Independent Study Course


Independent study courses are offered as a way of teaching material not covered in regular courses.  These courses are tailored to each individual student based on a course proposal submitted by the student to an advising faculty member and approved by the Chair of the Department of Computer Science.

It is preferred for an undergraduate independent study course have some component of research, whereas such a component is required for the graduate/PhD independent study course. 

The student enrolled in an independent study course receives a grade of CR (credit) for successful completion of the course; (no letter grade is assigned at the completion of the course). Independent study courses may not be repeated for credit. Please refer to the undergraduate (CS 4395), graduate (CS 5395), and PhD (CS 7387) course descriptions for more detailed descriptions of the course requirements.

To Register for an Independent Study Course:

To register for an Independent Study course, the student will need to complete the following steps:

  • Prepare an Independent Study Course Proposal Form. (CS 4395/5395 Proposal Form) or (CS 7387 Proposal Form). Submit the form for signatures.
  • After obtaining the signature of the independent study advisor, the student should forward the form to the department's administrative assistant at
  • Once the department Chair signs the form, the student will be assigned a section number and CRN. When the student receives the email with an assigned course section number, the student may officially register for the course.

Submission Deadline: To allow sufficient time to complete the approval process and for timely student registration, the application form must be submitted no later than one week before the first day of class.


Evaluation Criterion for the Independent Study Course:

1.  A formal presentation of 30 minutes is given by the candidate by the end of the last week of classes and before finals begin.

    • To schedule a presentation and reserve a conference room, the student should consult with his/her independent study supervisor. The supervisor will reserve the date and time for the presentation on one of the department’s conference room calendars.
    • Once the date, time, and conference room location have been established, the student or supervisor should send an email to the department's administrative assistant. The following information must be provided in the email in plenty of time for an announcement to be distributed:
      • Student Name
      • Date, time, and location for presentation
      • Title for the independent study project
      • An abstract of the independent study report
      • Name of the independent study advisor
      • Course number of independent study (4395, 5395, or 7387).
    • The department administrative assistant will distribute an announcement of the scheduled presentation to faculty and students.

2.  A written report containing the following items is submitted to the student's supervisor prior to the presentation:

  • Cover page (title of paper, name of student, name of advisor, date of submission, course number)
  • Motivation/Introduction
  • Approach/Methodology
  • Results/Outcome of the project
  • Conclusion and future works
  • References
  • Appendix (if applicable)

3.  Before the end of the semester in which the presentation is made, the student must also submit an electronic copy of the Independent Study report to two people:

  • The student's instructor (independent study supervisor)
  • The departmental administrative assistant for posting to the department's faculty share.
    • Instead of posting the document to the faculty share, the instructor may prefer for the student to submit the independent study report to ECommons.  If this avenue is chosen, the faculty member must work with the student regarding the submission.

 4.  An independent study course receives a passing grade or a failing grade and is a 3 credit hour course. The passing or failing grade will be determined by the faculty member.