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Independent Study

Independent Study Course Offerings

  • LING 395 (Independent Research, 1-4 credits): Students in LING 395 typically work on independent research projects or assist faculty with research projects. May be repeated for credit.
  • 493/494 (Independent Reading, 1-3 credits): Independent Reading course that may be taken for a single semester or sequenced across two semesters. 
  • 495/496 (Honors Independent Reading, 1-3 credits). As above, but intended for students working on an Honors Thesis. 

Independent Research/Directed Reading Guidelines

  • No independent study credit will be granted for work that can be done through a regular course during the same academic term.
  • Students interested in undertaking an independent study should have:
    • the necessary background to work in their interest area.
    • a project that has been well thought out before a prospective sponsor is contacted.
  • To register for an independent study, students should meet with a faculty member to discuss the requirements for credit. Students should then email to obtain permission to enroll, cc-ing the supervising faculty on the message and specifying which independent study number they would like to enroll in (e.g, LING 395, 493/4, 495/6). Students do not need to specify the number of credits they wish to take in the request for permission; they select the number of credits when registering for the independent study. Once permission has been granted to register for the independent study course, the student is responsible for registering before applicable deadlines.
  • Only independent study credits that receive letter grades (A-D) will count toward major or minor requirements.
  • Students are expected to work for 3 hours a week per credit hour selected.
  • Faculty will verify the final outcome of the independent study project by filling out a brief form they receive at the end of the semester.

Sample Guidelines for Work Requirements

  • 1-2 articles or book chapters per week per credit hour; 3 hours per week of lab/research work per credit hour.
  • Faculty and students are expected to have a minimum of three contact hours + 1 per credit hour over the course of the term (example: 10 hours for a 3-credit course; 7 hours for a 2-credit course; 4 hours for a 1 credit course).
  • A final project (annotated bibliography, research report, grammatical analysis, conference presentation etc.) is required.

Information for Faculty Supervisors

The Linguistics Department is grateful to the many faculty members who agree to supervise independent studies in Linguistics! 

  • We request that you familiarize yourself with the expectations above for work requirements associated with different numbers of credits students enroll in. 
  • The Student Services team will reach out to you at the end of the term to fill out a brief survey about the meeting frequency and the work students have completed. 
  • If you have any questions about supervising Linguistics independent studies, please contact