Individual Study Guidelines

  1. Individual Studies are open only to juniors and seniors and are intended to allow more advanced or specialized work by well-prepared and highly motivated students. CDS majors must have taken COMM 340 and at least one upper-level course in the major. Non-CDS majors, Digital Studies minors, and Journalism minors must have taken at least three courses in Communication or Digital Studies, including two at the upper-level.
  2. The subject area of the Individual Study should be appropriate for this department.
  3. The Individual Study should not duplicate a course that is listed in the catalog or a special topics course that is offered in the same semester as the proposed Individual Study.
  4. With advice from the sponsoring faculty, the student develops a description of the project, including a statement of objectives and list of activities that will fulfill these objectives. The work must merit 3 credits. The following information must be provided:
    • motivation and preparation for undertaking the Individual Study, including a description of previous course work that is relevant to the proposed area of study and that prepares the student to undertake the study;
    • a reading list of appropriate primary and/or secondary sources;
    • a schedule of conferences between student and faculty (at least once every two weeks), indicating anticipated subject of discussion and hence progress in the study;
    • a detailed listing of the substantial oral and/or written work to be performed by the student, with a focus toward a central project;
    • a weighting system for assignments.
  5. Faculty undertake Individual Studies only in areas in which they feel appropriately qualified to guide and evaluate student work. Full-time faculty will undertake no more than three Individual Studies per semester, unless approved by the Department Chair. Adjunct faculty will not ordinarily take on Individual Studies and may not supervise more than one Individual Study student per year unless additional financial compensation is provided.
  6. Completed individual study proposals should be emailed to the department chair by Wednesday of the first week of class. 
  7. Individual study projects that have been approved, in final draft, by a CDS faculty sponsor will be approved, although changes or additions may be requested. Please do not sign up for an additional course unless you intend to keep both it and the individual study. The individual study form can be found here.