School of Education Independent Study

In exceptional cases, independent study (IDS) projects provide alternatives not available through regular course offerings or because of scheduling limitations. Credit for a single independent study project ranges from 1 to 4 credits; no more than 12 independent study credits can be counted toward a degree. 

Financial responsibility: a $275 non-refundable, non-transferable per course Independent Study processing fee applies. Fee does not apply to EdD students. 

  1. To investigate topics not offered in the catalog;
  2. For catalog courses not currently offered;
  3. For catalog courses not available in the student’s geographical area and not offered in the region within three months of the end of the core program or date of request.

IDS Contract Form

Step 1

1) Student consults with academic advisor:

Student should consult with their academic advisor at least a month before the of the term start to discuss options. Items to discuss:

-Reason for IDS

-IDS process

Step 2

2) Student develops an independent study syllabus with the full-time faculty who agrees to oversee the project. 

a) Consultation with the faculty member should occur at least a month before the beginning of the term. 

b) The student and faculty create a comprehensive syllabus with specific course requirements (i.e., the number of meetings, readings, examinations, etc). 

c) Student completes an IDS contract and is responsible for tracking the progress and ensuring that it is approved before the add/drop deadline

IDS Contract Form

*One request per course

Step 3

3) Approval Process

Once the student submits the IDS Contract, it is approved by the following individuals:

  • 1st Approver - Faculty Facilitating IDS
  • 2nd Approver - Department Chair
  • 3rd Approver - Associate Dean of Academic Affairs


Approved contracts are delivered to the Registrar's Office where the IDS course is created in the student-planning portal. Registration for IDS courses is not required. Allow 1-2 weeks for the IDS course to appear in Student Planning Systems.

IDS Deadlines

Independent study contracts must be processed and completed before the add/drop deadline. Preferably before the start of the semester.  It is important to note that IDS contracts take about 2 weeks to process. If a contract is submitted the day before an add/drop deadline, the contract will NOT be processed in time. Please plan in advance. Refer to the academic calendar for specific dates.

Students are responsible for initiating the process, identifying a faculty member that will facilitate and tracking the independent study process.