What is Independent study: Definition and 38 Discussions

Independent study is a form of education offered by many high schools, colleges, and other educational institutions. It is sometimes referred to as directed study, and is an educational activity undertaken by an individual with little to no supervision. Typically a student and professor or teacher agree upon a topic for the student to research with guidance from the instructor for an agreed upon amount of credits. Independent studies provide a way for well-motivated students to pursue a topic of interest that does not necessarily fit into a traditional academic curriculum. They are a way for students to learn specialized material or gain research experience.Independent studies provide students opportunities to explore their interests deeper and make important decisions about how and where they will direct their talents in the future. Another way to understand independent study is to understand learning from a distance. Learning from a distance is a theory in which the student is at a physical or a mental distance from his or her teacher. The student and the teacher are connected by something such as a worksheet, an essay, or through a website on the internet.

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  1. K

    Admissions Independent Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Math exams

    My daughter (14 years old) is considering to be an independent learner for her high school so that she can pursue her other (serious) interest in sports. Whereas she is focused on her sport, she also wants to study in a flexible environment, the basic sciences and math in both of which she is...
  2. J

    Admissions Masters Thesis vs. Non-Thesis vs. Independent Study

    I am interested in pursuing a masters in electrical engineering at a non-top tier university (UTD). As I understand it, the masters thesis option at most universities is the main priority, as they are job openings that need to be filled. Then the masters non-thesis students are used to fill in...
  3. icesalmon

    Independent study for linear algebra

    Hello, I just completed a first course in linear algebra and really enjoyed my studies. So much so that I want to pursue it more in the fall as an independent study, i am a EE major in college and was curious what directions might be useful for applications in that field.
  4. C

    Independent study for lab work

    Hi everybody, I'm a second semester physics major who was fortunate enough to get a position in a research group at my school. What I want to do is get a head start on learning the physics that this lab studies. Currently, I'm in the honors section of basic E & M and I do well in class, not...
  5. Dewgale

    Discrete Independent Study of Discrete Mathematics

    Hi all, Due to a scheduling conflict at my university I can't take Discrete Math, and it's a pre-requisite for all of the math courses I want to take next year. Any recommendations on which textbooks I ought to use to independently study the subject? Thanks!
  6. neosoul

    Schools Independent Study as Preparation for Grad School

    PF Family, I love my undergraduate institution. However, our physics department is very small and has a very small faculty. Also, although many are listed on the webpage, we only have one physics elective, "Intro to Astronomy", which I am not very interested in. I've been thinking about...
  7. B

    How to do mathematics research as undergraduate?

    Dear Physics Forum friends, I am a college sophomore in US with double majors in mathematics and microbiology. My algorithmic biology research got me passionate about the number theory and analysis, and I have been pursuing a mathematics major starting on this Spring semester. I have been...
  8. metapuff

    Which Is Better for Grad School Prep: Independent Study or Research in Physics?

    Hey guys, I'm an undergrad looking to do hep-th / mathematical physics in grad school, and have a free summer to kill. I have two options: a) Independent studies in QFT and GR. b) Research in hep-ph that won't be very mathematical, but will probably lead to a paper. If you were in my position...
  9. R

    Maximize Success in Independent Study Calculus: Tips from Experienced Students

    Has anyone been through independent study calculus course ( DE through a university out of Utah)? I really miss the aspect of having an instructor but I do enjoy being able to focus on the aspects that I am not great at while passing over things that I've already learned. I would really like to...
  10. B

    Tensor calculus independent study questions?

    I'm a mathematics major and up until now I've taken Calc 1,2,3 (so single + multivariable) a combined course in Elementary Linear Algebra + Differential Equations and PDE's. My school doesn't offer any tensor calculus classes, but I was interested in learning some of it on my own. Do I have...
  11. A

    Independent Study: What is next?

    Hello everyone, I am new to these forums, so if this question is in the wrong place, I will relocate it. Long story short, my school has no real physics department anymore, but I have an insatiable appetite for it. I was wondering what the next course in a physics sequence would be after...
  12. TheDemx27

    Independent Study Ideas: Physics and Programming

    I have the option for independent study at school, and I am open to any ideas for projects either pertaining to physics or programming. (I've thought about making a web bot.) Anything is helpful.
  13. M

    Independent Study: MIT OCW-Based Relativity/ Special Relativity

    Hi, I am a Junior in high school and if I can, I would like to do Independent Study next year based on either the OCW for http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/physics/8-20-introduction-to-special-relativity-january-iap-2005/ or 8.033 - Relativity. I wanted to know if they most likely would be possible for...
  14. F

    Physics-based independent Study Ideas?

    Hello, I am currently in high school and I recently got the opportunity to do an independent study with one of my teachers and I am struggling to come up with what to study. I have taken calculus 1, 2, and 3, differential equations (with a bit of linear algebra), and calculus-based mechanics and...
  15. TheDemx27

    Independent Study High Energy - Particle Physics

    Hello! I, like many others, am interested in studying physics on my own as my school doesn't offer any kind of physics for ninth graders. (The tenth grade physics class isn't very in depth either; I took part of it in 8th grade). I have exhausted what Khan Academy has to offer, and I am...
  16. D

    Courses Suggestions on independent study courses/book choices? Real analysis, fourier, ?

