Introduction and Description
An Independent Study (I.S.) course or an Advanced Studio course is not a regularly scheduled university course, but is arranged, planned and managed by a supervising professor in conjunction with the goals that are proposed by the student. Those plans are then refined and approved by the supervising professor prior to registration.
Note that there is no guarantee that a particular proposal will be accepted for a particular semester. The plan of study must be well-defined, rigorous and focused. A faculty member must be able to supervise and contribue to the success of the studies -- if a faculty member does not have the appropriate background, knowledge or experience for the proposed plan, the plan will not be approved by that faculty. If the faculty's work load is fully obligated for the proposed semester, the plan will not be approved by that faculty.
The student and the professor discuss and propose goals, topics and projects. If and when a course outline is approved by student, faculty and Chair, an agreement is signed committing to and approving the course.
Independent and Advanced Studio courses involve more student self-discipline and a greater sense of direction than do most courses – the student must be willing to plan and execute his/her activities with much less monitoring and without prompting by fellow classmates.
Keep in mind the term “independent” does not mean “not involving a teacher”. Independent more nearly means "independent of regular class meetings." or “independent of other students." It also means “I am responsible for my own work with no one to cover for me…I can’t get by just showing up for class.” If you are self-disciplined and have a sense of your own direction and goals, then an Independent Study course may be a wise option.
If not, think twice.
Each professor will manage and structure Advanced Studio and Independent courses in their own way.
Supervising professors must be willing and able to participate in each I.S. course – the professor's schedule may not allow time for additional responsibilities, thus the student should not assume that a particular course or professor will be available.
It is best to plan and discuss an Advanced Studio or Independent course well ahead of time – usually during the weeks prior to course registration for the following semester.
Make an appointment with a professor to discuss your ideas for a plan of study — consider the topics do you want to learn about, what projects or themes might you work with, what resources might you use?
Find out early if the professor feels he or she can be of help to you. The professor may be able to help you refine and focus your plan, or may direct you to another more qualified professor.
What is an Indep. Study course? | Who can take 475? | How do I sign up? | Sample assignments | Outline of a semester | SEMESTER PLAN TEMPLATE
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