Independent Studies

The objectives and content of independent study courses are determined in consultation between specially qualified matriculated or exchange students and full-time members of the teaching faculty. Independent study courses allow students to study subject matter not included or not treated in sufficient depth in a regularly offered course. An online Independent Study Form is available.

Supervised Teaching/Teaching Assistant

Effective fall 2019, supervised teaching experiences will no longer be considered an independent study course. These 390 courses can be found listed in the Course Description Course Schedule (CDCS).

Beginning fall 2019, students will register for supervised teaching credit through online registration or the add/drop paper process. Please note that students are not allowed to earn teaching assistant credit for the same course more than once.

Independent Studies Course Numbers and Titles

391 Independent Study
392 Practicum
394 Internship (see Internships for Credit)
395 Research

The student and instructor determine which course title is most appropriate. The title, limited to 28 character (including spaces), is listed on the Independent Studies Form. This title will appear on the transcript as the official title of the course. If students do not submit a title, the course title will be determined by the number of the course as listed above.


  1. Students complete the Independent Studies Form with the instructor with whom they arranged the course.
  2. Submit the Independent Study Form by the appropriate deadline:
    1. Four-credit courses: The end of the third week of classes
    2. Three-credit courses: The end of the fifth week of classes
    3. Two-credit courses: The end of the seventh week of classes
  3. If any questions are raised in the dean’s review of the proposed course, the student will be contacted promptly and will expected to reply as quickly as possible.
  4. The student is registered for the course.**

*Students majoring in biology or one of the biological sciences tracks who want to take an Independent Research course (395) need to complete a supplementary form before submitting the College’s form. See the biology 395 course page for more information.

**Independent studies courses are never listed on the registration form or on a drop/add form.

Upper-Level Writing and Independent Studies

Students looking to use an independent study to fulfill an upper-level writing requirement will need to make appropriate arrangements with their major department.

Instructor Eligibility

The person who supervises the project must be a full-time member of the teaching faculty, or a visiting or adjunct faculty member designated by the department chair as qualified to do so.

Students are allowed to take no more than eight credits of independent studies courses with the same instructor unless approved by the instructor's department chair, which is normally granted for senior honors projects approved by the department chair.

Four-Credit Limitations

Faculty rules restrict students to one four-credit independent studies course per semester. Students can request a second independent study in the same semester through a petition to the Administrative Committee.

Students are limited to no more than four credits of Supervised Teaching (390) in the same course.

Instructor Refusal

Note: Faculty are within their rights to decline to supervise students if registration comes too late after the beginning of classes. Similarly, any request for an exception to the policies noted above can be denied. Therefore, students should begin their planning early.

Faculty are not required to supervise independent studies courses and can refuse any requests.