Creating An Independent Study (HUX 594)


All students in the HUX program, whether following Curriculum A or B, have the opportunity to create a course specific to their interests that is unlike any course in the HUX curriculum. Students in either the Art or Music concentration (i.e., in Curriculum B) must create independent study courses in order to complete their Phase II requirements unless substitute or transfer units are accepted to complete Phase II requirements.

Students not the Creative Track option are normally limited to two Independent Studies. HUX students may not take an Independent Study during their first trimester. Students who sign up for the HUX 594 and do not file a contract or do not have any contact with the Humanities External Degree office or faculty during the term will receive a "WU" (Unauthorized Incomplete) for the course grade and will be required to repeat the course (at their additional expense).

Each Independent Study is a self-designed course of study worth 3 units. It is available in any of the five disciplines, as well as in the interdisciplinary format.The process is the following:

1. Determine an Appropriate Topic. Not all proposed courses are approved. See the Faculty list for a list of faculty specialties as a guide to who might be willing to mentor your study. Please bear in mind that your choice of independent study topic will be limited to the five disciplines represented in our program, and further by the topics in which our faculty have sufficient expertise to be willing to guide you.

You may propose a Creative Track Independent Study only if you have already received approval to participate in the Creative Track curriculum option. Students in the Creative Track typically do two or three Creative Independent Study courses prior to their final Creative Project.

2. Develop a plan for readings and written assignments. Your eventual mentor may make alterations to your plan, but you are responsible to present a complete plan. For non-Creative courses, students should plan to write a total of 24-30 (typed, double-spaced) pages, broken up into at least two (normally three or four) assignments. As with all HUX courses, students should follow the MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Projects (or "MLA Style Manual") writing guidelines.

3. Complete the Independent Study forms found on the HUX forms page. These forms ask you to present an overview of your proposed topic, a summary of your assignments, and the key texts you will use.

4. Mail the forms to the HUX office. Take note of the deadlines for submission of the I.S. proposal. Because of the time it takes to set up the course, the deadlines are:

  • Summer term course: Feb. 1
  • Fall term course: May 1
  • Spring term course: October 1

Do not send the forms directly to a HUX instructor. You may contact a HUX instructor informally to discuss your ideas and/or to ask him or her to consider mentoring your course, but the forms must go initially to the HUX office.

5. The HUX Coordinator will review your proposal and, if it looks workable, will forward it to a potential mentor. You will be contacted if you need to re-work the proposal or when a professor has agreed to mentor your course.