Independent Study: Overview

Independent interim projects give students an opportunity to develop their own course of study for a given January with the help of a faculty mentor. These projects are rigorous and require a high degree of independence, creativity, and commitment on the part of the student. Such independent study does not include work at an internship. Rather, this independent work involves research, whether of a traditional academic or a more experiential nature, that then results in a final capstone project at the conclusion of January.

Please note the following two restrictions on independent study:

  1. Students who are currently on disciplinary probation or who have been found guilty of academic dishonesty will not be allowed to propose an independent project; and
  2. First year students may do independent study, but it is expected that such work will be done on-campus or close by in the Spartanburg area.

Process for Proposing an Independent Project 

Interested students must complete several steps in order to secure approval for their independent interim. These steps include: 1. Finding a faculty sponsor for the project; 2. Completing the proposal form by the deadline; and 3. Receiving approval of the proposed project by Wofford’s Interim Committee. The following material speaks about each of these facets of the process.

The deadline for securing a faculty sponsor for your project is September 10, 2018. This is roughly two weeks before your proposal is due. The reason you need a faculty sponsor in advance of the deadline is so that she/he can help you work on your proposal.

The student portion of the independent study proposal must be completed and submitted by September 24, 2018 in order to be considered by the Interim Committee. No late proposals will be considered. After the student portion of the form has been submitted, the faculty sponsor must then complete his/her portion of the application by October 1st. Find the Independent Project proposal form here.

The Interim Committee considers the following aspects when judging whether to accept an independent proposal or not:

  • A. Whether you have clearly stated the educational goals of your proposed project. State these in such a way that the Committee knows exactly what your goals are and how you plan to achieve those goals. Mere curiosity about a subject is not a sufficient educational goal;
  • B. Whether you have a strong academic component to your proposal. This includes, among other things, communicating to the Committee: (1) a developed reading list that will inform your work on your project (even if it is more experiential in nature); and (2) the precise assignments that will be presented to your sponsor for evaluation during the course of January; and
  • C. Whether you have a concrete plan of action for the January term. Articulate your plan of action in your proposal in the form of a timeline. 

The Interim Committee will inform you of whether or not your proposal has been approved by mid-October (i.e., in advance of Interim registration.) Please note that if your project entails any off-campus travel, you must sign and return the required college release form to the Interim Coordinator, A.K. Anderson, by December 1st. If you miss this deadline, you will be disenrolled from your project. Fill out the needed release form here.