Department of English

Independent Study

Guidelines for Independent Studies

Independent Studies provide for in-depth individual projects under the guidance of a professor. Students and faculty members considering such proposals should keep in mind the following criteria on which they will be assessed:

  1. Course of study must not be part of regular department offerings (except for creative writing).

  2. Quantity of reading, research, and writing should be at least equal what would be required in a regular English Department upper level course i.e. 6-10 books and 15-25 pages of writing for a 3 credit course. Those expectations would be doubled for a 6 credit course.

  3. Student must submit evidence of capacity for independent research (e.g. through past experience with supervising faculty, recommendation of other faculty, papers from other Independent Study projects, etc.).

  4. Student must submit the Independent Study Approval Form along with a detailed proposal according to the guidelines specified on the form and the topics requested under 5. below.

  5. The proposal should have a clear and precise formulation of purpose and show evidence of preliminary research, for example a working bibliography, if applicable. It should also provide an outline of activities for the semester, including order of readings and projected writing assignments -- in other words, a syllabus.

  6. The proposal should be submitted well in advance of pre-registration to allow time for revision and additional preliminary research if necessary. Students should retain a copy of the proposal, give a copy to sponsoring professor, and turn one in to English Department Curriculum chair.

  7. All Independent Study requests shall be brought before the Department Curriculum Committee at a regular meeting before being approved by the Chair.

  8. Files of Independent Study applications will be available for review by English Department faculty.