To register an independent study that counts toward credit at the School of Communication, you must follow the steps below. Please note that this process is only for independent studies undertaken through the School of Communication (the COMM course prefix). Independent studies through other schools at American University may follow other procedures.
- Decide on an area of concentration for your project. This may derive from a strong interest you hold, or perhaps you want to explore a course topic in more depth than what was covered in class.
- Ask a full-time faculty member to supervise your work.
- With your supervising instructor, document the title, objective, scope, grade type (letter grade or Pass/Fail), credit value (1 to 6 credits), and method of evaluation for your independent study. The assistant dean in the School of Communication must approve the independent study and your instructor’s involvement, ensuring that the independent study does not duplicate a course already in the school’s curriculum. To determine the credit value, you must determine how much work will go into your project. Credit value must be between 1 and 6 credits. 1 credit hour equals 40 hours of work over the course of the semester, so for example, a 3-credit-hour course would require 120 hours of work over the semester, or about 8 hours per week. Graduate students should submit the SOC Independent Study Contract before moving on to step 4.
- Submit the American University Independent Study Registration form.
- Once approvals are obtained, your academic advisor will submit the forms to AU Central for you to be registered for credit for your independent study.