Independent Study

Department of Marketing Guidelines for Independent Study

1. Independent study is designed to provide an opportunity for students to learn more about a marketing topic that they were exposed to in an upper division course. It is not designed for students who have only had a principles course in the topical area unless there is no elective course that covers that topic in more depth. Hence, the independent study course is primarily designed for students who have already taken one or more marketing electives.

2. An independent study course will only be approved in cases where no similar course is offered by our department. We will not approve an independent study in cases where a similar course is already listed in the catalogue but is full, not offered in a given semester, or not offered at a time convenient to the student. It is incumbent on the student to show that the content of the proposed independent study differs significantly from existing course offerings.

3. Independent study credit will not be granted for a project that would lend itself more to an internship.

4. If a student wants to seriously study a topical area in more depth, after they have taken the appropriate core or elective course that provides a conceptual foundation to their topic, it is the student’s responsibility to find a faculty member who is willing to direct their independent study. In the initial meeting with that faculty member, the student should be prepared to describe exactly what they want to study and what they hope to learn from the process. Their request is more likely to succeed if they review faculty members’ research interests and direct their request to the appropriate faculty member. A student may not register for an independent study course until they have the approval of the faculty member who will supervise the project.

5. Faculty do not get compensated in any way for directing an independent study and faculty are not required to supervise any particular independent study project. Thus, it is important for the student to show enthusiasm and strong interest in their topic as part of the process of persuading a faculty member to agree to work with them.

6.Given the nature of the type of work that an independent study entails, independent study arrangements are available only to students who have already proven themselves as capable of such independent work. Minimally, an overall GPA of at least a 3.0 and a LSBE GPA of 3.0 is generally expected of anyone wishing to engage in an independent study. We would also expect to see a B or better in the core course in that area and also a minimum 3.0 GPA in all area electives taken to date.

7. If a faculty member agrees to supervise an independent study, the faculty member and student should develop a written agreement which details the assignments, expectations, deadlines, and grading expectations.

8. An independent study course should, at a minimum, be equivalent in time and effort to a corresponding in-class learning experience. The project would be expected to require a time investment at least equal to the sum of in-class and out-of-class requirements in a regular course. For example, for a three credit independent study course, a student should expect to commit at least nine hours per week to the project. The projects or outcomes should be commensurate with the expected time investment for the number of academic credits to be awarded.