Academic Regulations & Procedures

Independent Study/Reading/Research

A student may enroll in independent study (numbers 291 or 391) independent reading (numbers 290 or 390), or independent research (numbers 292 or 392) with the consent of a professor. See the Academic Catalog for definitions of these three terms. Independent work typically is completed within one term. In cases where it spans more than one term, grades are submitted at the end of each term. An independent work form (available from the Office of the Registrar) must be completed by the student, approved by the professor and adviser, and submitted to the Registrar by the drop/add deadline. Submitting this form permits but does not automatically accomplish registration; independent work is subject to the further approval of the registrar and the associate provost.

Change of credit is not allowed for independent work. Grades are to be submitted at the end of the independent period, consistent with the policy for scheduled courses, and independent work must be completed by the student within the schedule indicated on the proposal. Independent work completed at midterm must be graded by the end of the term. Independent work that duplicates the content of currently offered courses is not allowed. The policy for extensions also applies to independent work.

A student interested in taking an independent study should check with the professor to see if the department or program has additional guidelines governing independent work.

The grading method for independent work must be agreed upon with the instructor and clearly stated on the independent form before submitting it to the registrar at the time of registration; see the Satisfactory/Credit/No Credit policy. No independent work may count toward liberal arts requirements.

Seniors may undertake independent work (numbers 390, 391 or 392) concurrently with and related to another course. Intensive independent work (up to 12 credits) is possible in all three terms. Non-seniors are limited to a maximum of six credits of independent work during any single term. Independent Study/Reading/Research (290-292 and 390-392) may not be used to repeat independent studies.

See also retaking courses, summer independent study and winter break credit.

Last Revised: April 23, 2015

For: Faculty, Students

Last Reviewed: August 3, 2022

Maintained by: Office of the Provost