The purpose of independent study is to allow students to get academic credit for lab or library research experiences. With the help of our faculty, students propose a research question that can be addressed with laboratory experimentation or with an analysis of the existing literature or data sets. A list of past independent study projects demonstrates the range of possibilities. Students are expected to help plan the work, collect and analyze data, and write up the results of the work. At a minimum, the paper should explain the rationale for the work, review the literature, describe the methods and results, and discuss the meaning of the findings. 25 hours of work is required for each hour of academic credit given. See the Information Videos page for more details.
Finding the right lab to work in can be challenging. We currently have over 2000 majors and 25 active laboratories. The first step is to go to the departmental website and check out the various labs. The lab websites are listed on the research page. Also, more information about ways to get involved in research are described on the undergraduate research page.
Many of the labs have pre-requisites in terms of course work and/or time commitments so be sure to check those carefully. If you qualify, contact the person listed on the website.
Begin by downloading the form:
Next, fill out the form with input from your faculty advisor, and then have Dr. Sherwood sign the form. Be sure to read the information sheet provided. The departmental staff will enroll you. Be sure to get the form in before the add deadline.