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.

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: Fall OR Spring: Within two weeks of the first day of classes; Wintersession: the Add/Drop deadline
Exceptions: Student must file an Academic Petition for an exception to the limits or deadline.


1.  Student downloads the ISP Application form.   Save the file as:  ISP.your last name.your first name,  eg. ISP.Duck.Donald.  Instructions for Mac Users

2. Additional Guidelines:  Liberal Arts and Studio Independent Studies.  Review checklists:

Liberal Arts ISP

Studio ISP

3. 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.

4.  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.

5. Student emails the completed application to the ISP Faculty.

6.  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.

7. 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.

8.  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.



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


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.