Independent Study

At Michigan State University, Independent Study is planned study, highly individualized, not addressable through any other course format, proposed in writing by the student on a standard form, accepted for supervision by a faculty member, and approved by the student's academic adviser and the teaching unit at the beginning of the semester.

Independent study should:

  1. Consist of work not described in the University catalog in any other format
  2. Be taken under a course number commensurate with the student's class level, major field, and experience
  3. Relate to a subject for which the student has adequate preparation
  4. Be directed by a faculty member with whom there is periodic contact and consultation throughout the study
  5. Not exceed 8 semester hours of credit in a single academic semester
  6. Not exceed 10 percent of the credits earned in a bachelor's program
  7. Be applied for on the form provided by the department or school or college
  8. Be approved on this form before the student enrolls for the course; registration should be completed by the end of the period for adding courses

Steps for registering for independent study credits:

Step 1: Talk with the professor who will be supervising the Independent Study and together fill out an Independent Study Form. Make sure you and the instructor sign the form.
Step 2: Take the form to your adviser to sign and copy.
Step 3: Turn in the completed and signed Independent Study form to the appropriate office.

If you are an undergraduate student: Take the form to the Student Affairs Office:

Student Affairs Office
189 Communication Arts & Sciences Building
404 Wilson Road
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: (517) 355-1794

If you are a graduate student: Turn the form into Rachel Iseler.

425 Communication Arts and Sciences Building
404 Wilson Road
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824
Phone: (517) 432-3676

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