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Academic Policies

Independent Study Policy

Independent studies in ALC are available in either culture (ASIAN 499) or language (ASIANLAN 499). They can be taken for variable credit (1-4) depending on the size and scope of the student's proposed plan. Both ASIAN 499 and ASIANLAN 499 qualify for graduate and undergraduate credit. 

Independent study courses are intended for students who:

  • have exhausted course offerings in the field at UM;
  • are interested in specialized topics not regularly offered as part of the department's curriculum.

Independent studies may be requested from ALC tenured/tenure-track faculty; students should not be supervised by graduate students or lecturers.

In addition, faculty on leave should not normally supervise independent studies, nor should they supervise students on subjects that fall well outside of their areas of specialization, or on subjects covered by regular course offerings in the department or other programs/units.

Eligibility for an Independent Study

In order to be considered for an independent study, a student has usually:

  • identified a faculty member who has agreed to supervise and evaluate the student's work; 
  • completed prerequisite coursework or research needed to appropriately embark on the independent study; 
  • reached sophomore standing or higher;
  • proposed study in an area that is not accommodated elsewhere in the curriculum (at least within the student's current remaining time at UM); 
  • drafted a detailed syllabus with the identified independent study supervisor, which includes all readings, texts, assignments, and expectations/goals of the study. 

Minimum Requirements for an Independent Study

Specific requirements for an independent study will be set up by the supervising faculty member but, in general, students registering for an ASIAN/ASIANLAN 499 may be expected to:

  • work a minimum of three (3) hours per week per credit hour enrolled; 
  • read thirty (30) pages/1-2 articles or book chapters per week per credit hour enrolled; 
  • produce a final substantial project that summarizes the value of information obtained through the independent study;
  • over the course of the term, meet face-to-face with the faculty supervisor for a minimum of three (3) hours per credit hour enrolled.

An independent study proposal form can be found on our website here. Questions regarding the independent study policy or proposal process can be directed to the ALC Student Services Assistant.

Proposal forms are due no later than the second week of classes in the term in which the student wishes to enroll.

Proposals should be submitted to the ALC Student Services Office in 4111 South Thayer Building. Approval is granted by the ALC Curriculum Chair; approval generally takes 2-4 business days. Once approval is granted, the student will be notified via email and issued an override to enroll in ASIAN/ASIANLAN 499.

Waitlist Policy

All Department of Asian Languages and Cultures (ALC) courses have electronic waitlists of 99 on Wolverine Access. Students interested in taking an ALC course that has filled should add their name to the appropriate waitlist online.

From the first day of registration until the last business day before the first day of classes, the option of “Batch Permissions” will be utilized on Wolverine Access. This will automatically issue overrides to students when a spot opens up in a course. Additionally, a staff member from ALC will monitor enrollments regularly. Students with a declared ALC major or minor may be given preference in regard to overrides, but otherwise they will be issued according to waitlist order. 

When classes are not in session, the expiration date of an override from a waitlist will be seven days (including weekends). Overrides issued during the semester will expire in two days (including weekends).  If the student does not accept the override within that time, then the next eligible student on the waitlist will be issued one.  Please note that if waitlisted students do not use their overrides in time, they are automatically dropped from the waitlist and must re-add themselves to be eligible for an override at a later date.

On the first day of class, “Batch Permissions” will be turned off for all ASIANLAN courses; overrides for ASIANLAN courses will then not be issued without the consent of the instructor of the course. The “Batch Permissions” feature will be turned off for all ASIAN courses at the end of the second week of classes. At this time, waitlisted students should seek out the instructor for permission into the course. In all instances, instructors have final authority on whether overrides are issued.

Students seeking an override in person from an instructor may come to suite 4111 in the South Thayer Building to get an override form and return it, with the proper information and signatures, to the Curriculum Assistant.

Students Should Be Advised of the Following:

Registration on an ALC waitlist does not guarantee that A) the student will be given an override into the class at any time, or B) the first person on the waitlist will be the first person offered an override, since preference may be given to students who have declared an ALC major or minor.

Students can only waitlist for one section of a particular course. In other words, if there are multiple discussion sections for a lecture/discussion course, the student must waitlist for the discussion section s/he prefers most.

Some ALC courses are not required by LSA to have waitlists when registration begins because of controlled enrollment. In those cases, waitlists will not be created until the class fills completely. At that point, the above policy will be followed. 

* ALC Independent Study Proposal Form.pdf
Independent Study Proposal Form