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Independent Study 496 Approval Form

The basic operating principle is that a student might pursue formal independent study in cases where faculty knowledge or expertise exists in a particular area but for which there is no regularly-scheduled course. Independent study, in other words, is an opportunity to pursue areas not covered by the standard course offerings or to pursue topics covered in standard courses in greater depth. Independent study should not be a substitute for regular courses. Furthermore, it should not be used to circumvent class size limits or the residency requirement for the major.

Students interested in pursuing independent study should do some preliminary thinking to come up with a specific topic, issue, or question to be examined. Next, they should discuss their ideas with professors whose areas of knowledge and expertise overlap with the tentative independent study topic. This discussion often serves better to refine and focus the topic. Independent study, in other words, is an opportunity to pursue areas not covered by the standard course offerings or to pursue topics covered in standard courses in greater depth. Independent study should not be a substitute for regular courses.

Be aware that professors are not required to take on independent study projects. Most do, but many professors have their own guidelines (e.g., student must have already taken a class from that professor). Also, students should regard an independent study course as being at least as demanding as a regular one and allocate the necessary resources of time and energy to it. If a professor agrees to supervise an independent study project, then s/he and the student will normally work out a specific plan of readings, papers, meetings for discussions, and/or other course work and a general standard for evaluating that work.

Instructions
Use this form to register for independent study courses administered through Weaver Building office. Be sure that you have filled in the blanks completely and accurately before submitting it. Incomplete or inaccurate applications cannot be processed.

Important: You must secure the approval of a suitable faculty member to serve as course instructor before submitting this form.

A copy of this form will be sent to that faculty member for confirmation of approval. You will not be registered for the course until this confirmation is received. Also note that as a general rule, independent study is an opportunity to pursue areas not covered by the standard course offerings or to pursue topics covered in standard courses in greater depth. Independent study should not be a substitute for regular courses.

Student Information
Faculty Supervisor Approval Information
Have you discussed this proposal with a faculty member and secured his or her approval?


Course Information
For which course do you intend to enroll?
Check only one



Enter the course number and name, on on each line in the box below.
Include exam or paper due dates if applicable.
Semester in which the course will be taken




Note
A mutually agreed upon form of regular contact should be maintained between the student and the supervising instructor during the course of this independent study; initiating and maintaining this contact is the student’s responsibility.

After verifying the accuracy of this information, submit it to the Undergraduate Administrative Specialist using the "Submit" button below. The supervising faculty member listed above will receive a copy of the information in this form, and final acceptance and registration is subject to that faculty member's approval.

Student Testimonial

“The day I changed my major to Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies was one of the happiest of my college career.  Even before switching to CAMS,  I was interested in what the department had to offer. (...)
An undergraduate advisor suggested LATIN 003 as a way of easing into college life, as I had taken Latin classes throughout high school and had performed well on the Advanced Placement exams.  The beginning was rough, but I enjoyed the challenge of translating Latin prose and the information that the texts conveyed.  Although I pursued an Advertising degree during my first two years of college, I continued to sign up for Latin courses, and by the end of my sophomore year, I had realized that Classics, not Advertising, was the right major for me. In addition to the Latin courses, I also studied the ancient civilizations of Rome, Greece, and Egypt in the CAMS major.  All of these classes were interesting, educational, and taught by knowledgeable faculty members.   The CAMS faculty is always helpful; they provide insight into the class material and make suggestions for outside reading during office hours and after class.  When I wrote my senior thesis for the Honors College, I received much help from the CAMS faculty while researching and writing the thesis.  Now that I have received my diplomas from Penn State, both in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies and Spanish, I have decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Education.  I have been accepted at the Complutense University of Madrid, one of the oldest universities in Europe, to study secondary education, specializing in classical languages.  I am confident that the education I received at Penn State, notably in the CAMS department, will aid me greatly in my postgraduate studies and in securing a teaching job, whether in the United States, Spain, or elsewhere.”

Celia Meehan
2010 CAMS graduate

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