Sociology Independent Study Course Guidelines

An Independent Study (Soc 3398F/G, 3399F/G, 4498F/G, 4499F/G) course provides the student with an opportunity to (a) explore in more depth or detail an area which a student has encountered in a previous course or (b) explore an area which is not part of the curriculum in sociology. The first step in taking an independent study is to locate a faculty member who is willing to supervise the course. Faculty members are not under any obligation to offer an independent study, though many are willing to do so in areas where they have a special interest or expertise.

The goal of an independent study course is to provide a learning experience for the student that is not otherwise available through the existing curriculum. Such courses are NOT offered to provide research assistance for a faculty member, and students should not ask for Independent Study simply because they are having difficulty with timetabling.


Independent Study courses are restricted to students in years 3 and 4 who are enrolled in one of the Honors Specializations offered by Sociology. Students can only take two of Soc. 3398F/G, 3399F/G, 4498F/G, 4499F/G to complete their degree requirements. Only one Independent Study course may be taken per term.

Procedure for Proposal Approval

  • The student must approach a faculty member whom they think might be willing to supervise an Independent Study. This should be done in the summer (before Aug 1st) for Independent Study courses to be offered in the Fall term and in the Fall (before the end of classes) for Independent Study courses to be offered in the Winter term. Notify the Undergraduate Program Assistant as soon as possible after a particular faculty has agreed to supervise an independent study for further instructions about how to register.
  • The student and faculty member will work together to produce a proposal* that
    • Identifies the topic to be associated with the Independent Study
    • Describes the criteria that will be used in assigning a grade for the course
    • Provides a list of the readings that will be used in the course
    • Indicates how often the student and the faculty member will meet to discuss those readings.

*This proposal should be submitted to the Undergraduate Program Coordinator during or before the first week of the term in which student intends to take the Independent Study.

Please contact the Undergraduate Program Coordinator to obtain a copy of the proposal form.