an assigned faculty mentor to design essays that address existing, program-specific prepared questions. These questions are designed to help you think and write about 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. Registration: Online through myBSC

More information is available in the guide below and the IMP-at-a-Glance chart:

A Guide to the Integrative Master’s Project (pdf)

IMP-at-a-Glance (pdf)