Independent Study, Fieldwork, and Research in H&S
Students in H&S can undertake independent work to pursue an academic topic in greater depth than the coverage of the topic in a class, or else to pursue original research either in the field, in archives, or in the laboratory. These independent study, fieldwork, and research opportunities are offered for credit through specific H&S departments and programs (consult the course catalog for details).
An independent study is a for-credit course option in which students can engage in formal, academic study, under the guidance of a faculty sponsor, to explore topics that are not covered in the regular curriculum; in other words, this option may not be used in lieu of enrolling in a regularly offered course. Typically, an independent study requires students to produce a substantial work, often a written paper, as the final product that will be evaluated for a grade.
Fieldwork and research is a for-credit course option in which students design and execute an academic research project that takes them to archives for primary sources, into the field, or into the laboratory. Students are expected to conduct this research independently, with guidance from a faculty sponsor. Typically, fieldwork and research courses require students to produce a substantial paper or report on the outcomes of the research.
Independent study, fieldwork, and research course options require approval in advance. Students must submit a design statement and application form (available in Word format) for approval before the semester in which the courses will be undertaken. For fall/spring semester enrollment, a grace period is extended to students: applications can be submitted at the start of the semester but no later than the published deadline of the semester in which the work will be carried out (see sidebar for deadlines). Because the approval process requires input and signatures from the faculty sponsor, the student’s advisor, the chair of the faculty sponsor’s department, and the associate dean, students are advised to begin the application process well in advance. In addition, students enrolled in degree programs in other Schools at IC must get the signature of their Dean prior to submitting the application to the H&S Dean's office. Late applications will not be accepted. Once the Independent Study has been approved, the Dean's office insures that students are registered in the appropriate section. Note that in order for registration to take place, students must not have any holds on their student account; we recommend that students resolve any issues that may affect their registration before submitting an Independent Study/Fieldwork proposal.
Students may also enroll in for-credit independent study, fieldwork, or research options during winter and summer sessions. For these opportunities, students must also submit a design statement and application to the Associate Dean in H&S no later than the published deadline for H&S (see sidebar). For winter/summer session enrollment, no grace period is extended; students must submit applications to the H&S Dean’s office by the Add/Drop deadline determined by the Office of Extended Studies (607-274-3143).
For more information, contact the H&S Dean’s Office (607-274-3102).