General Guidelines for Research Credit in the ILA

  • AMST 498/IDS 490 Supervised Reading and Study (Independent Study)
  • AMST/IDS 495 Honors Research
  • AMST/IDS 499 Senior Research

Independent interdisciplinary study can be conducted under the AMST 498 or IDS 490 tag, if a student’s proposed research and study is interdisciplinary in nature, and if the student is able to find a faculty member willing to supervise and grade the proposed work and research. AMST 498/ IDS 490 generally carries 3 credits and is taken for a letter grade.

AMST 499 or IDS 499 is intended for non-honors AMST or IDS seniors who are completing the required AMST or IDS Senior Thesis. At least one credit is required in the final semester (generally spring). Maximum three credits. Graded, permission only. Student must obtain approval from their faculty research advisor, who will meet with the student and grade work.

AMST 495 or IDS 495 is required by the Honors Program for AMST and IDS Honors candidates who are completing the AMST or IDS Honors Thesis in the senior year. At least one credit is required in the final semester (generally spring). May be taken both fall and spring. Graded, permission only. Student must obtain approval from their faculty research advisor, who will meet with the student and grade work. 

The following guidelines should be followed as far as possible:

  • The student and faculty supervisor should discuss contact hours and the role of the faculty supervisor before the student prepares a one- to two-page prospectus of the independent study
  • A prospectus of the independent study must be submitted to the DUS in the ILA, with approval from the faculty supervisor, before a section can be created on OPUS for the research credit.
  • The prospectus should explicitly describe the following:
    • The general research questions to be addressed across the semester of independent study
    • The authors and works to be read across the semester of independent study
    • The general amount and number of hours of reading per week
    • The general plan for meetings between the student and the faculty supervisor –e.g. bi-weekly, every three weeks, etc. (Note: meetings and time devoted to readings should roughly reflect the number of credits earned for the independent study)
    • The written work to be produced by the student during the semester—number of written assignments, number of pages of each assignment, due dates, etc.

Students interested in setting up independent study should begin by meeting with the DUS of the ILA. The meeting with the DUS is generally followed by subsequent meetings with the proposed faculty supervisor. Advance planning is necessary so that all these discussions can happen in time to make the needed arrangements for the class in OPUS.