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Independent Study Research

Independent study research is a rigorous academic experience equivalent to courses of the same number of credits. Independent study course (NSCI 4910) provide the opportunity to individualize research study or explore a topic in greater depth than available in a regular course.  Independent studies may not provide credit for paid work or activities outside your degree program. Independent Study can only be registered by the department program coordinator and can only be registered to individual schedules during the Fall and Spring semesters. 
Independent study research is flexible and the product is a high-quality written document.  Independent studies may not duplicate or be the same as a regular course.   
Advanced planning is essential. An independent study course is carefully planned by the student in consultation with the advisor and faculty with expertise in the topic of study.  The independent study course must include a course description, three objectives, defined plan of study and product, and grading rubric for assessment.
Faculty Responsibilities and Oversight:  Full time faculty oversee all independent studies courses.  The student’s advisor is responsible for determining if a proposed independent study course fits within the program competencies and appropriate planning has taken place. 
Independent study research is conducted under the supervision of a neuroscience faculty who has expertise in the area.  The student and faculty instructor design the independent study for in-depth study of a topic and outline it with specific course objectives, plan for the study, expectations for the amount of work and final written document and development of a rubric for assessment of the independent study course.  
Credits:  Independent studies may be up to 3 credits (one, two or three credits) – may not be more than 3 credits. (NOTE: after 6 credits of NSCI 4910,students must sign up for NSCI 4920: S/Ucredit)
Level of effort: The independent study must meet the same level of rigor and effort as a regular course.  Effort and time correspond to that of a regular course with the same number of credits.  Each credit awarded represents:

1 credit  –  Study/Research time must be 3 to 4 hours a week.
2 credits – Study/Research time must be 5 to 9 hours a week.
3 credits – Study/Research time must be 10 to 12 hours, at the least, a week.
Meeting Schedule:  The student meets regularly with the independent study instructor (every two weeks suggested) during semester. Meetings may be virtual (phone call, zoom, other technology) if the student and instructor are not in the same place. The meetings are for guidance, critical discussion, and demonstration of progress throughout the semester.
Final Product:  The student will produce a high-quality written paper at the end of the independent study.  The content, depth, length and other details are defined prior to the initiation of the independent study. There may also be other products as a presentation, or other outcomes.
Grading: The instructor will provide the student with a grading rubric for the expected products that provides guidance on the expectations for the achievement during the special studies. Independent studies papers and other products are graded comparable to regular courses using the normal grading scale. As with all courses, the Independent study must be completed within one semester.  Failure to complete the independent study will result in an F.

To Register

Fill out the independent study form with your NSCI lab advisor. Once completed and signed by both you and your NSCI lab advisor email it to the Neuroscience program coordinator, Jana Whipple.

Once the program coordinator receives the form, she will process it and register you for independent study (NSCI 4910 or 4920). Once you are registered, you will receive an email from Jana Whipple, notifying you that your independent study research has been added to your schedule.

For any questions or concerns email Jana Whipple.