April 23, 2020
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Individual Study in History is available to students who want to pursue a course of reading or complete a focused research project on a topic not regularly offered in the department's curriculum. Individual Study cannot normally be used to fulfill distribution requirements within the major.
To enroll in an Individual Study, a student must prepare a proposal in consultation with a member of the History faculty who has suitable expertise and is willing to work with the student over the course of a semester. The proposal of roughly 2-3 pages should include: a statement of the particular questions the student plans to explore, a preliminary bibliography, a schedule of reading and writing assignments, a schedule of meetings with the supervising faculty member, and a description of grading criteria. In other words, the proposal should look something like a syllabus. The student should also briefly describe prior coursework that particularly qualifies him or her to pursue the project independently.
The department chair must approve the proposal. The chair will ensure that proposals meet departmental guidelines and that individual faculty members are not overburdened by directing multiple IS projects.
At a minimum, the department expects the student to meet regularly with his or her instructor at least the equivalent of one hour per week. At a minimum, the amount of work submitted for a grade in an IS should approximate that required, on average, in 300- or 400-level History courses. Individual projects will vary, but students pursuing an IS in History should probably plan to read 200 pages or more a week and to write at least 30 pages over the course of the semester.
Because students must enroll for Individual Studies by the seventh day of classes in a given semester, they are urged to begin discussion of their proposed Individual Study with the supervising faculty member and the department chair the semester before they hope to undertake the project. The department chair must receive IS proposals by the third day of classes.