The Honors College may allow you to design your own course (HON 450 for 1-3 credits). Independent Study course credit cannot be offered for courses listed in the JMU undergraduate or graduate catalogs.

Independent Study Proposal

The following items should be included in a course proposal.

  • Course title. What is the name or subject of the proposed course?
  • Name of your instructor of record. Who will serve as your mentor and assign the final grade?
  • Number of credits (1, 2 or 3). 1 credit translates to about 3-4 hours of work each week; 3 credits is 9-12 hours of work each week.
  • Short course description. What are you going to study?
  • Rationale for independent study. Why are you proposing this independent study course instead of enrolling in a standard course? How does the course advance your academic goals?
  • About 3-5 learning objectives. Learning objectives are statements that define the expected aims of the course in terms of demonstrable skills or knowledge acquired.
  • Meeting schedule. How frequently will you meet with the instructor of record (advisor) and what will be expected in each meeting?
  • Proposed readings. What is the knowledge base needed for demonstrating mastery in the subject of the course?
  • Deliverables and deadlines. What are you going to do? What is the specific product of the course? A paper? A project? A presentation?
  • Any other notes, agreements, or deadlines. These should be agreed upon by you and the instructor of record (advisor) before you enroll in the course.

Your written proposal should be submitted to Dr. Philip L. Frana prior to the first day of the semester in which you expect to enroll.

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