Sociology 501

Procedures for Independent Study

Students interested in doing an independent study with a facultymember of the Sociology Department must follow the guidelines below.Independent Studies will not be conducted for subjects that will betaught in the curriculum by this department or others, regardless ofwhether or not the student will graduate before the course is offeredagain.  Independent studies will be granted on a more favorable basisto students considering graduate school in Sociology. 

Subjects for study should be in an area not taught regularly in thedepartment but in which the proposed faulty member has interest andexpertise.  Independent studies may also allow the student to conductan advanced study of subject the student has already been introduced toin a class taught by the proposed faculty member directing theindependent study. 

1. The student and proposed faculty director should begin discussingthe subject of the independent study no later than the registrationperiod of each term.*

2. After getting tentative approval by the faculty director on thenature and procedures for the course (subject, areas, meeting times,assignments, grading procedure, etc.), students will need to write a1-2 page explanation and justification of the independent study,including all of the issues aforementioned.  Students also need toprepare a bibliography of five to ten written sources that will be thebasis of the study. 

3.  The student will submit the proposal to the faculty director nolater than two weeks prior to the last day of classes in the precedingterm.*   The faculty director can ask for any necessary revisions andthen ask the student to return a copy of the revised course proposal. 

4.  The student should then bring the approved course proposal alongwith the necessary form from the Registrar’s Office to the departmentChair.  The Chair will then evaluate the merits of the independentstudy.  Ultimate approval lies with the Chair who is responsible to theDean for the department’s offerings.

5.  The faculty director will notify the student as to whether ornot the independent study has been accepted.  The student can then askthe department chair, on the first day of class in the term, to sign adrop-add or overload form that will sign him or her up for the course.

*In rare cases, exceptions to the timing may be made with the approval of the faculty director and Chair of the department.

(People) sometimes find it simpler to dismiss all science asritualistic nonsense than to learn statistics or the logic ofscientific research. It is easier to regard all science as bad than tobecome a good scientist.

Earl Babbie
Survey of Research Methods

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