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Independent Study 496 Approval Form

The basic operating principle is that a student might pursue formal independent study in cases where faculty knowledge or expertise exists in a particular area but for which there is no regularly-scheduled course. Independent study, in other words, is an opportunity to pursue areas not covered by the standard course offerings or to pursue topics covered in standard courses in greater depth. Independent study should not be a substitute for regular courses. Furthermore, it should not be used to circumvent class size limits or the residency requirement for the major.

Students interested in pursuing independent study should do some preliminary thinking to come up with a specific topic, issue, or question to be examined. Next, they should discuss their ideas with professors whose areas of knowledge and expertise overlap with the tentative independent study topic. This discussion often serves better to refine and focus the topic. Independent study, in other words, is an opportunity to pursue areas not covered by the standard course offerings or to pursue topics covered in standard courses in greater depth. Independent study should not be a substitute for regular courses.

Be aware that professors are not required to take on independent study projects. Most do, but many professors have their own guidelines (e.g., student must have already taken a class from that professor). Also, students should regard an independent study course as being at least as demanding as a regular one and allocate the necessary resources of time and energy to it. If a professor agrees to supervise an independent study project, then s/he and the student will normally work out a specific plan of readings, papers, meetings for discussions, and/or other course work and a general standard for evaluating that work.

Instructions
Use this form to register for independent study courses administered through Weaver Building office. Be sure that you have filled in the blanks completely and accurately before submitting it. Incomplete or inaccurate applications cannot be processed.

Important: You must secure the approval of a suitable faculty member to serve as course instructor before submitting this form.

A copy of this form will be sent to that faculty member for confirmation of approval. You will not be registered for the course until this confirmation is received. Also note that as a general rule, independent study is an opportunity to pursue areas not covered by the standard course offerings or to pursue topics covered in standard courses in greater depth. Independent study should not be a substitute for regular courses.

Student Information
This is your Penn State issued ID number, NOT your social security number (SSN)
Faculty Supervisor Approval Information
Have you discussed this study proposal with a faculty member and secured his or her approval for it?


Course Information
For which course do you intend to enroll?
Check only one





Enter the course number and name, on on each line in the box below.
Include exam or paper due dates if applicable.
Semester in which the course will be taken




(Format: YYYY)
Note:
A mutually agreed upon form of regular contact should be maintained between the student and the supervising instructor during the course of this independent study; initiating and maintaining this contact is the student’s responsibility.

After verifying the accuracy of this information, submit it to the Undergraduate Administrative Specialist using the "Submit" button below. The supervising faculty member listed above will receive a copy of the information in this form, and final acceptance and registration is subject to that faculty member's approval.

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