200.17 - Independent Study of Course

University Group Policy #200.17

Policy Statement

Independent studies are individualized, directed studies taken without classroom instruction. The student is required to plan with the professor an individualized schedule of reading, research, study or other academic activities which results in specified deliverables within the semester for a grade at the end of the course. This policy is written in order to ensure compliance with the regulations of the UNC Board of Governors policy and regulation 700.6.1[R], as it may be amended from time to time.

Guidelines

Expectations concerning student outcomes, assignments, deliverables and contact hours with the instructor should be recorded in a formal syllabus. The independent study syllabus should stipulate the same information that appears on a syllabus for a regular lecture or seminar course (i.e., learning outcomes, effort expected, meetings with the instructor, assignments and due dates, grading information, etc.). The student should meet at least once weekly with the faculty member and is expected to spend another 8 hours per week working on the project for a three semester hour credit course. In the case of variable credit independent studies, the typical expectation will be 2 hours of student work each week for each semester hour of credit in addition to the weekly meeting with the faculty member. At a minimum, three deliverables (papers, projects, exams, productions, etc.) that will be graded are required.

The syllabus should be approved at the departmental level by at least the chair. If the department chair is the instructor then the dean should approve the syllabus. The completed and signed syllabus should be filed in the department office and with the registrar.

The standard course numbering system should be followed for independent study courses so that they can be identified in the course scheduling system. Programs wishing to utilize an independent study should propose a course through Academic Standards and Curriculum. The course description should read:

The independent study in (Course) is individualized study directed by a faculty member and undertaken by a student without regular classroom instruction. The student is required to plan with the professor an individualized schedule of reading, research, study or other academic activities which results in specified graded deliverables within the semester culminating in a grade at the end of the course.

Applicability

This policy applies to faculty and students of Winston-Salem State University.

Compliance

No student may complete more than 9 hours of independent study in completing the undergraduate degree. Honor’s thesis and special topics courses are not included in this maximum.


Responsible Division: Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Authority: Board of Trustees

History:

  • Adopted: September 17, 2015