Students may register for an independent study during each semester of the regular academic year. Essential features governing independent study are as follows:

Independent Study Application

  1. Students may apply for independent study through a specific department/program, for which they receive course credit (0.50 or 1.00) and a grade. The credit weight must be decided at the time of application and may not be changed without administrative approval.
  2. Not more than one half of a student’s course load in any one term may be courses of independent study, except with the permission of the associate dean of the faculty. Permission must be secured before the beginning of the term.
  3. Independent study courses must be approved by the faculty supervisor and the appropriate department chair or program director no later than the last day of the drop/add period in any term.
  4. Independent study courses are not offered to students free of charge. Tuition is charged for independent studies according to the established rates whether taken as part of a full-time or part-time course load.
  5. A student who wishes to take an independent study course during a fall or spring semester when not in residence at Colgate must secure the approval of the faculty supervisor, the appropriate department chair, and the Associate Dean of the Faculty before the beginning of the term. Students must also make appropriate arrangements with the registrar's office for independent study courses well in advance of the beginning of the term. Work equivalent to the course credits earned must be completed during the semester in which the credit is received.
  6. Independent study courses are registered according to the level of the course, which usually corresponds to the student’s class level. Sophomores who enroll for independent study courses will normally be registered at the 291 level, juniors at the 391 level, and seniors at the 491 level. First-year students normally do not enroll in independent study courses.
  7. In rare cases, students may take a conventional course independently. This should be done only for compelling reasons, and explicit permission must be received in advance from the faculty supervisor and the appropriate department chair. Students enrolling in such a course will be registered according to the normal course number, to which the suffix Z is appended to indicate that the course is taken independently.
  8. All work for independent study courses must be submitted by the last day of classes in the term to give the faculty supervisor sufficient time to evaluate the student’s performance and submit the final course grade to the university registrar.