Independent Study (491-492 courses)

Independent Study (491-492 courses) is an opportunity for advanced students to pursue a research project devoted to a specific topic or problem. The research subject is selected in consultation with a faculty member under whose guidance the study is to be conducted. Departments offer a course in which a student may earn from one to four credits. The credit hours will be determined by the faculty member based on an estimate of the time expected to be invested in the proposed work. Forty-five hours is minimal for each hour of credit.

All independent study courses must involve the student primarily in independent work with regularly scheduled consultation with the instructor. This kind of study may involve independent readings, library research, or laboratory research projects in specific subject areas where the College does not offer courses.

Projects or proposals must be submitted (on a form similar to the current form for internships/ externships) at the close of the pre-registration period of the initiation date of the study. Laboratory research projects especially require advance notice in order to attain funding and supplies for the project.

The form should contain at minimum:

  • Student’s Name
  • Instructor’s Name
  • Title of Independent Study
  • Credit Hours
  • Date Initiated
  • Suggested Completion Date
  • Specific objectives of the independent project
  • How the objectives (e.g. course requirements) will be accomplished (such as books or articles to be read and discussed, films to be viewed, lectures to be attended, research to be carried out)
  • Evidence that objectives have been accomplished such as tests, reports, discussions, etc.)
  • How the student learning will be evaluated
  • Student-Faculty contact hours
  • Signatures of student, instructor, department chair

Copies of the approved independent learning contract must be filed with the Vice President for Academic Affairs (or designee) and the Registrar prior to the close of pre-registration.