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What is the course "Independent studies" like?

  1. Aug 15, 2015 #1
    No syllabus anywhere. I assume it's research, but what's it like? The schedule? The workload? Any info appreciated.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 15, 2015 #2
    Since we have no information except the name you've given us, we obviously don't know.
    You should ask an academic advisor/professor responsible for the course.
  4. Aug 15, 2015 #3


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    Science Advisor

    It is pretty much like whatever you and your surpervising professor make it! You and the professor decide what you will be studying, the professors suggests one or more textbooks, journal articles, etc. to use. Usually instead of tests, you talk about what you are learning with your professor so that he can be sure you are fulfilling the "contract" you had agreed to in setting up the course. "Independent" means just what it says! Often the course is graded on a "Pass" "Fail" basis.
  5. Aug 15, 2015 #4


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    Staff Emeritus
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    Education Advisor

    Again, as with other similar types of questions, this is school-specific. You should have asked your Academic Adviser how such a course is conducted at your department!

    "Independent Study" is typically an independent project that you and another faculty member have agreed to. The faculty member will tell you what you need to study and understand, what you need to do, and what the goal is by the end of the course. So this can be ANYTHING that you two want to work on and have agreed to. The work load, and how often you two meet, and how often he/she checks on your progress are something that you two discuss.

    But again, different schools do this with many variations, and different faculty members have different ways of conducting this. This is why you won't get any accurate answer by asking this question in here.


    P.S. I continue to be amazed at how many students do not make full use of their Academic Advisers. Why would you ask these very specific questions to a bunch of strangers on a public forum, rather than the people who should know the intricate details of them, and who, technically, have been paid by your tuition money to answer these very questions?
  6. Aug 15, 2015 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    And the amount of academic credit that you receive probably depends on the amount of work that you and the supervising professor agree will be done. If you're going to receive credit equivalent to a normal lecture course (which might be 3 credits under a semester system), then you should expect to put in as much work as for a full normal lecture course. If you're going to get only 1 credit, the workload should be correspondingly less.

    As Zz said, the details vary from one school to another.
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