Guidelines for Independent Study

Independent study courses in Philosophy, Religious Studies, and Interdisciplinary Studies allow highly motivated and disciplined students to pursue an area of study which aligns with an instructor’s area(s) of competence and interest (rather than scheduling convenience), and which is not covered by courses offered by the Department of Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies. While the exact content of an independent study is to be determined by the student in consultation with a faculty member, the student should have a good idea of what she wants to study before approaching a faculty member.

To be approved for an independent study, a student must typically meet all of the following criteria:

  • Philosophy major or minor, Religious Studies minor, or Interdisciplinary Studies major
  • At least junior standing
  • Minimum 3.0 grade point average
  • Obtain written permission from the faculty member with whom the student wishes to study
  • In consultation with the instructor, prepare and submit a proposed plan of study, including:
    • a short statement describing the proposed topic for the independent study
    • a proposed bibliography, listing the materials (books, articles, etc.) to be covered
    • a statement of the written requirements for the independent study (including grading procedures)
    • a statement of the number and duration of proposed meetings between the student and the instructor

Before a course reference number is given to the student, the student must submit a copy of the proposed plan of study, signed by the instructor with whom the student wishes to study, to the Department Chair. The Chair may, at her or his discretion, reject or require alterations in the proposed plan of study to ensure that the requirements for the independent study are consistent with the requirements of other 4000 level courses offered by the Department.

This policy is subject to revision. Please check with the Department of Philosophy and Interdisciplinary Studies for the latest version of this document.