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The purpose of independent studies is for students to perform a study of a subject that is not the focus of a current in-class course. The independent study should compliment, and not replace, work performed in other courses.

It is the responsibility of the student to learn the subject independently. The instructor should guide the student through his or her studies but not “teach” the subject.

The amount of work should be approximately the same as regular courses based upon the number of credits.


  1. Political Economy/International Political Economy Majors and Minors:     
    • Completion of the departmental core requirements
    • Junior or Senior standing or department approval
  2. Students outside of the department (non-majors and minors)     
    • Junior or Senior standing or department approval
    • Adequate background courses related to the subject of the independent study (Approval by department chair)


  1. Before the approval of the independent study by the instructor and department chair, the student must, with guidance from the instructor, create a syllabus for the independent study which should include at least the books to be required, assignments and the times of meetings with the instructor.
  2. The student and instructor should meet at least once a week.


  1. In order to receive academic credit for the independent study, the student must be enrolled in POE 494.
  2. The independent study can be taken for one, two or three credits. The number of credits awarded will be based upon the amount and difficulty of the work to be performed (e.g., ten page paper per credit). The instructor and department chair must approve the number of credits.


Grading for the independent study will be done by the assigned instructor from the department.