    Hey, I was wondering if you guys could offer any course guidance on independent studies I could try to take my senior year. I have some ideas, but I was wondering whether you guys could give me any recommendations/book recommendations. My background: I initially wanted to go into a more...
  17. N

    Spivak or LA this Summer? [independent study]

    I have taken Calc 1 (computational) and Discrete Math (low-rigor proofs), and am currently taking Calc 2 (calc is a 2 semester course at my school), in the Fall I will take Vector Cal (mostly computational), probability (mostly computational), and LA (supposed to transition students to the rigor...
  18. P

    Exploring Advanced Topics in Mathematics: Fractals and Non-Euclidean Geometry

    Hello, I was wondering if anyone had any good ideas on a topic or course that I could take next Fall as an independent study? I will be taking Number Theory this summer and Real Analysis, Abstract Algebra and either Numerical Analysis or Complex Analysis next Fall.I spoke to one of my...
  19. N

    Independent study for Freshman/Sophomore?

    Has anyone heard of an independent study for freshman/sophomore students for physics/engineering majors? What are your perspectives on it? Is it too early? Or is it a good to have? I ask because I spoke to one of the faculty members about it-- and he replied that it is too early. He wasn't...
  20. 0

    Time spent doing independent study as an undergraduate

    Hi all, this thread is mainly aimed at postgrads. I'm doing my undergrad degree in theoretical physics, my question is this; how many hours of independent study did you do while an undergrad? I've been getting good scores so far, but have only been averaging about an hour a day outside contact...
  21. B

    R or bayes for independent study?

    i'm an undergrad in stats, and next semester is my last. I'm doing an independent study next semester, and am unsure of what would be more beneficial for me: a class in R, or bayes. i would like to do bayes, and I'm decent on computers with limited programming experience, so I'm not too worried...
  22. B

    Is Independent Study Just as Good?

    Hey everyone! Unfortunately, I made myself a great mistake by taking a course in Ethics over the summer, and I felt as if I hardly learned anything at all because the course was paced too quickly for me to handle, which is why I passed it with a "C." I wanted to see if I could possibly...
  23. F

    What Is the Best Way to Structure My Self-Study in Physics?

    I have always had a passing interest in physics, but would like to strengthen my knowledge of physics. I am looking for a good sequence of topics to begin my studies and work through physics content. I had a basic physics course in college, but would probably need to refresh my knowledge. So...
  24. T

    Independent Study, What Should I Study?

    I have the chance to do an independent study on CS this semester, and I'm here for suggestions. Since it's only high school, and the teacher has no CS knowledge, I can get away with studying anything from learning a library and making a small project with it to working on my hobby kernel. The...
  25. I

    Complex Inequality Expression (Independent Study)

    While this is not technically an assignment for any particular class (that I'm aware of, at least), I think the nature of this problem makes it suitable for this forum. Please, inform me if I should direct my question elsewhere. Find x>3 such that ln(x)<x^0.1 (hint: The number is "huge")...
  26. D

    Learning Physics from A to A<sub>n</sub> through independent study.

    Okay, so I have a fair amount of knowledge in mathematics, through calculus, and I want to study physics independently. I was told that I should start with classical mechanics. Is that right, and if so, where should I go from there. What are good books to learn from. I apologize if this is a...
  27. L

    What to do about a bad independent study?

    So I am taking a 1 credit independent study with a relatively new assistant professor who I am pretty sure only took me on to get a +1 on the his number of undergrads count and doesn't really have any time to advice me in anything or guide me. Ostensibly I am working on an experiment he's is...
  28. F

    Learning Math through Independent study

    Is it possible? Most of the resources I find are geared toward college class situations. I do not want to learn how to learn with a lecturer. Is there anything online free that can teach and quiz without acting as a supplement for an expensive course or school setting?
  29. H

    C++ Independent Study for Research Position Advice

    Hey, I go to the University of Rochester, and I am currently entering my sophomore year as a physics major. Speaking to one of the physics department's staff members at the school, I was able to set up a research position with one of the professors in the astrophysics department. In order for...
  30. K

    Needing ideas for my independent study

    hello guys, am new to pf. am a post graduate student of university of glamorgan, studing geographical information system. am currently doing an idependent study on the monitoring of glaciers using remote sensing.am trying to do an analysis(ndsi- normalised difference snow and ice index) on some...
  31. M

    Research and Independent Study

    Hi everyone, I've finished the first week of my summer research internship, and I think I desperately need help. I very naively had thought I had "mastered" the art of learning after repeatedly raking in high marks in my courses, but now I feel like I'm completely out of my league and...
  32. Q

    Book for Independent Study in Modern, Thermal, or Mathematical Physics?

    I'm looking to do a guided independent study course at my college next term; the college doesn't offer physics beyond the introductory calculus-based sequence, which I've completed, and I'm not yet ready to transfer. The physics major sequence at the school to which I intend to transfer...
  33. E

    Qestion regarding independent study

    qestion regarding independent study! Hi everybody! Next semester i am taking the university physics 203 along with linear algebra and differential equation. In the physics class we are studying basic optics, thermodynamics, waves, introductory relativity, and basic modern physics. Although...
  34. T

    Good Texts for Independent Study

    Hello. I was wondeirng if anyone knew any good textbooks on Differential Geometry for independent study, at an undergraduate level. Thanks a bunch! -Tim
  35. E

    Independent Study: What Goes Into It?

    What goes into an independent study? I need to take one this summer to take a math course that isn't offered then, but I'm not really certain what it involves. Do I study on my own and show up periodically to take exams? Or do I receive one on one instruction from a professor for a few hours a week?
  36. T

    Independent study on Logarithms

    I'm in grade 11 and I have to do an independent study on Logarithms. I need a problem or puzzle that I will solve after learning logarithms. I was wondering if someone had an example of a really good use of logarithms (i.e. something made a lot easy by the use of logarithms).
  37. R

    Advice on Advanced Calculus Textbooks for Independent Study

    Hello I want to buy a somewhat advanced calculus textbook to independently study from. The text doesn't need to be too pure and rigorous, but it should be more so than an engineering math text would be because I want to eventually get into theoretical physics, and I don't want to find out...