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Independent Study

Are you fascinated by an issue in international relations? Have you already taken all of the relevant courses at W&M but still want to know more? An independent study may be ideal for you.


Any student of any major can pursue an independent study (INRL 480) in the International Relations program.

How to Get Started

First, find an International Relations faculty member who is willing to supervise your project. You will meet with this research advisor regularly. Together, you will design a plan for your project. You will fill out the Independent Study form [pdf] and submit it to [[acoake, Amy Oakes]] via email.  This form must be submitted no later than the end of add/drop during the semester in which you intend to carry out your research. Please note that you can use Adobe's Sign & Fill tool to complete the application.

Benefits of Independent Study

An independent study provides you with the opportunity to hone your independent research and analytical skills while you learn more about an issue that interests you. It also allows you to work closely with a faculty supervisor. If you select a 3-credit option, you may use INRL 480 to fulfill your capstone requirement for the major.

What to expect

INRL 480 is a variable credit course--you can take it for 1, 2, or 3 credits. You and your faculty supervisor will determine the appropriate number of credits for your project. You should expect to put in as much work as you would for a regularly scheduled class with the same number of credits. You will be given a letter grade at the end of the semester; pass/fail is not an option for independent study work.