University Catalogues

Independent Study Options

Directed Study

Highly qualified students can, under the guidance of a faculty member, undertake a directed study to conduct in-depth investigation and/or analysis of a specialized topic not currently offered in the program curriculum. These courses are based solely on research or a specially designed project developed in conjunction with a faculty member. Students interested in requesting a directed study must submit the request form. 


Tutorials enable students to complete a regular course when it is not offered in the current semester. A tutorial follows the standard syllabus for a course with the following modification: the tutorial syllabus must reflect the fact that a student is completing the course independently and not as part of a class of students.

To initiate a tutorial, students must have a special need for the proposed course; e.g., the course is needed to complete a degree at a particular time.

A subset of graduate courses is only available on an independent study basis due to the fact that they are based solely on research or specially designed projects that lend themselves to a single person completing the assignment. These courses include ETH 810 Research in Business Ethics and HF 800 User Experience Thesis.

Procedure for Directed Study or Tutorial

  1. Students interested in pursuing either a Directed Study or Tutorial must submit the following for approval before beginning the study:
    1. A statement explaining the reason for the request
    2. A syllabus the student has created in collaboration with the faculty member who will be supervising. This syllabus should include the following specific information:
      1. a brief description of the study
      2. goals/objectives
      3. required readings/bibliography
      4. explanation of course deliverables — i.e., a project, papers, exams
      5. timeline for completion of course deliverables
      6. evaluation procedures — i.e., grading criteria, scope and methods/modes of interaction between the student and the professor
    3. Directed Study/Tutorial Petition signed by the supervising faculty member and appropriate department chair. The appropriate form can be found in Workday.
  2. Once complete, the Associate Dean for Business Programs will be required to sign off on the merit of the proposal.
  3. If approved, the student will be registered for the approved course by the Registrar’s Office.


  • Requests for a Directed Study or Tutorial must be submitted by the first day of the semester that the course will be taken.
  • Approval must be granted prior to beginning the study.


Current tuition is charged for each Directed Study or Tutorial.

Transcript Notation

  • Directed Study: The course will be recorded on the transcript with a notation of the topic investigated, along with a corresponding course number assigned by an academic department.
  • Tutorial: The course will be recorded on the transcript as the appropriate course number and title.