The Student Independent Study at USM is available to junior or senior-level students and affords them opportunities to pursue otherwise unavailable advanced work in their major or minor. Student independent study also affords students exposure to advanced study for graduate school.
The USM College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences defines the Independent Study as follows (http://www.usm.maine.edu/cahs/independent-study-proposal):
"a contractual agreement between a student and a professor intended to extend learning beyond courses already in the curriculum. An Independent Study shall function as a for-credit course of instruction in which the student takes the initiative for learning in a format approved by the instructor."
The USM Department of Economics Independent Study described in the undergraduate catalog is:
ECO 490 Independent Readings and Research in Economics
Independent study and research of various student‐selected areas of economics.
Prerequisites: a completed independent study form and sponsorship by an economics faculty member. May be taken more than once. Cr 1–12.
The general Student Independent Study process at USM is outlined below:
- The USM Independent Study process would begin by your identifying and consulting with a full-time faculty member who may be willing to supervise your Independent Study project.
Ordinarily, you would seek a faculty supervisor who has special expertise in the area of your proposed project. Faculty may or may not agree to supervise an Independent Study course, at their sole discretion.
- Once you have identified a faculty member interested in supervising your project, you should then submit to that faculty member an academic proposal concerning your project.
The requirements for designing an academic proposal for your Independent Study project are outlined on the USM Independent Study Proposal Form. (The form may be accessed online at the Student Success Form Bank located at the following URL address:
Your proposal for an Independent Study Project must address each of the five topics outlined on the Independent Study Form and should delineate important theoretical questions you seek to examine, explain how your research will illuminate these questions, describe your final product, and indicate the number of course credits (i.e., 1–12) you plan to earn.
If the faculty supervisor is then satisfied that you can complete the research and believes that you have a viable project, the faculty member may accept supervision of your Independent Study project.
- Your Independent Study Proposal must be approved (signed) by the faculty member (instructor) who will supervise you and the Department Chair (please visit People on the website of the department in which you will complete your Student Independent Study to determine the current Chair of the Department).
- After you complete steps 1-3 above, you would then be able to enroll for independent study credit through the USM Registrar's Office.