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Independent Studies Guide

Independent Study

This is a chance for you to design your own research project with a professor of your choice. This opportunity may be selected as early as your second semester or as late as your last. Course work may require library and/or field research and/or a major term paper.

Interested students should contact the Department or the Faculty member under whom they wish to pursue an Independent Study.

Guidelines for Project Based Independent Studies

Independent studies are usually offered at the 3000 or 4000 level and should not duplicate the contents of existing courses.

There are three general formats in which an independent study can be done (although this list is by no means exhaustive)

  1. They can build on or extend from existing courses. For example if you want to know more about Organic Chemistry, and have taken Chem 2600 then you might take Chem 4990 to study additional topics in Organic Chemistry.
  2. They can be in areas in which no courses are offered in this department.
  3. They can be project based. For example after taking a course in Biochemistry, a student might do a big project focusing on Proteins.

The usual way to begin the process is to contact a professor who may be interested in supervising your independent study and then discussing what might be appropriate. It should be noted that a course outline is required and final project reports and presentations are typical.

A completed independent study form is also required and can be obtained from the Department office (E866) or the Deans' office.

The proposal then goes to a department committee for review where it will be either accepted or rejected.