Independent Study

Independent Study

Guidelines and Requirements

AAS independent study courses (AAS 4993) are student-driven. They entail the approximate amount of reading and writing that an upper-level seminar would require: 1500-2000 pages over a semester. Most students carry out an academic research project, which involves writing and submitting a 20-page research paper. However, students may propose a creative research project, an applied research project, or a design-based research project with approval of a faculty supervisor.  These various types of research projects are described in the document, Defining Undergraduate Research (from the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Programs), which can be found among the forms collected on the Carter G. Woodson website. Students should decide on their own topic, and then approach an appropriate faculty member to request that s/he direct the independent study. Faculty who supervise independent studies in AAS must be either AAS core or affiliate faculty.

A student must have earned a 3.0 overall GPA in order to qualify to enroll in an independent study.  If a student does not have a 3.0, she or he may petition the AAS Curriculum Committee to enroll, after having obtained the approval from a faculty supervisor.  The petition form is available among the forms assembled on the Carter G. Woodson website.  A filed petition is not to be understood as, or guaranteeing, an approval to enroll in an independent study.

Only one independent study can count toward the AAS major, the AAS minor, or the AS minor and it will count as an elective course.  No independent study can fulfill a distribution requirement for the major.  AAS 4993 cannot fill the 4000-level seminar requirement.

Students are strongly encouraged to obtain approval of the supervising professor prior to the semester when the independent study will begin. The student should obtain the supervisor’s signature on a course action form and submit it to the attention of the Director of Undergraduate Programs, Lisa Shutt.


AAS Independent Study Guidelines




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