Independent Study

Independent Study (I.S.) is an exciting and challenging prospect in Religious Studies.  We take your ideas and interests in the study of religions seriously, and work closely with you through Junior and Senior I.S. to develop, implement, and complete research projects appropriate to your interests and to the field of Religious Studies.

Junior I.S. (normally completed in the Spring Semester of the junior year) includes a combination of seminar course work with other Religious Studies juniors and individual work with a faculty member in the department.  Through these two approaches, you will develop an understanding of how to conduct research and writing in Religious Studies, and will complete a 20-25 page research paper of your own.  The Junior I.S. experience will provide the foundation and preparation for the more in-depth and individualized work of Senior I.S.

Senior year you will work for two semesters on a larger I.S. research project -- either a continuation of I.S. work performed junior year, or an entirely new project culminating in a paper of about 60 pages.  This is the capstone experience for our majors.  Guided by your adviser, and according to the I.S. Handbook (.pdf), you will conduct in-depth research, analyze diverse data, and learn how to make an original contribution to knowledge about religion. 

I.S. in Religious Studies sharpens your ability to think creatively, critically, and empathetically, and teaches you how to express those thoughts clearly, in the form that scholars and professionals in the field use.

Learn more about Independent Study.