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Independent Study

Independent Study Guidelines

PLS and IR 399 and 499

PLS 399 Readings in Political Science
PLS 499 Independent Research
IR 399 Independent Readings
IR 499 Independent Research

1. General guidelines.

Taking an independent study (PLS 399, PLS 499, IR 399 or IR 499) class is a privilege to be granted at the discretion of the faculty. Independent studies are reserved for advanced work with a professor after a student has taken previous coursework in the relevant area of study, to be determined at the discretion of the sponsoring professor. It is possible that professors may offer readings courses open to major/minor students in general, or major/minor students of a certain class standing. Independent studies are not to be taken in duplication of an existing course or based on convenience for a student's schedule.

All independent studies are taken CR/NC (credit or no credit).

PLS major and minor:
Independent studies do not count for the 300-level requirement of the major and minor. Independent studies do not count for the requirement that students take two courses in American politics, one in international relations, one in comparative politics and one in political theory. A total of no more than nine credits of internship and independent study may count toward the major, with no more than six credits in either category. No more than six credits of internship or independent study may count toward the minor.

IR major and minor:
Independent studies do not count for the requirement that students must take one 300-level course in each of these three categories:
A. Economics and Business
B. History and Geography
C. Political Science

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2. Faculty and student have a discussion to identify topic, reading assignments, and type of work to be produced. The normal equivalency would be six books and 25 pages of written work for 3 credits (or 2 books and eight pages of written work per credit), to be determined at instructor's discretion. Reading material includes books, journal articles and other published scholarly materials, with the assortment of assignments to be determined at the discretion of the instructor. Research such as data collection and analysis may be performed in place of some requirements, determined at instructor's discretion.

Student writes independent study plan and emails it to sponsoring faculty for review. Plan includes:

Readings
Assignments
Course program and number (e.g. PLS 399) with number of credits
Student name and G#
Student email address
Semester work is to take place

3. Upon approval of independent study plan, faculty sends email to PLS chair or IR director, CC to department coordinator, attaching plan and noting permission to register. Department coordinator logs plan.

4. PLS Chair or IR director grants override in Banner and notifies student via email of permission to register.

5. Upon completion of plan or before semester grades are due, whichever is sooner, sponsoring faculty emails PLS chair or IR director with grade for course (CR, NC or I). I (incomplete) would be reserved for extraordinary circumstances, not just because the student didn't complete the work in a timely manner. PLS chair or IR director is responsible for entering grade.

Events

Legal and Bioethical Dilemmas Regarding Surrogacy

Legal and Bioethical Dilemmas Regarding Surrogacy

September 28, 2016 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

In the last thirty years, the desire to become a parent has been achieved in many cases through surrogacy, a phenomenon that has become a heated issue of law and bioethics.  The change in families,...

Sri Lanka: the Influence of a Small State Among Superpowers

Sri Lanka: the Influence of a Small State Among Superpowers

October 5, 2016 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

Professor Diven will present her sabbatical research on Sri Lanka, including background on the history and culture of this "Pearl of the Indian Ocean." She will summarize her research into...

Human Rights Film Series: The Good Lie, starring Reese Witherspoon

Human Rights Film Series: The Good Lie, starring Reese Witherspoon

October 13, 2016 6:30 PM

The Good Lie, starring Reese Witherspoon Story of Sudanese refugees adapting to life in the US.  Poignant telling of the aftermath of genocide, immigrant rights, and the sometimes hilarious...

Human Rights Film Series: MacFarland, USA, starring Kevin Costner

Human Rights Film Series: MacFarland, USA, starring Kevin Costner

November 10, 2016 6:30 PM

MacFarland, USA, starring Kevin Costner Costner portrays a Southern California high school coach starting a cross country team for migrant farm workers.  True story. *LIB 100 and 201 approved

Human Rights Film Series: Rango, animated film starring Johnny Depp

Human Rights Film Series: Rango, animated film starring Johnny Depp

December 1, 2016 6:30 PM

Rango, animated film starring Johnny Depp Somewhat light take on environmental rights issues, including the right to water.  Everyone needs a night of animation before final exams. �*LIB...

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News

PLS 325 Winter 2017

PLS 325 Winter 2017

September 19, 2016

PLS 325 Human Rights and Democracy in Russia and the Post-Communist World

Professor Diven Researches and Teaches in Sri Lanka

Professor Diven Researches and Teaches in Sri Lanka

July 18, 2016

As part of her winter 2016 sabbatical project, Professor Polly Diven spent the month of February teaching and researching in Sri Lanka.

International Relations Summer Interns 2016

International Relations Summer Interns 2016

June 28, 2016

Many of our students are pursuing internships this spring/summer at a variety of Grand Rapids, DC, and international placements.

IR Major Khader Jabbar Receives Gilman Award

IR Major Khader Jabbar Receives Gilman Award

June 07, 2016

Khader Jabbar was one of two Grand Valley students who were recently selected to receive the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship

Jiri Aberle Wins Thomas Seykora Award

Jiri Aberle Wins Thomas Seykora Award

June 07, 2016

Congratulations to Jiri Aberle, GVSU IR 2016, who won the Thomas Seykora Award for his "outstanding contribution to the campus community" and excellent academic standing.

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