Polaris Center for Personal and
Professional Flourishing




people sitting at tables in a room with a man giving a presentation

Center Overview

project objectives

Work productively and cooperatively on a project to make, build, or discover something of general benefit

Plan, execute, assess, publicly present, and effectively field questions about one’s project


people sitting in a room with a large screen tv and a man standing in front of them
POL 1100
Polaris Retreat (0 credits)

Introduction to the Polaris Project.

pol 1110
Polaris Ideas (3 credits)

Where do ideas come from? Is the process similar for practical inventions, like the light bulb, and intellectual and artistic ones, like scientific discoveries, novels, paintings, and music? What are the social and economic preconditions for successful innovations? This seminar will explore these questions by engaging with a wide variety of readings.

pol 2100
Polaris Inspirations (3 credits)

This course uses case studies and lectures to introduce students to a broad variety of possible Polaris projects and to the basic methods employed in the UATX Academic Centers. Invited speakers will lecture about their own Polaris-style projects (e.g., starting a business, founding a newspaper) and students will read case studies associated with these lectures. Student deliverables include lecture/case study reviews and journals.

pol 2110
Polaris Frame (3 credits)

This course provides a forum for students to workshop their Polaris projects. Students will present their project proposals to their peers and to professors from different academic Centers and receive critical feedback. The course will also include units on digital literacy, including blogs, podcasts, and websites. Deliverables include a preliminary project proposal, a ranked list of six potential mentors, and three detailed precedent studies.

POL 3100
Polaris Pitch (3 credits)

Students will enroll in a Polaris Pitch course offered by the academic Center in which they will be undertaking their projects. In this course, they will work intensively on producing and pitching a polished proposal. Students will present plans to peers and faculty and collectively refine their projects. At the conclusion of the course, they will present their projects for final approval to a committee of UATX faculty and outside experts. Deliverables include a detailed project proposal and public engagement plan, as well as a roadmap of the process for realizing the project over the next five terms, i.e., by the end of the following academic year.

POL 3110
Polaris Build (1.5 credits)

In these independent study courses, students build their projects. They contact potential external mentors and generate a correspondence portfolio, including rejections. Having contracted with a mentor, they work with him or her as well as a UATX faculty member, receiving 1.5 credits of course relief each term in acknowledgement of the time that they are spending on their projects. Students report on their progress at the end of each term, and the Polaris Director and/or UATX faculty mentor establishes that the student is hitting his or her target dates of deliverables.
Note:  Course is repeatable

POL 4150
Polaris Launch (3 credits)

Students launch their projects beyond UATX. The deliverable at the end of this term is the project itself. These projects are demonstrated through an internal fair/expo (all projects) and an external showcase (select projects, chosen by competition).

applications are now open

apply now

support center