Independent study allows graduate students to pursue a specific topic with a faculty member for academic credit.
Independent study is an opportunity for graduate students to explore an idea, contribute to research, or develop a project under the guidance of a faculty member at the School of Education.
Before undertaking an independent study, check the course catalog to ensure that the topic you are interested in is not already covered by an existing course.
In order to register for independent study credit, you must demonstrate:
Successful completion of all regular courses offered by the School of Education that are relevant to the particular project being considered
Finding an Instructor of Record
You are responsible for finding a School of Education faculty member (not a graduate student instructor) who is willing to be your instructor of record for the independent study.
Before approaching faculty members about serving as an instructor for an independent study, consider writing a project proposal that includes a brief explanation of why you want to complete an independent study, along with a short list of suggested readings. This will give the instructor a starting point from which to negotiate the course requirements.
Please note that faculty members are not obligated to advise a student on an independent study project. They may be unable to, due to other commitments, even if they are excited about the topic. Students should seek out a faculty supervising instructor as early as possible.
Your instructor must also create a formal syllabus for the independent study that should be submitted with the learning contract. The syllabus for the independent study should include the following:
number of hours of work expected of the student;
number of required meetings between the instructor and student;
all required reading and writing assignments with due dates for each;
the assessment procedure and criteria for determining the student’s grade;
a 100 word work plan (analogous to the introductory purpose statement provided in the typical class syllabus).
Approval and Course Registration
Completed learning contracts and syllabi should be submitted to the School of Education’s Registrar, Lisa Johnson, no later than the first day of classes for the relevant semester.
Independent study proposals are reviewed by the Academic Dean. If approved, students and their instructors will be notified by email and the student will be enrolled in the correct independent study course.