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.

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