Independent Study Policy & Guidelines
Independent Study is an opportunity for students to earn academic credit for learning outside the formal class structure, under the individual direction of a faculty member. Independent Study is provided to fill an academic need of importance to the student that cannot be filled by the regular curriculum.
Students wishing to pursue an Independent Study with a College of Engineering and Applied Science faculty member (including Herbst Program faculty) must complete the following steps:
1. Meet with the proposed Sponsoring Faculty Member to discuss an Independent Study proposal and review the potential project and deliverables.
2. Complete the Independent Study Agreement form. Include a complete description of the project, procedure and deliverables, minimum of 250 words. Use of complete sentences and proper grammar is expected.
3. Upon submission of this electronic form, your proposal will be reviewed by the appropriate parties. If enrolled, it is your responsibility to discuss with your academic advisor how this Independent Study course will apply towards degree requirements.
- The College allows a maximum of 6 hours of Independent Study degree credit towards the BS, but major departments may be more restrictive. A maximum of 3 hours may be taken in any one semester. Prior written approval, via the College’s Independent Study Agreement, is required prior to any initiation of course work.
- For an undergraduate student to be eligible for Independent Study, a student should have completed a significant portion of his/her undergraduate studies with a very good GPA, and must have some relevant background knowledge and/or experience.
- Independent study work cannot exceed 25% of the course work requirement for master's degree students.
- Although the Graduate School prescribes no limit on independent study for doctoral students, major departments may be more restrictive.
- Graduate level independent study may not be used as an avenue for allowing students to take undergraduate courses in the major department. The department may require a student to take undergraduate major courses as a means of making up deficiencies, but the student should be informed that credits generated in these courses may not be counted in the minimum number required for the degree, but are included in the cumulative GPA.
- The student is required to complete and sign an Independent Study Agreement. The Independent Study Agreement must be approved and signed by the professor directing it, and by that professor’s departmental Independent Study Coordinator. University policy states that only faculty members may sponsor Independent Study.
- CCHE policy states that a minimum of 25 hours of work-time on the part of the student is required for each 1 semester hour of Independent Study credit.
- Independent Study is to be enrolled for in the same timeframe as all other courses.
- Independent Study credit will be granted upon satisfactory completion of the project requirements as defined in the Independent Study Agreement.
University rules do not normally allow Independent Study credit for internship experiences, work-study or hourly pay work done in departments, or for work also compensated by a salary
How to Enroll
The Independent Study may not be done retroactively. That is, the agreement for Independent Study is to be completed, signed, and approved by all parties prior to the initiation of the project, and no later than one week prior to the end of the registration period.
Completion of the Independent Study Agreement form does not constitute enrollment in the course.
Following the review and approval of the Independent Study Agreement by the appropriate parties, the student will be enrolled into the Independent Study course. Students are responsible for making sure registration holds and scheduling issues are resolved so enrollment in an approved Independent Study can occur successfully. Students should check BuffPortal after 10 days of receiving the completed Independent Study Agreement signed by all parties, and if for some reason the student is still not enrolled in the course after that timeframe, the student should follow up with the Sponsoring Faculty Member’s Department.