Academic Programs

Liberal Arts
Food for Thought

Independent Study Program

Independent study is designed to encourage the study of academic topics beyond those included in the course offerings of the College, providing an opportunity for students to explore an area of special interest. Approved independent study proposals may not duplicate a course presently in the curriculum without permission of the department. Independent study is an individualized academic investigation carried out by a student under faculty supervision. Any full-time or parttime student who is sophomore status and has a GPA of 2.00 or better may participate in an approved independent study. 

All independent study proposals, including the number of credit hours requested, must be submitted in writing to the department in which the project will be undertaken. The participating student and the supervising faculty member will jointly establish the detailed format, time schedule and number of tutorial sessions deemed necessary to attain the goals of the proposal.  The independent study form with the established details must be signed by the participating student, the supervising faculty member and the department head. These signatures will constitute departmental approval of the proposal.

The number of credit hours granted for any independent study proposal will be determined by the quantity of work involved, with a possible guideline of 45 clock hours of work on the study per credit hour. Usually independent studies will range from one to four hours. Under normal circumstances no more than four credit hours of independent study will be permitted in one semester. A maximum of 20 credit hours of independent study may be applied to the total credit hours required for graduation, and no more than 10 credit hours of independent study may be earned in any one department. 

Independent study projects may run more than one semester and will be considered completed upon presentation of an oral or written report or other demonstration of proficiency as established by the department. The quality of the student's performance will be evaluated on an S/U basis by the supervising faculty member.

Students have the option of having their independent study project graded on the A+ through F system. The students' choice of the A+ through F system must meet the approval of the supervising faculty member. The students must declare their intent concerning the grading system to the registrar no later than the fifth day of classes of the semester in which the project is undertaken. 

Requests for approval of independent study proposals in excess of four credit hours should be prepared as a normal request, and then a copy of the signed, departmentally approved proposal must be submitted to the dean of the College one month prior to the date which officially closes the semester preceding the semester in which the project is to be undertaken. A student who is granted approval for a project in excess of four credit hours must submit a copy of the results of the study to the department involved. If the result of the project is other than a reproducible paper or report (e.g., a work of art), a brief description of the work will be accepted. Credit for the independent study will be recorded upon receipt of this product.

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