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Guidelines for Independent Study

An Independent Study (IS) project is a course taken with faculty supervision for knowledge enhancement beyond the courses offered in a particular area of interest. In rare cases, when scheduling or other conflicts exist, a regular course may be taken as an IS as directed by the Academic Program Chair.

Eligibility

Undergraduate

  • Students in bachelor’s degree programs who have completed at least 60 semester hours of academic work may request to take a course through IS.
  • IS projects may be used in the in the Areas of Study and General Distribution area and may be used to enhance courses in the major.
  • Students may apply up to 12 semester hours of IS projects toward the bachelor’s degree.

Graduate Level

Students in master’s degree programs of 30 hours or more may apply up to 6 semester hours of IS projects toward the master’s degree.

Requirements

  1. IS projects must be submitted to Program Chair or Assistant Chair and approved by Program Chair and Associate Dean for Academic & Student Affairs before work begins.
  2. An instructor must be designated by the Program Chair or Assistant Chair and approved by the Associate Dean. The student will be notified when the subject matter and the instructor have been approved.
  3. The student must submit a written learning contract detailing the expectations and requirements for the completed IS project, including the number of credits to be earned and a time-line for completion agreed upon with the instructor member before the work begins. Consult a sample IS request and learning contract as a model.
  4. The student must submit the IS request (top portion) for course review and approval 4 weeks before the start of the semester and the registration process must be completed by the regular registration deadline. Payment for the course is due by the end of the first week of classes.
  5. Students are expected to meet at least weekly with the instructor. Students should expect to spend at least the same amount of time for an IS project as for a standard course.
  6. Supervising instructor must teach within the program sponsoring the IS, and must have appropriate expertise in the area.

All approvals must be received prior to registering and beginning work on an IS project.

Application

Complete the IS Request (top portion) of the IS Request & Learning Contract Form (Word .docx) and send it to your chair or assistant chair to discuss your request. Submit to the program chair at least 4 weeks before the start of the semester. Include the following:

  • Name and UR ID
  • Proposed instructor to supervise IS (discuss with chair/assistant chair if unsure)
  • Proposed title of the IS project and semester hours
  • Rationale statement for the project

Once approved by chair or assistant chair, consult with the supervising instructor to complete the Learning Contract (bottom portion) of the IS Request & Learning Contract Form (Word .docx). Submit the entire form to the program chair at least 2 weeks before the start of the semester. Registration must be completed by the regular registration deadline.

Failure to submit a complete IS Request & Learning Contract form for approval as required will result in cancellation or rejection of the IS project. Do not begin work on the IS project until final confirmation of learning contract is received.

Contact Us

Special Programs Building
490 Westhampton Way
Univ. of Richmond, VA 23173
Phone: (804) 289-8133
Fax: (804) 289-8138
spcs@richmond.edu

Monday-Friday: 8:30am–5pm
Closed for University holidays