All programs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences that offer regular courses may create these independent offerings for undergraduate students such as the following:
- Independent study courses. A faculty member and an undergraduate student together negotiate a course of study that can be completed in a single semester.
- Independent research courses. A faculty member supervises an undergraduate's independent research project.
- Independent reading courses. An undergraduate student completes an approved set of readings under the supervision of a faculty member.
- Independent creative project courses.
- An undergraduate proposes and completes a creative project supervised by a faculty member.
Practica, capstone courses, internships, Guided Independent Study (GIS) courses, Senior Thesis, Honors Thesis, and Honors Project hours are not considered undergraduate independent study courses and do not require an independent study contract. Independent study contracts are required for all other independent undergraduate courses.
CLAS students may include no more than 9 s.h. of independent study, independent research, independent readings, or independent creative/project courses in the minimum 120 semester hours required for graduation.
The student must initiate the independent study contract in workflow: https://workflow.uiowa.edu/form/clas-independent-study. It will then be routed to the faculty supervisor for the independent study and to the DEO or DUS of the department that offers the course. CLAS UP will also be included in the workflow routing in a view only capacity.
CLAS Independent Study Policies
Unless granted a specific exception by the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, departments must comply with the following policies:
- Only undergraduate students in good standing may enroll in an independent study course.
- Faculty (tenure-track, clinical-track, instructional-track, or visiting) at the rank of assistant professor or higher may supervise independent study courses.
- Teaching assistants are not allowed to teach or assist in teaching independent studies.
- CLAS students may include no more than 9 s.h. of independent study, independent research, independent readings, or independent creative/project courses in the minimum 120 semester hours required for graduation. Practica, capstone courses, internships, GIS (Guided Independent Study) courses, and Honors Thesis and Honors Project hours are not considered independent study courses and are not included in the 9 s.h. limit.
- Hours earned through any independent study offering count toward the CLAS limit of 56 s.h. from one department that may be applied toward the minimum 120 s.h. required for graduation.
- Credit hours earned for an independent study must meet the UI credit hour guidelines.
- The content of the independent study should focus on a project proposed by the student under the guidance of an instructor.
- The content of an independent study course may not duplicate a course offered or a requirement for a major or other program of study. Rather, the independent study gives a student a chance to explore an interest not covered in the curriculum.
- Likewise, an independent study should not be used for tutoring a student or for offering other remedial instruction.
- The CLAS independent study workflow should be used. The workflow contract must specify the content of the independent study and how the student's course grade will be assessed. The department must keep all contracts on file.
- If the student is completing an independent study in a department in which they are not a major, a copy of the contract should be sent to the student's advisor in the student's home department.
- An independent study does not require a course evaluation or syllabus.
- For questions about policies and procedures concerning a graduate student independent study, please see this policy webpage.