Independent Study

What is Independent Study?

According to the College Bulletin, independent study "allows a student to pursue an academic interest outside the listed course offerings" under the direction of a faculty member. In the Environmental Studies Department, independent study courses are for studying knowledge previously acquired by others or for developing new skills. Students typically present their work in one or more papers or some other project(s) acceptable to the faculty member supervising the independent study. Independent study is not permitted for subjects covered in regular courses. A student may enroll in an independent study course only when a faculty member is available to supervise the work; this is not guaranteed. Students should be aware that there are often opportunities to study topics of special interest as part of regular course work (for example, course projects).

How do I pursue independent study?

Students who wish to pursue independent study for academic credit must find a faculty member who will agree to supervise an independent study course on the chosen topic. To increase the likelihood of finding a faculty supervisor, students are advised to begin seeking a supervisor during the semester prior to enrolling in the independent study course. The supervising faculty member may be from the Environmental Studies Department or another department. To enroll in the independent study course, a student must complete the form available from the registrar and obtain the supervising faculty member's signature (it is not possible to register on line for independent study). In consultation with the independent study faculty supervisor, the student will choose a brief title for the course that will be included on the student's official transcript. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.00 is required to enroll in independent study. Students who do not meet this criterion may petition the Academic Program and Standards Committee for a waiver of this requirement.

What are the requirements for Independent Study?

Supervising faculty members set the requirements for independent study courses. The time and effort required by the student for successful completion of an independent study course is usually greater than for a typical Dickinson course.Further information and requirements concerning independent study are presented in the College Bulletin.