Independent study provides students with the opportunity to work one-on-one with an instructor 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 music composition, filmmaking, or fiction writing. In general long distance independent studies (where the student or the instructor is not able to meet regularly) are not permitted.
If you are interested in conducting an independent study, you must first:
- Generate a basic idea: a problem or a question, a time period, a literary genre, a natural phenomenon, a philosophical theme, or a creative skill.
- Identify an appropriate instructor: your academic or Gallatin class adviser, a member of Gallatin or NYU faculty and with special approval you may also work with professionals outside of NYU.
- Contact the prospective instructor to propose the study and to discuss the plans for the work.
Designing an Independent Study
- Before registering for an independent study, the student must agree on the aim, content and work to be submitted with the instructor and secure the approval of the student’s faculty adviser and the Associate Dean.
- 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.
- 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. Students therefore may register for no more than 8 credits per semester in any combination of independent study and/or tutorial.
- 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.
Procedure for Undergraduate Students
- Thoroughly review the Proposal Design Guidelines.
- Fill out the proposal form, attach the required components and secure the approvals of the instructor and academic adviser.
- Submit the completed proposal to Kathe Ann Joseph in Gallatin's Student Services office (1 Washington Place, 8th floor) for review and final approval of the Associate Dean by the semester deadline.
- Fall Submission Deadline (undergraduate): May 1st
- Spring Submission Deadline (undergraduate): December 1st
- Summer Submission Deadline (undergraduate): April 1st
** If the submission deadline falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the deadline will be extended to the Monday following the deadline.
- Within two weeks of submitting a proposal, students will receive an email regarding the approval status. If approved, the email will contain registration information and instructions; students will not be registered by Gallatin.
For further information about independent study, please contact Kathe Ann Joseph in the Gallatin Office of Student Services: (212) 992-9822 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org