Macricostas School of Arts & Sciences

English Department

Guidelines for Student-Developed Studies

I. Purpose

Student Developed Study (SDS) courses exist as opportunities for advanced students to work closely with full-time members of the department on special areas of interest. The course may not be used to fulfill major requirements.

II. Eligibility for Student Developed Study

  • The area of interest proposed for the SDS must lie outside the existing course offerings of the department.
  • The area of interest proposed for the SDS will lie in the range of academic interests of the faculty member who will direct the study.
  •  An undergraduate applicant must have completed at least 60 credit hours (with a minimum GPA of 3.0) toward the degree at the time of application.

III. Format of Proposals

The student with the advice of her or his director will prepare a proposal with the following sections:

  1. Cover Sheet (see appendix), which includes
    • Title of proposal
    • Student’s name
    • Eligibility (amount of credit hours earned)
    • Name of faculty to supervise the study
    • Semester/Year to be taken
    • Date
  2.  Proposal Narrative
    1. Background, which includes
      • Basic information about the subject to be studied or the project to be pursued.
      • The student’s academic background pertinent to the proposal.
      • The fact that the subject of study lies outside the normal curriculum.
      • The course’s place within the student’s program (how the course will benefit the student academically/professionally).
    2. Project, which includes
      • An outline of the planned reading, writing, and/or research to be undertaken.
      • Thesis to be tested during the semester or the objective/projected outcome of the proposed course.
      • Evaluation (how the work will be evaluated and graded).
  3. Proposed/working bibliography of works to be studied or consulted (MLA style)
    • The complete proposal, including the cover sheet, should not exceed four pages, double spaced.

IV. Deadlines

The student must submit the proposal (via her or his director) to the department for approval by October 15th to conduct the proposed SDS in the following spring semester and by March 15th to conduct the proposed SDS in the upcoming summer or fall semester.

The English Department may reject proposals for Student Developed Study. In view of the fact that direction of an SDS requires a faculty member to take on an overload, a faculty member who does not have sufficient time to undertake the project may refuse to do so. The Department may exercise its judgment that a particular proposal lies sufficiently within the parameters of a course already offered, or it may decide to reject the proposal for other good reasons. In short, unlike other courses which the student has the right to attempt, the Department is not obligated to accept an SDS proposal. On the other hand, the Department does recognize the value of such independent study when it is properly handled

Adopted Dec 5, 2007

Appendix: SDS Proposal Cover Sheet


Title of the Proposal

Student’s Name

Credit Hours Already Earned ________________

Faculty to Supervise the Study________________

Semester/Year to be Taken __________________

Date of Proposal __________________________