Creative Component

STB 599 XA

Seed Technology & Business
Semester: Final Semester
Credit Hours: 3
Final Presentation: Video-Conference or In-Person
Course Description:

The Seed Technology and Business (STB) MS degree requires a creative component. The creative component is the culminating project for the program, intended to be an in-depth application of the knowledge and skills acquired from the STB curriculum. The creative component can take many forms, but in all cases includes a written report based on research, library readings, or topics related to the student’s area of specialization and approved by the student’s Program of Study (POS) committee. Since a majority of our students are working professionals, the Creative Component is seen as a means of applying course content to projects related to their professional duties and career interests. Three credits of creative component work are required by the STB program, and the student must defend their creative component before his/her POS committee as part of the final oral exam. General requirements for the creative component are:

  • the project must show independence and creativity on the part of the student;
  • a written report must be developed for the project;
  • the project must be related to STB curriculum content and demonstrate the student’s understanding of some aspects of STB course content in the context of the project topic;
  • the project must be approved by the student’s POS Committee.

Examples of appropriate creative components include extensive literature reviews, field and laboratory research projects, and instructional modules for teaching or training purposes. We have examples of creative component projects that have been done in the past for your review. Because these creative component projects are STB program specific, they are available for viewing for students in the Seed Technology and Business graduate program only. Please email us at for more information about how to gain access to those.

Course Restrictions:

Enrollment in this course is restricted to graduate students in their final semester of the Seed Technology & Business (STB) online master’s degree program. Please email or call 515.294.9137 for permission to register for this course.

Steps for planning and completing your creative component

The creative component topic may be based on knowledge or a project needed for your job, or knowledge needed to address an investigative question based on your own observations or those of clients you serve. Or, you may wish to pursue an area of interest presented in the STB program to a greater depth. Whatever topic you choose, remember that you will be investing considerable time and energy in it; so choose one that excites and interests you, and ideally, is related to your job or career interests.

The outline summarizes your approach to the topic. The outline structure will vary but it should include your objective(s). The objective should be narrow enough to give focus to your work.
Suggested structure of outline:

  • Background: why is the topic important and what is known?
  • Objective(s): what specifically do you wish to do?
  • Approach: how do you plan to accomplish your objective(s)?
  • Results: how do you propose to present your results?
  • Timeline: when do you plan to complete various stages of the work?

It is the responsibility of the major professor to supervise your creative component. The STB support staff will work with you to identify an appropriate major professor whose expertise is relevant to your proposed creative component. You should send your tentative outline or project idea to the STB program coordinator, at They will help you identify who might be a good match for you as a major professor. You must complete and submit a Program of Study Committee (POSC) form online through AccessPlus. You must submit this online form electronically and all members of your committee will be able to easily route the “form” through the system.  The POSC electronic form should be completed sometime within the first year of the program if possible. This will allow adequate time for completion of the creative component project. For more information on how to fill out the POSC form online, please utilize the POSC website or email us at

You will work with your major professor to further refine your plans for your creative component. After plans are approved, you are ready to begin work. It normally takes several semesters to complete the work on a creative component. As you are working on your creative component, keep your major professor informed of your progress. Writing Guide

After your creative component work is nearly complete, register for 3 credits of STB 599 XA. Be sure that your major professor and POS committee know (a semester ahead) of your plans to complete the creative component and schedule the final oral exam. University policy requires graduating students to register for at least 2 credits during their final semester, so, make sure you will be ready for the final oral exam when you register for STB 599 XA. Provide your major professor with a draft of your work early in the semester you plan to graduate. Your major professor will need time to review your creative component and offer suggestions for improvement. Discuss with your major professor and arrange a time for your final oral exam via e-mail with your POS committee members. After you and your major professor are satisfied with the creative component, provide POS committee members with a copy. This needs to be done at least two weeks before your final seminar/examination date. Please check the ISU Graduate College Calendar for additional deadlines & due dates.

Present and defend your creative component as a Final Oral Examination with your POS committee members on the ISU campus or by video conferencing.

Please note that if you are planning to graduate in the semester of your final oral examination, you must meet the ISU Graduation Deadlines.

Have a Question?

Lori Youngberg

Seed Technology & Business
Graduate Program Coordinator