An independent study provides students with the opportunity to work one-on-one with a faculty member on a particular topic or creative project. Often the idea for an independent study arises in a course; for example, in a seminar on early 20th-century American history, a student may develop an interest in the Harlem Renaissance and ask the instructor to supervise an independent study focused exclusively on this topic during the next semester. Students may also develop creative projects in areas such as, but not limited to, music composition, filmmaking, or fiction writing.
Below is an outline of the process that students follow to set up an independent study. Because the student and the instructor are designing a course, students must begin this process a full semester in advance. Students can refer to the Student Checklist to investigate the planning timeline for these steps:
Generally, the work for an independent study should be comparable to a Gallatin classroom course. The specific format of the work will be determined by the student and the instructor who will evaluate it. They may choose several short papers, or a longer paper written in sections as the work progresses and depending on the nature of the study, video productions, paintings or music productions may be appropriate. The work for the study should be submitted according to the schedule of due dates agreed upon at the outset, and as with a classroom course, late work may be penalized.
Independent studies are may be taken for two, three or four credits. The number of credits is determined by the amount of work to be completed.
Instructors and students must meet for a minimum number of hours per semester: for a 4-credit Independent Study, the minimum number of contact hours is seven (7). . Contact hours for an Independent Study which is less (or more) than 4 credits should be prorated accordingly (e.g., a 2-credit independent study should meet for a minimum of 3.5 hours).
An instructor for a Gallatin Independent Study should be an NYU faculty member. In rare cases a professor from another university or college might be approved to instruct an Independent Study.
While students are encouraged to engage in independent work with University faculty, the Gallatin program is designed for a careful balance between independent and classroom experience. Graduate students may therefore take a maximum of 12 credits of Individualized Projects. This includes any combination of Independent Study, Tutorial, Internship, and Private Lesson credit. If you receive credit for Course Equivalency, this will decrease your allowance of Individualized Project credit and you should check with the Office of Advising to confirm the number of Individualized Project credits remaining.
While independent study provides students with the opportunity to work one-on-one with an instructor, in general long distance independent studies are not permitted.
Students enrolled in another NYU school are generally not permitted to apply for a Gallatin Independent Study. In rare instances a student from another NYU school might be able to take a Gallatin Independent Study. In all cases, students should contact KatheAnn Joseph for more information.
Students are expected to adhere to the proposal submission deadline. The completed independent study proposal consists of:
Students must submit all of the above components by the appropriate semester deadlines.
Instructors for a Gallatin Independent Study should read the Instructor Guidelines.
For further information about independent study, please contact Kathe Ann Joseph in the Gallatin Office of Student Services: (212) 992-9822 or e-mail: email@example.com