Independent Study Opportunities

The Global Studies Program offers qualified students independent study opportunities. Independent study can be valuable for both students and professors.

  • Independent study is available only to Global Studies majors with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better and only for good academic reasons.
  • Students should only submit proposals if there is no existing class within which such a research project could be conducted.
  • It is up to the individual faculty member whether or not to do an independent study course. Faculty are not compensated for independent study courses: this is unpaid overtime. As such, Faculty are encouraged to be discriminating about accepting Independent Study proposals.

Funding for Independent Research

The Wang Center offers annual grants to support students and faculty doing independent research abroad. Check their website for updates and deadlines!

In order to maintain consistency in our curriculum, Global Studies employs the following procedures regarding the creation and approval of independent study courses:

  1. The student poses a question or questions he or she wants to explore; some refinement of the questions takes place with a faculty member who expresses willingness to consider the independent study proposal.
  2. The proposed research topic must fit within the student’s declared concentration.
  3. The student composes a reading list to examine the question; refinement of the list is done in conversation with the faculty member.
  4. The faculty sponsor and the student create a learning agreement that serves as the syllabus/contract for the course. It specifies:
    • The number of credit hours for the course (calculated with the formula of nine hours of work per week for an entire semester for a four-credit course)
    • The defined period for the independent study (may not be an open-ended process.)
    • Dates for regular meetings between the student and faculty sponsor
    • The reading, research, writing, and appropriate other activities to be carried out
    • The explicit method of evaluation and written accountability. (The expectation for a four-credit independent study is the minimum of a 15-20 page paper.)
  5. At any time during the creation of the learning agreement a faculty member may terminate the process if, in her or his judgment, the student does not exhibit the ability, competence and/or commitment to carry through on the independent study and/or lacks the appropriate preparation to undertake the course.
  6. If the faculty member in question accepts the proposal, the student will submit a final copy of the learning agreement and proposal to the chair of Global Studies, who will submit the documents to the Global Studies faculty committee for review.
  7. The chair will notify the student if their proposal has been accepted. The student can then bring the independent study registration card to the chair for signature.
  8. Independent study proposals are due before the beginning of the semester in question.