College of Communication > Academics > Graduate Programs > Independent Study

Independent Study

Independent study offers the above average student with substantial training in a communication subspecialty the opportunity to individually shape a course of study with a faculty expert. An independent study is not a substitute for regular curricular offerings, a way around requirements or a schedule alternative for students unwilling to accommodate the timetable of a needed course. Independent study is an avenue for continued learning if a student possesses the initiative and discipline to both structure and pursue a course of study on fairly independent terms.

If you are interested in conducting an independent study, please consult with your program director before proceeding.

Independent Study Policy

  • Student must have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above in their graduate coursework.
  • Student must have completed a minimum of six courses in their graduate program.
  • Student must obtain a faculty sponsor who is willing to serve as a resource person and evaluator in accordance with proposal guidelines. Please note that only full-time faculty are eligible to serve as independent study mentors.
  • Student must manifest the characteristics of initiative, discipline, independence and persistence that makes successful accomplishment of the independent study seem likely.
  • Student must meet deadlines, keep appointments, complete assignments/projects as agreed in the proposal. Substantial abbreviation of the timetable, which results in superficial study, will be unacceptable and cause for appropriate action by the faculty advisor. The student agrees to work independently, thus it is not the faculty member’s responsibility to follow-up with the student to receive timely work.

Student must submit an independent study request form and an independent study proposal that will contain as a minimum the following provisions:

  • Title of the independent study course
  • Description of the course
  • Rational for study (why the “independent” dimension is required)
  • Projected resources, bibliography of readings, films, tapes, etc.
  • Assignments/projects envisioned
  • Timetable: this should include in specific terms the number and dates of student/faculty meetings and deadlines for assignments
  • Evaluation criteria (what criteria will be used to evaluate your performance?)

This proposal will serve as the course syllabus and it can be referred to in cases of grade challenges. Only changes mutually agreeable to student and instructor are permissible and then such arrangements must be in place in writing and signed by both parties.

The form must be signed and approved by your faculty advisor and graduate program director before being submitted. If approved, you will be registered for the appropriate independent study course (CMNS 592, HTHC 592, JOUR 592, MCS 592, PRAD 592).

Please submit your signed, completed independent study form and proposal to:

College of Communication
Graduate Independent Studies
14 E. Jackson Blvd., Suite 1814

Independent Study Form/Proposal Submission Deadlines:

For a Fall quarter independent study: September 1
For a Winter quarter independent study: December 15
For a Spring quarter independent study: March 15
For a Summer quarter independent study: June 1