Independent study in Health & Societies offers a way for students to explore a topic of interest in depth.  
Independent study, however, is intended to be just that--independent.
Therefore, while students will use the resources of an adviser to develop a reading list and project schedule, they should establish with the adviser a set of clear expectations about frequency of meetings and how the adviser will read and grade their work.
*Advisers for independent studies must have a University appointment.*

There are two levels of independent studies available for HSOC majors--299 and 499.  HSOC majors may include one independent study in the major.

How to do an independent study in HSOC

  • Develop a plan (the equivalent of a course syllabus) in conjunction with an advisor.  This plan will include the title, purpose/objectives, proposed readings and proposed writings, and a schedule of assignments and advisor meetings.  
  • Download the independent study application for either HSOC 299 or HSOC 499
  • Submit your application to Dr. Greene no later than a week after the first day of classes for the semester.
  • If your application is approved, Dr. Greene will make sure you are issued a permit to register for your independent study (either HSOC 299 or HSOC 499)

HSOC 299  
     This level of independent study allows a student to explore a topic area using relevant materials and different kinds of writing.

  • The amount and kind of readings must be the equivalent in terms of work load of any middle-level course offered in the regular curriculum, 100+ pages per week of readings and a series of short papers.
  • All work is graded by the adviser to the independent study, but may be reviewed by the program chair and associate chair.
  • The advisor for a 299 should be someone in the College who has the expertise, time and willingness to meet with you several times a semester and grade your work.
  • HSOC 299 may be used as a concentration elective
  • Applications are due no later than one week after the first day of classes for the semester
  • According to College policy, an internship may not be used as an independent study. However, an internship may be used as field work to collect research that may be used later as a part of independent study.)

HSOC 299 Ind Study app.docx


HSOC 499 - Capstone Independent Study
     This level of independent study is ONLY for fulfilling the capstone research requirement by writing an in-depth research essay. 

  • A student must develop a plan of work that is the equivalent of a semester course at the 400-level in terms of time (approximately 168 hours a term), amount/kind of reading and writing, and original research. 
  • The iindependent study must include a paper of independent research no less than 20 pages in length.
  • HSOC 499 may only be used to fulfill the capstone requirement, and only after the midpoint of the junior year (or during the last three terms before graduation)
  • All work is graded by the adviser to the independent study, but the paper may be reviewed by the HSOC Director and Associate Director.
  • The advisor for a 499 may be from the University, and should be a person with the expertise to direct an in-depth project on your topic.  They should be willing to meet with you several times, provide feedback, and grade the final paper.
  • Applications are due no later than one week after the first day of classes for the semester
  • According to College policy, an internship may not be used as an independent study. However, an internship may be used as field work to collect research that may be used later as a part of independent study.)

HSOC 499 Capstone app.docx