Independent study is a course taught independently to one student. Not all courses in the catalog are approved for independent study. Under certain conditions and circumstances, students may be approved to take a course through independent study. Convenience or the desire to graduate early is not considered valid reasons. Approval is at the discretion of the school Dean. Students who believe that they have a justifiable reason for an independent study should submit their request well in advance of the anticipated start date because processing time for review is six (6) to eight (8) weeks.
To be considered eligible to apply, ALL of the following conditions must be met:
- The course must be approved for independent study
- The student must be formally evaluated by the Office of the Registrar
- The student must have completed 13.5 quarter units in residence with a GPA of 3.0 or higher.
- The student must have no grades of "Incomplete" at time of application
- The student must have no more than one other independent study at the current degree level
- The student must have a current account balance, i.e., the balance should not exceed the current month’s tuition. Note: This requirement can be waived if the student has an approved financial aid packet in the Financial Aid Office or an approved military/company reimbursement plan on file in the Student Accounts Office.
If a required class is cancelled and not available either onsite or online for at least four months, students may request special consideration to waive the above requirements. Students should submit the e-form with their advisor's assistance (see below) and notate this information.
Students taking an independent study course are expected to meet all of the course competencies and are evaluated according to criteria similar to those employed in normal offerings of the course (i.e., written examination and/or a substantive, interpretive research paper).
If students meet all of the above conditions, they should take the following steps:
- See an Admissions Advisor and request that an independent study request, available as an e-Form, be submitted.
- The e-Form must include justification of the special circumstances that necessitate an independent study.
If the department chair or school Dean approves the independent study, the Office of Academic Services adds the class to the student's schedule. The school will notify the instructor and the student of the scheduled class dates.
Work on the independent study cannot begin until the student and the instructor have been placed in the scheduled course and notified of the class dates. Students who are not approved for an independent study are notified by the school via e-mail.
If an instructor submits a grade of "Incomplete," the instructor must also notate the date when the grade of "I" is entered. "Incomplete" grades that are not removed before the time limit become permanent grades of "F" or "U" as appropriate for the course. Standard tuition charges apply to independent study classes.