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. English majors must have taken ENGL 295 and at least two upper-level courses in the major. Non-English majors must have taken at least three courses in English or Linguistics, including two at the upper-level.
  2. The subject area of the Individual Study must be appropriate for this department.
  3. The Individual Study must 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.

    Please use the checklist appended below in preparing a proposal.

  5. Faculty undertake Individual Studies only in areas in which these faculty feel appropriately qualified to guide and evaluate student work. Some Individual Studies may require a co-sponsor in another department. 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. For 2023-2024, please email your proposal to Professor Eric Lorentzen. The deadline is the end of the first week of classes (Friday, 5 p.m.).
  7. Individual study projects that have been approved, in final draft, by an ENLI 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.

You can find a helpful checksheet for your individual study application here: Checksheet for Individual Study Proposal.

You can find sample proposals for creative and scholarly individual studies here.

Policy revised: 4/29/08; updated 11/19/09, 4/26/10, 9/10/10, 6/1/19.