Independent Minds, Working Together

Independent Study

Independent Study

Each fall, we begin the Independent Study (I.S.) process very quickly. There is a required meeting for all seniors who will work on I.S. in the department on the first Thursday of the semester. At this meeting, the chair provides key information about the I.S. process, including selecting and focusing your topic and requesting an advisor. For all students enrolled in Senior I.S. for the fall semester, I.S. proposals are due the following Thursday. All seniors enrolled in I.S. for the fall should schedule appointments and discuss possible I.S. topics with at least two faculty members in the Political Science Department before they turn in their proposals.

All Senior I.S. proposals must contain the following information:

  1. The tentative title of your IS project
  2. Your name and class rank
  3. A one-paragraph description of what you plan to do, and how you plan to do it (what data or sources of information you will use). This paragraph must contain a (provisional) statement of the hypothesis that you intend to test or the question that you will answer in your research project
  4. A short bibliography of at least five sources that you have already examined in formulating your proposal
  5. A list of the faculty with whom you have discussed your proposal (you should talk to at least two professors in the Political Science Department about your topic) and your preferences, if any, for an advisor

Examples of I.S. Projects

For a searchable list of I.S. Titles, use the I.S. Database. To see the range of projects that students are pursuing, you can search by major.