Fei Tian College offers students the opportunity to study individually under the guidance of a supervising instructor through directed and independent study.

Directed study is designed to be a substitute for an established course that is not offered in the semester for which the student wishes to register. In directed study, an instructor closely supervises the student to achieve the same course objectives and cover essentially the same material as that of the regularly scheduled course. Courses taken for directed study will be notated as such on the student’s transcript [e.g., “LAS220A Calculus A (Directed Study)”].

Independent study is an extension of an established course. It allows the student to design and carry out an independent project or study on a topic that is not fully treated in the curriculum. Independent study will be recorded as such on the student’s transcript (e.g., “DAN350 Independent Study in Dance”).

In directed and independent study, the supervising instructor assumes responsibility for coordination of the course, evaluation of student work, and determination of a final grade for the course. All such courses must be taken for a letter grade, and cannot be taken on a Pass/No Pass basis.

Students interested in directed or independent study should consult early with the Office of Academic Services, well in advance of registration. Directed and independent study require substantial planning as well as approvals and availability of appropriate instructors for the intended subject of study. For these reasons, they may not be available to students every semester.

Eligibility for Directed Study

Eligibility for directed study is dependent on having completed any and all prerequisites for the course and, in the case of an elective course, having maintained the requisite cumulative GPA for the degree (at least 2.0 for undergraduate degrees, at least 3.0 for graduate degrees); the GPA requirement is waived if the course is required for the degree (e.g., DAN453 Independent Study in Dance Production).

Course Proposals for Independent Study

Independent study requires a course outline developed by the student in consultation with an appropriate instructor who is willing to supervise the student’s work. Completed course proposals must be submitted to the Office of Academic Services for review in the semester before the intended study takes place. Approval by the appropriate department Chair and the academic advisor is required. Approved outlines will serve as the official course description.

Credit Award Guidelines

  • A directed or independent study course ordinarily carries one to four credits, with a maximum of six credits. One credit requires approximately 30-40 hours of study.
  • No more than two independent study courses and one directed study course can be taken in a single semester.
  • A maximum of 18 credits in directed and/or independent study may be counted toward a student’s requirements for graduation.