Independent Study in English


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Important Considerations for Students and Faculty

English Department independent study courses are intended for students who want to undertake supervised reading or writing projects which are within the discipline of English but not available through regular course offerings.

Ordinarily these projects are arranged between tenure-line faculty and students who know each other and who share an interest in the topic to be studied. (Graduate Teaching Assistants and Lecturers are not usually eligible to oversee Independent Studies.) Generally speaking, the course system is the most efficient use of the department’s resources and the most educationally sound learning environment for students.


  1. Once you have a general idea about what you would like to study, you may pick up an Independent Study Contract Form from the Undergraduate Advising Office, 201 Andrews or download the form from the website. If you are in doubt about what professor(s) to approach about supervising your project, talk with the Major Advisor about the possibilities. Be sure to check the English Department’s Course Description booklet to make sure that your project is not part of a course already being offered.
  2. Draft a description of your project to show the professor(s) you ask to supervise your work. Bring this to the professor, and together revise it and work out the exact details of what you will read and the writing and other projects you will do. The proposal should justify the level and amount of credit you are requesting.
  3. When your proposal has been finalized, e-mail it to your professor, who will then e-mail notice of their approval to the Undergraduate Advising Office. The Major Advisor will review the form, doublecheck the credit hour designation and the appropriate course number/level, and give you the call number. Please note that without your professor's approval you will not be able to register for the course even if you have the call number.
  4. Once your professor submits their approval and your receive a call number, you may register for the independent study as you would for any other course.

Independent Study Contract Form