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Independent Academic Work

The Independent Academic Work process allows students to register and earn credit for an undergraduate course by undertaking one-on-one meetings with an instructor rather than enrolling in a regularly scheduled section of the course.  This process is typically used when a needed course is not offered during a given semester or when a needed course is not offered at a time that fits a student’s schedule.  This process may also be used when students wish to enroll in a course that is rarely offered. 

Students who wish to enroll in Independent Academic Work must complete the online petition form prior to the end of the registration period for the relevant semester.  Students must meet the eligibility criteria listed below, and the form must be signed and approved by relevant parties.


Eligibility Criteria for Independent Academic Work

Students who petition to enroll in Independent Academic Work must be juniors or seniors with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.5 and are allowed to take no more than two (2) Independent Academic Work courses during a semester.  If a failing grade is received in any course, that course may not be repeated as Independent Academic Work.  All students pursuing Independent Academic Work must receive approval from the department chair and the dean of the college or school in which the requested course is offered.

Exceptions to the Eligibility Criteria

Exceptions to the above restrictions and requirements may be considered by Academic Affairs staff if the petitioning student is a graduating senior, an incoming transfer student at the junior or senior level with no record of a grade point average, or if the Independent Academic Work is part of a Study Abroad or externally funded grant program.  Requests for exceptions must be made in writing to the Office of Academic Affairs (Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs) prior to the end of the add/drop period and, where applicable, prior to the start of a Study Abroad program. If you wish to make an appeal, please use the form "Exception to Eligibility for Independent Academic Work" on the Academic Affairs website


You may watch the below instructional video for step-by-step directions.

  1. Please click this link to read the following instructions. Do not attempt to complete the form without reading the full instructions.
  2. After reading the instructions, you may click through to the new online Independent Study Petition Form by following the link at the bottom of the instruction page

You will need to know the following information in order to complete the form: your student I.D. number, your classification (e.g., junior or senior), your major, your G.P.A., the course name and code--for example, "ENGL 333: Playwriting," the semester and year of the proposed independent study, your instructor's name, and the days and times you will meet with the professor. These meeting days and times may not conflict with other courses on your schedule or other courses the instructor is teaching.

Failure to include your complete name or the complete course information (for example: writing "333" instead of "ENGL 333") will result in the rejection of your petition.

A Note to Graduate Students

Note that this petition form is for use by undergraduate students or graduate students enrolling in undergraduate-level classes (for example, foreign language classes).  Graduate students wishing to enroll in graduate-level classes should contact Assoc. Dean Paul Voos by email ( to discuss the Graduate School's procedures for independent study.