Independent Study Registration Information

The Independent Study Project (ISP) allows students to supplement the established curriculum by completing a faculty supervised project for credit in a specific area of interest. Its purpose is to meet individual student needs by providing an alternative to regularly-offered courses.

For the Independent Study Appplication, please click here (pdf) or here (Word).

 For any Liberal Arts Independent Studies, please refer to the additional checklist here.

Instructions for using the Independent Study Form (pdf) on a Mac computer/laptop.  Click here to download Adobe Reader if you do not have it already.
-Click on the Independent Study Application Form
-Go to bottom right hand corner of form, click the save icon. Name the file as your last name.first name.
-Go to Finder on your Mac, locate the file. (By default Mac saves to the download folder).
-Single click on the file to select it; go up to the top of the Finder page
-Click on the gear icon; select “Open With”, and choose Adobe Reader.
You will now be able to edit and save the form and send it on to your faculty so that they can read, edit and send it on to your department head and and dean.

STEPS TO COMPLETING THE APPLICATION

• Student downloads the ISP Application form from the Registrar’s website (www.risd.edu/registrar).  Saves the file as (SAVES AS) ISP.your last name.your first name, eg.ISP.Duck, Donald.

• Student requests the assistance of a faculty member with appropriate interests and competencies to serve as ISP Faculty.  If student needs help identifying someone who might serve as ISP Faculty, contacts the Department Head of the department in which he/she wishes to do the ISP or student’s faculty advisor.

• Student prepares project proposal in consultation with ISP Faculty.  Some departments may have specific guidelines for the project proposal, so ask your prospective ISP Faculty. For example, ISPs for Liberal Arts must involve the same amount of work found in a regular Liberal Arts course.

• Student emails the completed application to ISP Faculty.

• ISP Faculty saves the application to his/her computer. If in agreement, the ISP Faculty will type in his/her name and email it to student’s Department Head (named on the application form) as an attachment.

• Department Head verifies student’s GPA. If the proposal needs to be amended, the student is contacted. If approved, student’s Department Head types in his/her name and emails application to Division Dean if for major credit. OR emails application to Department Head of department granting credit if ISP is for non-major studio or Liberal Arts credit.

• If approved, Department Head of department granting credit types in his/her name and emails the application to Division Dean of division granting credit. If the proposal needs to be amended, the student is contacted.

• Once approved by the Dean of the credit granting division, the division assistant checks for faculty contractual limits and processes for registration.

STUDENT

Eligibility:

  • Sophomore or higher
  • Cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or greater

Limits:

  • 3 credits per course
  • 9 credits of Independent Study (ISP) and/or Collaborative Study (CSP) maximum toward undergraduate degree

Deadline:

Approval for an ISP/CSP must be submitted to the Registrar by the drop/add deadline of each respective semester.   See the Academic Calendar for these dates.

In order to meet this deadline, students are encouraged to meet with their chosen tutor as soon as they know they desire an ISP/CSP, preferably before the start of the term.

Exceptions:

Student must file an Academic Petition for an exception to the limits or deadline.

ISP FACULTY

Limits:

No more than a total of 5 ISP/CSP/Graduate Thesis Committees per academic year; no more than 3 per semester.

Responsibilties:

In agreeing to supervise an independent study project you are commiting to:

(1) Ensuring that the educational merit of the project will meet the standard of what is expected of a comparable 3-credit course.

(2) Ensuring the feasibility of a satisfactory and timely completion of the project, in light of the student’s overall course load for the semester and your other obligations.

(3) Establishing with the student the agreed-upon schedule and manner of meetings for the semester.

(4) Establishing with the student the agreed-upon requirements (a series of small projects/papers, one big project/paper, form of research, etc.).

(5) If needed, helping the student to complete every part of the application form and ensure that all the required information is provided on the form and its attachments before typing in your name and emailing the form and attachments to the student’s Department Head. Incomplete applications will be returned for completion.

(6) Submitting a final grade on Webadvisor at the end of the term. If satisfactory progress is not being made by mid-term, submitting a mid-term warning for the student.