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Independent Study

An independent study provides you with the opportunity to dig deeply into an issue or question of interest, and for which there is no equivalent existing class.  Your focus should be on an interest already developed in other course work or on study abroad.  You’ll be able to hone your independent research and analytical skills, and to work closely with a faculty supervisor.

Who?  Any student, IR major or not, can pursue an IR independent study provided that they have a faculty supervisor who is part of IR willing to work with them.  You must meet regularly with your supervisor over the course of the semester.

How?  You and your faculty supervisor should work out a plan for your independent study.  You should fill out the Independent Study form, and turn it in to the IR Office.  A course will be created for you and your supervisor by the Registrar, and you will then be able to register for the course.  This should be done before the end of the add/drop period of the semester during which you will be doing your independent study.

What to expect?  IR 480 is a 1, 2 or 3 credits course.  You should therefore expect to put in as much work as you would for a lecture or seminar course.  The precise form that this work will take will be determined by you in conjunction with your faculty supervisor.  You will be awarded a grade at the end of the semester; there is no pass-fail option for independent study work.

Where does it fit into the major?  You may use your independent study as your Part D capstone course.  Otherwise, (or if you undertake a second independent study), it can count as a Part E elective course.