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Independent Study

Independent Study

Students in good academic standing may enroll in courses which involve independent reading or research projects related to their programs of study under the guidance of a full time faculty member. An independent reading course is defined as a course in which a student, by arrangement with an instructor, reads a body of material with a minimum of formal instruction or it can be defined as a course in which a student does research on a topic agreed upon by the student and the instructor, or engages in any mode of education deemed worthy of a student's efforts by the instructor responsible for the course.

Registration in these courses will be during the regular registration period for a semester or any summer session. A student may add one of these courses until the end of add/drop in the fall and spring semesters or until the end of the second week of a summer session.

The course will be registered as COMM-490. Students registered in independent reading courses or study projects may be assigned conventional grades or grades of pass or fail, according to agreement made at the time of registration. If the independent study is counting as a major or minor course, the course must be taken for a grade A-F. Keep in mind that students may count an independent study OR an internship toward their COMM major.

To register an independent study and earn SOC credit, the following steps must be followed. This process is only for independent studies that will have the COMM course prefix.

  1. Decide what you want to do for your project. Often this comes from an interest the student has or a student may want to take a topic covered in a class further in depth than what was covered in the class.
  2. Ask a full time faculty member to supervise your work.
  3. Before registration, the student and the supervising instructor must agree upon and document the title, objective, scope, grade type (letter grade or pass/fail), credit value (1–6), and method of evaluation for the independent study. The assistant dean in SOC must approve the independent study and the instructor’s involvement, ensuring that the independent study does not duplicate a course already in the semester's curriculum.

    To determine the credit value, students must determine how much work will go into the project. Credit value must be between 1 and 6 credits. 1 credit hour equals 40 hours of work over the course of the semester. A 3 credit hour course requires 120 hours of work over the semester or about 8 hours per week.
  4. Student completes two forms – Independent Study Registration Form and SOC Registration Form
  5. Once the student completes both forms, student takes the forms to faculty supervisor for approval and signature.
  6. Student then takes the forms to SOC advisor for approvals and signatures.
  7. Once approvals are obtained, SOC advisor will submit to AU Central for registration.