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Student-Led Initiatives

The Valente Center for Arts & Sciences is able to offer support to Bentley undergraduates eager to deepen their understanding of the arts and sciences by organizing their own initiatives. 

This is an opportunity for a small group of students (up to 10) to explore their interest in drama, music, art, history, politics, and other topics related to the arts and sciences. These self-directed and not-for-credit seminars can be inspired by courses that you have already taken or by subjects that are not currently offered at Bentley.

Call for Proposals:

Interested but not sure what to propose?

Here are some examples of what you could pursue:

  • Complete a comparison between Boston and Madrid, Spain, conducting an interdisciplinary analysis of history, sociocultural structures, literature, and the arts.
  • Read and discuss novels related to the experience of newcomers to the United States from the Caribbean, such as Julia Alvarez's How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents and Edwidge Danticat's Breath, Eyes, Memory.
  • Explore the potential impact of nanotechnology on society through the lens of science fiction novels, compared with the actual state of the science
  • Study photography and visit exhibits at local galleries and museums, such as the Museum of Fine Arts and the Institute of Contemporary Art
  • Study a genre of music, such as classical, jazz, or hip hop, and then go to a series of concerts or performances at local venues such as Boston Symphony Orchestra or Wally's Café
  • Arrange for a master class to be taught by a local professional artist
  • Visit, read about, and discuss historical sites along the Freedom Trail or the Black Heritage Trail in Boston
  • Read about transcendentalism and explore natural and/or historic places, such as Mass Audubon or Walden Pond
  • Study Brazilian art and culture, and visit Brazilian cultural centers and festivals in the area

Note: These above are only examples, and proposals are not limited to these options. Feel free to be creative and work with the Valente Center to develop a unique and interesting proposal.

Electronically submit complete proposal to

Applicants will be notified of funding selection on a rolling basis.

One student should coordinate the proposal on behalf of the group (the Organizing Student). Successful student groups will receive funding to cover costs incidental to the seminar, such as the purchase of books, admission to the theatre or museum, or registration for a conference. For seminar meetings on campus, the Valente Center will make room arrangements and pay for food and refreshments.

Funds are limited and support will be awarded on a competitive basis. To maximize the number of seminars that can be funded, no seminar may include more than ten students (including the Organizing Students and Participating Students).

What’s required for the proposal?

Each proposal should be 4 pages maximum and include the following:

  1. Intellectual Goal: A clear description of the intellectual goal of the student seminar, and a statement about what works you plan to read, study and/or view, and what questions you plan to consider in relation to you proposed topic. This section of the proposal should also indicate the discipline closest to the proposed activities- e.g. history, political science, natural science, mathematics, philosophy, literature, psychology, media studies, or sociology
  2. Proposed Activities: A clear description and timeline for all activities proposed, including dates for on-campus meetings and dates and locations for any off-campus events
  3. A Detailed Budget: an itemized estimate of expenses for each element of the proposal, including food and beverage costs, and the total cost of the student seminar (not to exceed $2000).
  4. A Letter of Commitment: signed by all students who will participate in the seminar


For those interested in applying, feel free to contact us for advice and feedback as you write your proposal and design seminars that are both intellectually rigorous and fun! We would be happy to find a mentor who may provide additional guidance as you prepare your application.

Already Accepted?

Seminar groups selected for support will present a brief final report (2-3 pages) on their work to the Valente Center at the end of the semester.

These seminars are to be created and directed by students, for students. Faculty members DO NOT participate, but a faculty member may be assigned to you to provide guidance on logistics, seminar content, etc.

Contact: The Valente Center for more information