Independent Study & Directed Research Courses
What is an independent study or directed research course?
An independent study course may be used for students when the course needed for their degree requirements is not available in a given semester. A directed research course can be offered if you want to specifically research a more specialized topic to enhance your program of study. Independent study and directed research courses are requested to be created outside of the current course offerings within a semester and not all courses may be taken in this format. These courses are not handled in the same manner as registering for traditional course offerings. Refer to the process for requesting an independent study or directed research course below.
When would an independent study or directed research course be needed?
You may consider requesting an independent study course for any of the following reasons:
- Completion of a graduation requirement
- For a teach-out of a program
- Completing an older degree program with no other options to substitute for the course requirement
You may consider registering for a directed research course to enhance your learning experience, but this will not necessarily fulfill a degree requirement.
What is the process for requesting an independent study or directed research course?
A request for an independent study or directed research course will need to be initiated in the Independent Study and Directed Research Form. The form will require some basic information and rationale for the requested course. This will be used by the department to evaluate if the course will be approved. Once the form is submitted it will be sent to the department chair, followed by the dean, and lastly the Provost Office for approval. If all three parties approve, then it will be sent to the Registrar’s office to create the approved course and proceed with registration provided that there are no holds or errors that prevent it. Once the course is registered, all standard registration policies will apply.
- You are responsible for verifying that your registrations are required for your degree(s). In addition, your degree will be conferred and awarded if all of the requirements have been met.
- If you are a resident student taking online courses, you will be charged resident tuition as well as any other fees that apply. You are responsible for contacting Student Accounts or Financial Aid to discuss any tuition charges. Financial Aid may not be given for courses that are not applying to your degree(s). Registering for an online class may result in a change to your student account, visa status, military benefits, NCAA status, or financial aid. See the course registration page for more details.
What is the deadline for requests to be submitted?
You will need to submit a request for an independent study or directed research course prior to the semester or sub-term that you would like to take the course. If you are a residential student, a form must be submitted no later than the last day of Add/Drop week. Any exceptions to this time frame must be approved by the Dean.
Still have additional questions?
If you are unsure about pursuing an independent study or directed research course, please contact the department that oversees your degree program. They can help to identify if this approach would be the best option for you.