Independent study is a great way to explore your interests in a topic and/or subject matter—not already covered in one of the department’s courses—under the guidance of a faculty member who specializes in the subject are. The process for undertaking an independent study in WGSS is to:
- Identify a WGSS faculty member who is willing to direct the independent study. Faculty tend to be more willing to direct an independent study if the request comes from students who have taken a course with them in the past and have performed well. In addition, faculty are more likely to consider directing independent studies if the topic relates to their own research interests. Note that faculty may be unable to direct the independent study for a variety of personal and professional reasons. If you need assistance identifying a potential independent study director, contact the WGSS Academic Advisor to set up an appointment to discuss your interests and goals.
- Once a faculty member has agreed to direct an independent study, they should either subimit a completed Course Enrollment Permission Form or email to the WGSS Academic Advisor specifying the number of credit hours (1-3) of WGSST 5193 the faculty member feels is justified by the proposed content and assignments.
- Once the independent study approval has been received by the WGSS Academic Advisor, the student will be enrolled in the appropriate credit hours of WGSST 5193 (graded S/U). The independent study director is listed as the instructor for this section of WGSST 5193 and has access to the course through the Faculty Center.
Oftentimes, students utilize independent studies as a preliminary course for pursuing a senior thesis; however, it is important to note that undertaking an independent study does not guarantee approval of an intended senior thesis. Students are encouraged to learn more about the senior thesis process as early as possible and must adhere to Department, College, and/or ASC Honors guidelines and deadlines when considering whether to pursue a senior thesis.