Independent Study

Student with her poster at the undergraduate research forum

Independent Study offers students an opportunity to expand, enrich, or deepen their understanding of some aspect of anthropology. An independent study can be undertaken as a rigorous extension of classroom work, a course of intensive guided reading on a topic not covered in a regular course, or as a chance to do research.

An independent study is undertaken in cooperation with a faculty mentor, who will assist in shaping and refining the proposal and supervise the actual project. It is the student’s responsibility to find an instructor willing to mentor an independent study.

Independent study courses are not intended to substitute for regular coursework and the proposed study must not duplicate any course available to the student.

There are three types of Independent Study courses available:

  1. Departmental Honors: ATH 480 (1-6 credits)
    • The College offers a program of departmental honors for those students who qualify for the opportunity to engage in independent work in a major field of study under the guidance of a faculty mentor(s). Students who successfully complete such an effort will graduate with "Departmental Honors" notations on their transcripts and under their names in the commencement program.
    • To qualify for entrance into the departmental honors program in Anthropology, a student must be a senior majoring in Anthropology and have a grade point average of at least 3.5 in Anthropology. To be awarded such departmental honors, the student must complete the requirements of the Anthropology Major and maintain a grade point average of at least 3.5 in Anthropology.
    • Qualified students should register for ATH 480 (Readings for Departmental Honors) for a minimum total of 4 credit hours and a maximum total of 6 credit hours. These credits may be taken in one or more semesters of the student's senior year. The approvals of the department chair, program director, and the faculty mentor of the honors work are required for registration. Expectations for these projects are rigorous and demanding and the content of specific honors projects will vary. They might involve independent readings, creative efforts, internships, or research, whether based in the laboratory, field, or library research. The project must result in a tangible product such as an examination, a written report, paper, or monograph, an oral presentation, or a documentary.
    • Departmental Honors in the College may be coordinated and integrated with work for Senior Directed Study in the University Honors Program. A common project may serve both Departmental Honors and University Honors but separate and distinct presentations must be made to the department or program and to the University Honors Program for evaluation to earn both honors notations.
  2. Independent Study/Readings: ATH 177, 277, 377, and 477 (1-5 credits)
    These courses are independent study or readings courses available to undergraduates. Registration for the various numbers is in accordance with the level of instruction. Registration for such courses may not exceed five credit hours per semester or ten credit hours per year, including summer. independent study projects must be approved by an instructor in Anthropology and the Chair of the Department of Anthropology.
  3. Extended Independent Study or Internship: ATH 340 (maximum of 20 credits)
    Extended Independent Study allows for concentration in an internship-type of experience for an entire semester depending on the agreement between student and instructor/supervisor. All extended independent studies must be approved by an instructor in Anthropology; and the Chair of the Department of Anthropology.
    • Independent Study courses are permitted only for students with at least an average of 2.5 in Anthropology courses.
    • An Independent Study course is not permitted in place of an existing course. (Only in the most exceptional cases may this requirement be waived with permission of both the Department Chair and the Chief Departmental Advisor in Anthropology).The student must have already completed basic work in the area.
    • The student must submit a written statement detailing the proposed area of investigation
    • No faculty may supervise more than one student for Independent Study at one time.
    • No more than 6 semester hours of Independent Study and/or 390 courses may count towards the minimum of 36 hours required for the major.
    • Permission of the Instructor is required.
    • Permission of the Department Chair is required.