An independent study course provides students with an opportunity to participate in a faculty-directed research program or to pursue an independent project. Students interested in pursuing independent studies should discuss the possibility with the professor they wish to work with usually during the preceding semester. Prior to registration, students must consult with a faculty member to develop a list of research duties and responsibilities and the number of hours/week that the student will spend on the project. The expectation is 3 hours per week per credit. The course number is PSY 591, 592, 593, or 594, representing the number of credits. So PSY 594 is worth 4 credits, for 12 hours/week across 15 weeks. Prior to registration for the course, the student and supervising professor must complete an Independent Studies form in which the duties, time frame, and output is specified.
There usually are no formal “class meetings” because each faculty member may only have one or two students. “Lab meetings” of independent studies students (to discuss on-going research) are common in most labs and are scheduled at times when there is overlap in schedule for the participating independent studies students.
There is a maximum to the number of credits a student can take as IS or internship/fieldwork or honors. Students are allowed to take 15 credits total for all these courses; a maximum of 4 independent study credits a semester. One of the IS counts toward the elective requirements.