Students may receive academic credit for their one-on-one work with a faculty member by enrolling in the JOURNAL 396 course. Students are expected to take the lead in reaching out to potential faculty sponsors to explain their independent study idea and to see if the faculty member is able to supervise a project that semester.
An independent study in journalism or public relations requires independent reading, research and some type of substantive final project. This project may be academic or journalistic in nature. Examples include academic essays, research papers, a series of journalistic articles around a cohesive topic, an in-depth multimedia storytelling project and a short-form documentary.
Students are expected to devote at least three hours of independent work per week for each unit of credit awarded. A 3-credit-hour independent study should therefore require a student to complete approximately nine hours of independent work per week. Newswriting and Reporting (JOURNAL 300) must be completed prior to enrolling in an independent study.
Typically only three independent study credits may be applied toward requirements for the journalism major; four credits are available upon approval.
Signing Up for an Independent Study
The Independent Study Learning Contract is required for all independent study proposals. This contract must be submitted to and approved by your faculty sponsor, the Undergraduate Program Director, and the Journalism Department Chair three days before the last day of the add/drop period.