Independent Study  (HORT 495)

The main purpose of the Independent Study is to give students the opportunity to pursue topics or skills not fully covered in their course work. Students arrange to work with a professor whose research is of interest to the student, and then spend the semester exploring a topic chosen by the student and professor. Activities and assignments will be project-specific and developed by the student and professor.

Steps to Starting an Independent Study

Identifying Potential Research Mentors

Contacting Potential Research Mentors

Email is a good way to make initial contact with potential mentors. By sending an email you give the mentor a chance to review your materials before responding. It is like the first step in an interview, so be sure it reflects your best effort (no spelling or grammatical errors!). If you are comfortable, you may also ask to make an appointment to call or stop by a potential mentor’s office to ask about a research experience. 

Some things to consider when composing emails: 


Meeting with Potential Research Mentors

If you want to really impress a potential mentor:

Credit Information

The Independent Study can be for 2 or 3 credit hours, which will be determined between you and the professor you’re working with. Typically:

Some of this content was modified from: Branchaw, Janet L.,Butz, Amanda R.,Smith, Amber. Entering Research: A Curriculum to Support Undergraduate & Graduate Research Trainees (Kindle Locations 5826-5852). W. H. Freeman.