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Directed Study is defined as the study of a prescribed course content in which the student, usually due to schedule conflict, is unable to attend the scheduled class session.

  1. A student interested in a Directed Study should initially consult with his/her academic advisor.
  2. Introductory courses and courses offered every semester are not available as a Directed Study except by special permission of the Dean of Arts and Sciences.
  3. Students may register for Directed Study (limited by the availability and willingness of the faculty to supervise such study) during any regular registration period in the academic calendar (a semester, an EDP session, summer terms).
  4. Students may register for a maximum of four (4) courses by Directed Study, with only one (1) Directed Study being undertaken in any registration period. Any exceptions must be by special permission of the Dean of Arts and Sciences.
  5. The faculty member who normally teaches the course will be the director-tutor. The original syllabus of the course will be followed.
  6. The minimum student contact with the instructor will be five (5) hours per semester hour credit.
  7. A Directed Study must be approved by the chair of the department in which the student is doing the study, the chair of the student’s major department, the director-tutor, and the Dean of Arts and Sciences.

Independent Study

Independent Study is defined as the combined study, research, learning, and reporting that is done independently by a student on an agreed upon topic with a professor who will be the student’s supervisor and resource person. In Independent Study the student must delineate the topic, the direction(s), the depth to be explored, the various ramifications and limits, and the method and amount of reporting; and these factors must be agreed upon by all parties concerned (including the Dean of Arts and Sciences) before the study is officially approved. The Independent Study must be approved by the chair of the department in which the student is doing the study and by the chair of the student’s major department. A particular Independent Study shall last for only one semester, and any extension of time may be granted upon the consensus of the two chairs, the supervising professor, and the Dean of Arts and Sciences. The grade (Pass/Fail or letter grade) to be received for an Independent Study shall be decided prior to the formal beginning of the work. The grade is awarded by the supervising professor.


  1. A faculty member may direct a maximum of three independent studies (including Individualized Major Program students) in addition to normal teaching load. Any exceptions must be approved by the Dean of Arts and Sciences, Any reduction or exception of a faculty member’s normal teaching load must be approved by the Dean of Arts and Sciences prior to these assignments.
  2. Ordinarily, a student may enroll in only one three-hour independent study each semester.
  3. A student may enroll in an independent study only if he has an overall grade point average of 2.0 or better.
  4. First-term freshmen may not enroll in independent studies.

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