Academic Catalog

Independent Study Policy

Independent Study is advanced-level coursework in a subject area not covered in depth by the normal course offerings of an academic department. It should provide within its own structure a valuable experience of independent research, analysis, and reporting which will enhance the student's grasp of their subject field, and entail the requisite motivation, skills, and discipline of independent work. Independent Study should provide new and unique objectives consistent with the academic program of the student.

Independent Study proposals are to be developed jointly by the instructor and the student. The learning objectives are to be carefully considered and identified in the proposal. The method by which the student will evaluate the learning experience and by which the instructor will evaluate the student must be indicated. It is imperative that instructors evaluate whether the student is able to work independently and will benefit scholastically from such a study.

Students are limited to a maximum of 12 credit hours of independent study and independent research credit, combined. Independent Studies may be taken for variable credit, and require approval of the Independent Study instructor, Chair of the credit-granting department, student's advisor, and Dean of Academic Affairs. Application for an Independent Study requires that a student be a matriculated junior or senior, with the exception of freshmen and sophomores whose readiness is specifically demonstrated on the Independent Study Application.

The amount of credit to be earned in an Independent Study course is to be determined by the instructor at the time the proposal is submitted, and may vary from one to three credits, depending upon the number of objectives identified in the proposal, and the degree of difficulty, or complexity, as judged by the instructor.

The number of credits is not to be changed at the end of the study period because the student failed to meet all of the objectives, which were identified in the proposal. The grading system cited in the college catalog is designed to provide for this.