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Department of English

Independent Study in English

Learn more about the guidelines for independent study in English.

Departmental Independent Study Guidelines

1. Proposals must be submitted on or before the announced deadline for submission of independent study proposals; these deadlines typically fall during preregistration for CLA students and at the end of the Add/Drop period for Holt students. In order to provide ample time for the members of the Independent Study Committee and the Department Chair to review proposals, we require at least five business days to complete the review process. Proposals submitted less than five days before the end of the Add/Drop period will be reviewed, but may be subject to late registration fees.

2. Proposals for independent studies that closely replicate courses we offer will not be considered.

3. Students cannot propose independent studies in English unless they have GPAs of 3.0 or higher. Students must submit an unofficial transcript with their proposal.

4. Proposals must be clearly written and pursue substantive areas of study not readily available in our curriculum.

5. Successful proposals will do the following:

  • Offer a clear sense of an intellectual/creative problem or issue and a clearly defined method for exploring that problem or issue
  • Provide concrete objectives of the study
  • Provide specific written and oral outcomes of the course of study
  • Provide a substantive bibliography that reflects current research or thinking on the topic
  • Use clear, precise prose to delineate the student’s interest in (even passion for) the topic

6. Proposals submitted toward honors in the major field must include abstracts of at least 250 words.  Students should consult our department's posted guidelines for pursuing honors in the major.

7. Only full-time faculty in the department can sponsor independent studies. We strongly suggest that students begin consulting with their faculty sponsor well in advance of announced deadlines.

Students can download Independent Study forms through the Office of Student Records.

Sample Proposals

Students may wish to review the following successful proposals as a guideline for creating your own course. 

English 398: The Writer's Discipline

English 398: American Literature, Nature and Art in the Romantic 19th Century

ENG 498: Collaborative Fiction Writing