Independent study

The objective of an independent study is to provide students an opportunity to pursue a topic of their interest with in depth supervision of a faculty member.


  • An independent study is designed to accommodate exceptional cases and advanced students.
  • Each credit of independent study should be roughly equivalent to 56 hours of work (based on the model of one hour per week of contact time and three hours of additional work in a 14 week semester). The ratio of contact time to independent work is decided by the instructor.
  • An independent study can be one credit or more, however the typical independent study is three credit hours. A student should have completed at least 40% of their program before taking an independent study and have a GPA of 3.0 or better.  All current MIS faculty – full time or part time – are eligible to work with students on an independent study.
  • MIS students typically get approved to apply three credits of independent study towards graduation, all approved MIS independent studies count as an MIS elective.
  • On a case-by-case basis students may petition their respective program chair to apply more than three credits of independent study towards graduation. Approval for such petitions is rare and will only be granted to truly exceptional students and circumstances. A petition will only be considered if it is submitted before the student registers for more than three credits of independent study.
  • Employment work may be incorporated into the independent study plan. No more than 30% of the requirements may be met through the employment contributing to the planned goals of the independent study. The employment may not be retroactively applied for an independent study and approval for incorporation of the employment as an independent study component is required.


  1. The student should approach a suitable faculty member for supervision.  After obtaining consent from the faculty member the student should complete the independent study form. (Note: faculty members are not obligated to take on an independent study with a student.)
  2. The employment contribution to the independent study must be approved by an on-site supervisor. The employment as independent study form must be completed by the student and signed by an on-site supervisor to be submitted together with the independent study form before the employment experience can be applied towards the independent study.
  3. The form (s) should be submitted to the Senior Program Specialist, he will verify that all the information is accurate.  The forms (s) are then submitted to the MIS department chair for final approval.  Upon completion of all the form (s) the Senior Program Specialist will register the student. Each semester, all independent study students may be required to do a public department-wide presentation on their work. This requirement is over and above the specific requirements set by your supervisor.
  4. Upon approval from the faculty member and the department chair, undergraduate students will be registered for MIS 3582/3682 and graduate students will be registered for MIS 5182.  (Note MIS 3582/3682 is the same course – the different course numbers are used to differentiate the independent study sections across different semesters).


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