Policy on Independent Study

David S. Goldstein, Ph.D.

University of Washington, Bothell

Click here to contact me by e-mail:

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Periodically, students ask me to serve as their instructor for an independent study project. This is my policy.

My top priority has to be the students enrolled in the courses that I have been hired to teach, so I must severely limit the number of independent study projects I will supervise each quarter. It would not be fair to independent study students, either, if I cannot provide the time and guidance that they deserve. Therefore, I will accept a maximum of five credits of independent study each quarter.  Projects must be ones in which I have some expertise (see my vita or my faculty description).

The IAS Program at UWB offers two different versions of independent study:

For most students, BIS 398 is most appropriate.

For each credit of a BIS 398 project, students typically read one or two books or several articles, or a combination, and then write a five-page paper or equivalent. For example, a student enrolled in two credits of BIS 398 would read two to four books or several articles or a combination, and would write a ten-page paper or equivalent. Instead of a traditional term paper, students may instead wish to write an annotated bibliography, a course syllabus, or other form of written work. Please note that BIS 398 and BIS 498 are not available in any UWB summer session.

If you are interested in BIS 398 or BIS 498, please contact me as soon as possible. (You can use the link at the top of this page.) If we agree upon a project, you will need to obtain a "variable credit" form from the IAS office (UW1-390). We will agree upon a project description and a deadline for a final project, fill out the form, and sign it. When you return the form to the IAS office, the staff will provide you with an add code. Keep in mind that I will count on receiving your project by the deadline we agree upon so I will have time to evaluate it and provide a worthwhile response. Also, remember that BIS 398 or BIS 498 is not meant to be a way of picking up some easy credits or of getting an easy 4.0 grade. Each of these courses is meant to provide students with a way to learn about a topic of interest outside the established, catalogue courses. I hold independent study projects to the same rigorous standards as any other coursework, and will evaluate and grade them accordingly.

Please let me know if you have any questions!

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This page last updated October 6, 2006.

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