Independent and Directed Study Courses

A primary goal of the Graduate School is to encourage independent scholarship. Thus, graduate students have many opportunities to engage in self-initiated independent study under the supervision of an individual member of the graduate faculty.

In addition to traditional titles, such as thesis, research project, internship and practicum, various departments use various titles to identify opportunities for individual study (e.g., independent study, special problems, directed readings, individual projects and directed study). The following requirements govern enrollment in independent study offerings:

  1. Consent of the instructor must be obtained before enrollment;
  2. The content of the study should not be the same as that covered in a regular course (exceptions to this requirement must have the approval of the graduate dean before enrollment);
  3. Although scheduled on an arranged basis, there must be a sufficient number of contact hours between the student and supervising instructor during the duration of the independent study to ensure consistency with the amount of graduate credit earned in regular course offerings; and
  4. No more than 6 credit hours of independent study coursework (excluding dissertation, thesis and other independent study activities that are terminal requirements for a degree) can be used in a degree program.

Some programs have additional program requirements that must be met before enrolling in independent study courses. Students should consult the appropriate program personnel before enrolling.