Independent Study

Independent study and research is considered advanced work that enables undergraduates to go beyond existing course work to investigate a topic or a hypothesis or a relationship either in the library or in the laboratory. The work is supervised and evaluated by a faculty member and culminates in a significant paper or report. Most academic units offer independent study courses with a variable credit option dependent on the extent of the intended project. If students have intended projects not clearly falling within one academic discipline, they may receive independent study and research credit through U UNI 397. This university-wide offering requires approval of the Interdisciplinary Studies Committee. Students interested in doing independent and creative study are encouraged to discuss with faculty members their ideas and the feasibility of earning credit.

Supervised research for sophomores and juniors enables undergraduates to work with a member of the University faculty as a research apprentice. The work is supervised and evaluated by a member of the teaching faculty and culminates in a research paper or report. Information on U UNI 180, “Supervised Research” is available from the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education, LC 30. See also the A CAS undergraduate research and research methods courses in the College of Arts and Sciences section of this bulletin.

Since the appropriateness and need for a student to pursue independent study and research is an individual matter, there are no further guidelines on this study. At times, U UNI 397 and U UNI 180 have encompassed cross-disciplinary work co-sponsored by faculty members from more than one academic unit. At other times, the courses  have been used to enable a senior to pursue an extensive, major research topic for which the student’s academic department or school independent study courses would not carry sufficient academic credit.