Third Year Review


Lloyd Hall, second floor hallway

What is it?

The third year review is an extended advising session with your New College advisor and faculty or experts in your field about how to get the most out of your final semester(s) in New College. It serves three purposes:

  1. It assures you are on-track to graduate and to fully develop your depth study.
  2. It is an opportunity for expert feedback on your depth study and post-college plans.
  3. It serves to initially formulate your NEW 495 senior project.

Who will be there?

You, your advisor, and one or more “outside” faculty members or experts in your depth study will be your third year review committee.

Your outside committee member should have specialized knowledge related to your depth study area — for example, a professor from the business school for an entrepreneurship depth study, or a county extension agent for a wildlife management depth study.

When do I need to do it?

You cannot enroll in the senior project seminar (NEW 495) until you complete the third year review. That means, at the latest, you must complete the review one semester before your last semester at UA. BUT if you plan to apply to graduate or professional programs, you are strongly encouraged to complete it three semesters before your graduate. Doing so will enable you to reference your project in application materials.

What if I don’t do it?

Then you cannot register for NEW 495, and your graduation could be delayed by a semester or more.


First, contact your advisor and at least one outside committee member or expert from the area of your depth study to set up your third Year Review. A sample email to an outside committee member is enclosed below. Set a date early. Faculty schedules can be busy.

Second, you’ll need to prepare some (typed) documentation before the third year review:

  1. revisit the self-statement you wrote to apply to New College. Write one well-developed paragraph about how your depth study has developed. Be sure to propose a title for your depth study.
  2. you should also propose an area of interest for your Senior Project. Be sure to address the following:
  3. In three to five sentences, explain how your project will be interdisciplinary: identify the various disciplinary approaches, out-of-class experiences (internships, study abroad, etc.), or types of expertise that you will draw on for your project.
  4. In two to three sentences, consider how your project could lead to new perspectives, understandings, or common ground associated with the issue you will engage.
  5. In a sentence or two, identify knowledge, skills, or help you think you need before starting on your senior project.

Distribute this documentation to all members of your review committee at least five days prior to the review.

Third, complete the Third Year Review Form (docx) and list courses you plan to count toward your depth study. This list should include both completed courses and courses you are considering taking. If you need help, ask your advisor. Bring the form to the meeting. Once finalized, you will receive a copy and one copy goes in your permanent file. Keep this. It will be useful when you enroll in NEW 495.

When you have completed the third year review, be sure to take the completed and signed Third Year Review Form to Mrs. Jenna Lewis in 201 Lloyd

A Few Things to Keep in Mind

Institutional Review Board Approval – If your senior project involves human subjects (this means interviews, surveys, or scientific testing), it may require special approval. Make sure that you bring this up in your review.

Senior Thesis Requirements – If you are in Honors College, Blount Undergraduate Initiative, or other programs at UA, you may opt to complete a senior thesis. If so, consider the impact of that timing in deciding when to take NEW 495. Your New College Senior Project is a substantial time commitment.

Graduate School Application Deadlines – Many graduate or professional schools’ application deadlines fall between toward the end of the Fall semester. BUT, some programs, in particular those that call for portfolio review (MFA, film, and others), have substantially earlier deadlines.

NEW 495 Project Presentations are a Resource – Go check out a presentation by someone whose depth study is similar to yours. Presentations will occur in the last few weeks of the fall and spring semesters.

Sample Email for Outside Committee Member(s)

Dear (title) (name),

I am writing to ask if you would please serve as a member of my third year review committee in New College. As you may be aware, New College students create their own majors with the guidance of academic advisors. As part of this process, New College requires that we meet with advisors and one or more subject-area experts for an extended advising session two or three semesters before we graduate.

The purpose of the session is to discuss opportunities (coursework, internships, or other experiences) to enrich my self designed major before I graduate, as well as to discuss initial plans for my senior project in New College.

Should you agree to serve on my third year review committee, your duties will consist of:

  • Reviewing a paragraph describing my self-designed major;
  • Reviewing initial thoughts on my proposed senior project; and
  • Participating in a 30–45 minute meeting to discuss these items.

Thank you for your time. I hope to hear from you soon.


(your name)