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Independent Study and Internships

Current matriculated students may arrange independent study and internships in most of the fields of study in the College’s curriculum. To arrange for such courses, students must take the initiative in approaching faculty sponsors and in defining the project. Independent Study undergraduate courses are numbered 591-594 and Internships are numbered 595-598. Both are awarded one to four credits.

The following definitions and policies apply:

Independent Study (numbered 591-594 in the discipline)

Independent Study is defined as an individual library or laboratory research or creative arts project under the direct supervision of a full-time faculty member. All Independent Study courses will be designated as liberal arts and sciences courses.

Internships (numbered 595-598 in the discipline)

Internships are experiences in a work situation that integrate an academic area of study with work experience. Courses designated Internships are individual, non-classroom, extended learning projects. They require an onsite supervisor as well as a full-time faculty member as project sponsor. Internships require a daily log of activities, an assigned reading list or preparation of a relevant bibliography, and a final paper that summarizes the way in which goals were achieved and demonstrates the relationship of academic material to the work done during the internship.

Internship courses are considered non-liberal arts and sciences. Internship students may not receive credit for paid employment unless they demonstrate the relationship of an appropriate body of academic material to the work required in their employment. The policy on individual Internship projects does not govern the regularly established professional internships (e.g., medical technology, communications).

  1. Credit for Independent Study is awarded for study or research outside normal course offerings; credit for Internships is awarded for work experience related to an academic program, not for performing a job.

  2. Students must have at least one introductory course or equivalent experience in an area as a prerequisite to Independent Study and Internships. Independent Study students are required to spend at least three hours of work per week per credit. Internship students are expected to spend at least two hours per week per credit at the on-site location and at least one additional hour per week per credit in reading, study, and preparation.

  3. No more than four credits will be granted for an Independent Study or Internship. Credit will be granted only once for the same or a similar work situation or placement. No more than nine credits of Independent Study and Internship coursework will be accepted toward the 60+ credits required for the associate’s degree; no more than 15 credits of Independent Study and Internship coursework will be accepted toward the 120+ credits for the baccalaureate degree. The nine-and 15-credit limits are the maximum for the combined number of Independent Study and Internship credits. Enrollment in more than four credits of coursework in Independent Study and an Internship in any given semester is not encouraged; permission will be granted only in unusual circumstances. Internships in professional programs may have different limits and requirements.

  4. Students interested in Independent Study or an Internship must make arrangements with a full-time faculty member to sponsor the project. Internship students also require an onsite supervisor to evaluate their project. The individuals involved will sign a contract stipulating the expectations for completion of the course, evaluation criteria, and awarding of credit.

  5. Arrangements for Independent Study and Internships must be made during the semester before the student wishes to enroll in these courses and must be approved by the faculty sponsor, onsite supervisor (where applicable), and the chairperson of the department or coordinator of the program.

  6. For Internships, at least one onsite visit must be made by the faculty sponsor during the semester. At this time, a joint conference with all participants in the project will be held for evaluation. For all Independent Study and Internship students a meeting and an evaluation of progress with the faculty sponsor is expected at least bimonthly. Internships in professional programs may have different limits and requirements.

  7. Independent Study and Internship proposals are kept on file in the Academic Department. Registration for Independent Study and Internship courses must be completed within the first three weeks of the semester.

  8. Independent Study and Internship courses may not be used to satisfy general education requirements for any degree program. Independent Study and Internship courses may be used as electives in fulfillment of core or major requirements only if the application explicitly states that the course may so be used.