Academic Planning: Independent Studies and Internships (Exclude EUSA)

Independent Study may include (but is not limited to) service learning programs, research projects, internships, and volunteer programs abroad that do not offer an official transcript upon completion. If the accredited institution you are considering abroad will issue an official transcript for academic credit earned through the program, it is NOT an Independent Study. If this is the case, contact Rebecca Hambleton at to work on pursuing a general study abroad program.


If you will not receive an official transcript for academic credit from an accredited institution abroad, then you are considered to be doing an Independent Study.  You will need to work closely with a GVSU faculty supervisor and contact Elena Selezneva at to arrange for GVSU credit.  Because the credits you will be receiving are considered GVSU courses, you will be receiving a letter grade for your independent study/ internship abroad.  


Now that you've determined which degree requirements you would like to fulfill abroad, here's what you need to do next: (If not, click here)


Step 1: Identify a Faculty Supervisor

Identify a GVSU professor to supervise your independent study and issue credits. Either your current academic adviser and/or department head is a good place to start making inquiries. The GVSU supervisor will usually ask to see your independent study description and information on your placement site. Arrange to meet early so that you can discuss your plans, arrange for coursework and credits, or find another supervisor if necessary.


Step 2: Complete Faculty Supervisory Form

After you've met with a faculty supervisor and decided which credits you will be receiving, please complete a Faculty Supervisory Form.


Step 3: Set Up an Appointment with Elena Selezneva (

Make sure that you bring all information about your independent study to this meeting. Also remember to bring faculty form(s) signed by your advisor(s), as well as a course syllabus. This meeting is required for all students pursuing Independent Study abroad.  It serves to ensure the validity of your chosen program as well as verify proper documentation for GVSU approval of your course of study. 


Step 4: Register for Courses

After you have identified a faculty supervisor and figured out what credits you will be receiving abroad, you may register for the appropriate independent study course on myBanner.  Tuition will be charged by GVSU.


For more detailed information please see Independent Study Guide.


Page last modified November 6, 2013