Independent Study/Special Topics

Independent Study

Independent study enables graduate students to pursue academic interests not addressed in conventional courses. A maximum of six (6) hours of independent study may be used on a degree program. See the section on Course Limitations below.

Course Limitations

To maintain the consistency, integrity, and rigor of graduate programs, EMU places limits on the number of certain types of courses students may count toward a graduate degree or certificate. Specifically, courses that have not undergone a full review through the university input process to become permanent course offerings toward a graduate degree are subject to a limitation of 12 credit hours.

  • Special topics courses (usually numbered as 590, 591, 592, 679, 680, 681) and independent study (usually numbered as 597, 598, 599, 697, 698, 699) are examples of courses which are not considered permanent course offerings.

While Seminar courses (usually numbered as 693, 694, 695, 696) and Workshop courses (usually numbered as 594, 595, 596, 597, 682, 683, 684, 685) are traditionally included, some may have undergone a review and become permanent course offerings. Students should check with their advisor to confirm the status of Seminars and Workshops.

While the maximum number of credits allowed of this type is 12, no more than six credit hours of independent study courses may be included.

Further, no more than six hours of Thesis/Final Project (usually numbered as 690, 691, 692, 790, 791, 792) may be used to satisfy graduate degree requirements.

For combined bachelor’s-master's programs, students may apply only the undergraduate version or graduate version of cross-listed courses, or courses with predominantly shared topics or content. (If confusion arises over whether a course qualifies, determinations will be made by the Graduate School.)

Go to the Petition for Modification or Waiver of Policy Form.

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