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Independent Study Instructor Guidelines

Instructor's Credentials

Only instructors within NYU can be the instructor for a Gallatin Independent Study.

The Role of the Instructor

Before agreeing to work with a student on an independent study, instructors should review the Independent Study Proposal Guidelines to learn about the Gallatin Independent Study.

  • Designing an Independent Study: Designing an independent study is an important part of the project, and together the student and instructor should discuss the aims and content of the study. The Independent Study Proposal should include the study’s title, theme, readings, work to be submitted, and syllabus. Instructors should help the student clarify the proposal and ensure that it includes all necessary components. Keep in mind that the time and work a student is expected to dedicate to an individualized project is the same as that of a classroom course. Please use the Independent Study Proposal Guidelines as a resource for designing the independent study.
  • Meeting with Students: The instructor should meet regularly throughout the semester with the student to discuss readings and provide feedback on writing assignments or other projects. The Gallatin School expects that students and instructors will have a minimum number of meetings based on the following number of units for the study:

• 4 units: 7 meetings
• 3 units: 5 meetings
• 2 units: 4 meetings

  • Grading Student Work: In the fall and spring semesters, faculty are asked to complete both midterm and final grades. For the summer semester, there is only a final grading period and the grades are due at the end of each summer session. Final grades are standard letter grades (A-F), while midterm grades can be letter grades (A-F) or grades of "S" (satisfactory) or "NI" (needs improvement).

Confirmation and Payment

After a student submits the online Independent Study Proposal form, instructors will receive a copy of the proposal at the email address listed by the student on the form. Instructors are asked to verify the information on the proposal and email their approval of the study to Gallatin. If the instructor is not an NYU faculty member, the instructor’s curriculum vitae should be submitted with the proposal form. The proposal includes the instructor’s information, which will be used to compensate the instructor supervising the student’s work, as well as to provide grading materials to the instructor.

Payment for the Independent Study is processed after the student has officially registered. Instructors are paid per credit for each student. An email confirming student registration and the payment amount will be sent to all instructors in the fourth week of the semester. To confirm student registration in advance of the confirmation email please have the student bring a copy of his or her schedule to the first meeting. If you have any questions regarding payment before then, please contact Kathe Ann Joseph,

*Please Note: Instructors should not begin working with students until the student is officially registered.

Contact for Questions

  • Instructors with questions or concerns about the Gallatin Independent Study may speak with the faculty chair of the Committee on Individualized Projects (contact Kathe Ann Joseph (212-992-9822) for contact information).
  • If at any point a situation arises that may complicate or prohibit the completion of an independent study, even if it is a minor complication, please contact Kathe Ann Joseph,  212-992-9822, immediately.


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