An “independent study” is a three-credit course option designed to allow for further study beyond topics in our regular curriculum. This could be either to go into more detail about a topic you encountered in one of your previous English courses or to explore something that we don’t regularly teach at the undergraduate level. 

An independent study course must be done under the supervision of a full-time member of the English faculty. It is intended for advanced students only. You should expect the workload of a regular 400-level course, or more. Independent study is not an opportunity to satisfy program requirements the easy way. In fact, independent study typically only works well when the student and faculty member set forth clear expectations of the work involved, establish and adhere to a regular meeting schedule, and set a deadline for completion of written work.

Requirements for Undergraduate Independent Study

  • A one-page proposal with bibliography should be written by the student and approved by her faculty sponsor
  • The student must have a GPA of at least 3.25
  • The student must be a junior or a senior.

It is up to the student to arrange for an independent study with an English instructor. Talking to instructors you’ve previously had a course from is your best bet. Have some idea of what you’d like to do before approaching the instructor to ask about independent study. Once the instructor agrees to work with you on an independent study course, you’ll need to get a special permission number from the English department secretary in order to enroll.