Independent Study

Independent Studies are courses designed for self-reliant and motivated students to pursue intellectual inquiry outside of regularly scheduled course offerings. These are to be supervised by faculty members, generally involving substantial, close student-faculty interactions. Each course shall be initiated on an individual basis between a student and a faculty member. Enrollment shall be through courses numbered 197, 297 (lower division), 397 (upper division), or 597 (graduate) in the respective department, and must be accompanied by a completed independent study contract.

Specifications

  1. Advanced planning is essential. There should be some evidence that the student’s background is adequate for the proposed study. 
  2. The independent study contract must be completed, signed and submitted to the Office of the Registrar by the respective 2- or 4-unit deadline of the appropriate semester. 
  3. Sophomore, junior, and senior students may enroll in one independent study per semester. Freshmen interested in enrolling in an independent study must submit a petition for special consideration to the Office of the Registrar for approval. 
  4. Students are required to have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or better. 
  5. An independent study course cannot be used to satisfy Core requirements. 
  6. All independent study courses are two units except those that meet the requirements below (#7). Requirements for a two-unit independent study:
    1. The contract must include a reading list or equivalent, along with the requirements to be met before a grade can be assigned. 
    2. The contract requires the signature of the instructor, and the approval of the Student Progress Committee. 
    3. The course will be graded CR/NC. If used for a major/minor and justified on the Independent Study form, a letter grade may be issued. 
    4. If a major/minor has been declared and the department has accepted the independent study as meeting a requirement within that major/minor, the course will be assigned a letter grade. 
    5. A course already graded CR/NC may not be used to satisfy major/minor requirements. Petitions for retroactively changing CR/NC grades will not be approved. 
  7. Four-unit independent study courses are to be taken only for fulfillment of approved major/minor requirements. Requirements for a four-unit independent study:
    1. Application for the course must be submitted prior to the end of the previous semester to allow time for approval. 
    2. The student must have a declared major/minor recorded in the Office of the Registrar prior to enrolling in the independent study.
    3. The course must be used within the major/minor to meet a requirement approved by the department.
    4. The contract must include a reading list or equivalent, along with the requirements to be met before a grade can be assigned. 
    5. The contract requires the signature of the instructor and the chair of the department, and the approval of the Student Progress Committee. 
    6. A four-unit independent study will be assigned a letter grade. No CR/NC grades will be allowed. 
  8. A maximum of eight units of independent study courses may be applied toward graduation. Exceptions may be made only for students admitted to the College Honors Program.

It is expected that students will satisfy Core, foreign language, and academic major/minor course requirements through regularly scheduled courses.