A student in the Grossman School of Business may decide that a particular subject or area of study is worthy of further investigation and embark on an independent study. These intensive research projects guided by a faculty mentor applies classroom knowledge to a real problem — a skill that makes students attractive to future employers.

How does an independent study fit into my requirements?

In order to make an independent study feasible, students must have completed sufficient course work in the proposed area of study. The amount of credit granted for an independent study is variable depending on the scope of the project. Typically, independent studies range from 1-3 credits, with a 1 credit project involving approximately 45 hours, a 2 credit project involving 90 hours, and a 3 credit project involving 135 hours. A project may cover more than one term. In such instances the designation XC (extended course), rather than incomplete, will be given for the first term of work.

Who should I choose to guide/sponsor my independent study?

You should choose a faculty member who has expertise in your area of investigation and also be willing to supervise the project from planning to completion. But in addition to first obtaining your project supervisor's approval, you must also gain the approval of the Undergraduate Studies Committee (USC). The USC will meet twice per academic year to review plans for independent studies, early-November of the fall semester and mid-April of the spring semester. Your proposal must be approved by your faculty supervisor before it is presented to the USC for review.

Proposals not approved may be revised and resubmitted if resubmission occurs in sufficient time for the USC to perform a second review prior to the end of the semester. Student Services will inform you of USC’s decision and assist you in enrolling in the course. Questions? Contact Student Services, 101 Kalkin, 656-4015, studentservices@bsad.uvm.edu

How do you ensure independent study success?

We have found that the success of an independent study project is related to the amount of advance planning devoted to the project. Thus, it is the student’s responsibility to work closely with a full-time faculty member within the Grossman School of Business to develop a thorough plan for undertaking and completing an independent study. Planning for the project should be initiated in the semester before the independent study takes place.

Get started: Download the independent study form from our forms section

Questions? Talk to the faculty member you're considering as a sponsor and Student Services.