Course Listings

50:730:495,496. Independent Study in Philosophy (3,3)

An individual reading and research project under the guidance of a member of the department.

50:840:389,390. Independent Study in Religion (3,3)

An individual reading and research project under the guidance of a member of the department.

Procedure and Considerations

Students considering an independent Study project under the guidance of one of the Department’s faculty members should ask some initial preparatory questions:

  • What research questions would I like to pursue?
  • What texts would be useful as a starting point for developing the project?
  • Which courses in the Philosophy and Religion Department should I have taken prior to attempting this independent study project? 

Independent Study projects require that students engage in reading and interpreting materials without the support of classroom lectures or discussions, and are more appropriate to experienced students who have already completed coursework in the areas relevant to their proposed project. Independent Study typically involves regular meetings with the faculty member to discuss the readings and the progress of the project, and culminates in a final paper or other work determined acceptable by the faculty member. 

Students interested in an Independent Study should contact the appropriate faculty member one semester in advance. Students can view areas of research interests for faculty on the Faculty & Staff Profile webpage to help determine the best fit for the project. Religion students should contact Stuart Charme, Nicole Karapanagiotis, or John Wall. Philosophy students should contact James Genone or Melissa Yates

Independent Study and Graduation with Honors

Students interested in using the Independent Study as an Honors Thesis should make that explicit at the start of the project, as the length and quality of the project will determine whether it counts for the purposes of Honors. For more information, see the Honors Program page and review the Application for Honors in Philosophy or Religion (PDF File).