menu
William and Mary
search

Independent Study

Guidelines for GSWS 480 (Independent Study)

Independent Studies are an opportunity to engage in independent research and inquiry in close collaboration with a faculty member. Usually, students only do Independent Studies on topics which are not covered in regular course offerings. Independent Studies can be from 1-3 credits. Students may enroll for up to 6 credits of GSWS 480. All 6 credits can count towards the GSWS major or minor.

How to enroll for an Independent Study:
  1. Decide on a topic: Is there something that particularly interests you that you have not been able to study as part of a formal course? Usually, GSWS 480 will include either interdisciplinary material or interdisciplinary methods, as well as focusing centrally on women, gender and/or sexuality.
  2. Find an adviser: Once you have decided on your topic, you will need to approach an adviser to make sure there is someone who is willing to work with you. Faculty members will not always be available to advise GSWS 480. You can approach one of the GSWS faculty, or a professor in another department who has taught GSWS courses or has a research or teaching interest in the area you are interested in. If you are not sure who you should ask, consult the Director of the GSWS Program.
  3. Complete your application: You will need to include the following:
    • A 2-3 page proposal in which you explain why you want to undertakethis project. You should include what the project will produce (e.g. 3 short papers; a 20 page research paper, an annotated bibliography, etc.) Attach a bibliography and a general outline of the readings and meeting times. Your proposal should include a justification of the number of credits you wish to earn in your Independent Study (for example, number of pages you will write). Proposals must be read and approved by your Independent Study advisor before submission to the GSWS Curriculum Committee
    • A Banner transcript
  4. Submit your application to the GSWS Curriculum Committee: The materials listed above should be submitted to the GSWS Curriculum Committee no later than the end of the semester before the one during which you wish to undertake the Independent Study. The Curriculum Committee will consider your proposal during the exam period, and will notify you of whether or not it has been approved by the end of the exam period.
  5. Register for GSWS 480: If the Curriculum Committee approves your proposal, the Director of the Program will open up a section of GSWS 480 for you and you will be able to go in and register. Remember to register before the end of Add/Drop. GSWS 480 is not automatically a Pass/Fail course. It can be used to satisfy one of the core requirements for the GSWS major or minor.