Independent Studies

General Guidelines

The Department offers students the opportunity to enroll for independent study credits. An independent study is designed to allow students to examine issues with greater breadth and depth than is feasible, normally, in regular course work. By its nature, the independent study is arranged and contracted between the individual student(s) and faculty. To earn academic credit, the student must demonstrate the academic content of the Independent Study and its logical relationship to his or her course of study.

Independent Study Stipulations

  • Approval of the faculty supervisor and the Department Head should be  obtained prior to undertaking the independent study.
  • Generally, an independent study cannot be completed in lieu of an existing course.
  • Generally, independent study credits cannot be used toward fulfilling the 400 level course requirements for the Marketing major.

Student Responsibilities

The student is fully responsible for defining the nature and scope of the independent study and for obtaining faculty supervision. The student must:

  1. Arrange for faculty supervision. The identity of the faculty supervisor, and the nature of the independent study, should be clear from the start. It is advisable to discuss the prospects for completing an independent study with a particular faculty member prior to completing a full proposal. Most students choose to further examine issues or problems first introduced in a particular class, with a particular professor. However, on rare occasions, a student identifies a topic and arranges for supervision by a faculty member that they have not had in class. Please note that the demands of supervising independent studies require each professor to limit the number of independent studies supervised. In this way, students obtaining sponsorship can be assured that faculty will spend the requisite time on the project.

  2. Prepare a proposal (1-2 pages, typewritten) specifying:

    a. the nature and scope of the independent study,
    b. the academic value of the independent study (i.e., how it involves academic learning and its  logical relationship to the student's course of study), and
    c. the method of evaluation for the student's performance on the independent study. (NOTE: The method of evaluation must meet the satisfaction of the faculty supervisor. A range of alternatives is available, including, but not limited to, data collection and analysis, and a library research report.)

    Incomplete, or otherwise unsatisfactory proposals, will be returned to the student for further work.

  3. Complete and sign an Independent Study Contract specifying the nature and scope of the independent study and the basis for evaluation. The Independent Study Contract must be signed by the faculty supervisor and approved by the Department Head. Independent Study Contract forms are available from your faculty advisor, or the Department office.

  4. Register for the course, MARKETNG 396, by submitting the approved Independent Study Contract to the Department office. On-line SPIRE enrollment cannot be used.

  5. Complete the requirements specified in the Independent Study Contract.

Other Relevant Information

Occasionally, Marketing majors choose to complete an independent study based in a discipline other than marketing (e.g., accounting, finance, management, economics, computer science, psychology, etc.). In such an instance, the student: (1) is bound by the General Guidelines, Student Responsibilities and Independent Study Stipulations outlined above, (2) must obtain a faculty supervisor from the appropriate academic department, and (3) must register for the independent study credit through the department of the faculty supervisor.

View the Independent Study form.