Independent Study

You may, at some point in your undergraduate career, wish to pursue a narrowly defined subject in more depth than is possible within a single course in the curriculum, or an instructor may suggest that you pursue in more depth a topic which you have brought up in class. For those situations, members of the faculty may be willing to supervise you in an Independent Study in Political Science (POL 277, 377 or 477, depending on your class standing based on earned credit hours). NOTE: POL477N is used for the Inside Washington Program and is not repeatable.

When you want to engage in supervised independent study, you should prepare a proposed course of study and present it to a faculty member who specializes in the area of your proposed study. The faculty member, if he or she is able to undertake supervision of your independent study that semester, will suggest additions and modifications to your proposal and working with you will establish a schedule of meetings for discussing your ongoing independent study.

Independent Studies in Political Science are subject to the following regulations:

  1. You must have a GPA of at least 3.0 in at least 15 semester hours of Political Science courses and be a Political Science, Diplomacy and Global Politics, Public Administration, or Public Health: Health Policy and Administration major.
  2. You must have completed basis work in an area before you propose to do independent study in some extended facet of an area.
  3. The proposed independent study must not cover the same material as an existing course.
  4. You must prepare a written proposal for your Independent Study in Political Science before securing the professor’s consent to supervise your project.
  5. You will need both the instructor’s and the Department Chair’s signatures on a university Independent Study Form (PDF).
  6. You must submit a written presentation (paper or examination) in order to receive credit for an independent study.
  7. POL 277, 377 or 477 are variable credit (1-4 semester hrs.; maximum total of 12 semester hrs.). You may not take more than 4 semester hours of Independent Study in Political Science in any one semester nor count more than 4 semester hours in Independent Study toward the major.
  8. No faculty member may supervise more than three students in Independent Studies per semester.


updated: 5/28/2020