GUIDED INDEPENDENT LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
Directed studies credits (courses numbered 497) are available across all three undergraduate programs (GRS, FNH and APBI). In directed studies, you will work on a one-to-one basis with a faculty mentor on an academic project. The Directed Studies incorporates elements of the Thesis and a Practicum.
Directed Studies allow for flexibility and for you to delve more deeply in to a topic of interest to you. While similar to the Thesis and Essay, Directed Studies do not require a research component. Your final report will give you valuable experience with scientific writing — and you may get to hone your public speaking skills with an oral presentation.
When your project is industry-sponsored and might contain or generate proprietary information, the final report will not be a public document, as is the case with the thesis or essay.
You will be required to prepare a proposal with your academic supervisor with clear learning outcomes and rubric for evaluation that must be signed off by your program advisor.
Normally, directed studies courses are normally worth 3 or 6 credits, but it’s possible to also pursue a 2-credit version.
Registration and directed studies approval process:
It is your responsibility to find an academic supervisor for your directed studies. If you’re planning to undertake directed studies, start seeking an academic supervisor well ahead of when you want to begin. You should contact your designated program advisor as well as the individual faculty member(s) with whom you are interested in conducting a project, well in advance of the beginning of the academic term. We strongly encourage you to start looking at least 4 months in advance of when you would want to be registered in this course. For example, you should approach potential supervisors in the beginning of the summer regarding projects which would start in September. Opportunities for conducting projects are limited.
To learn more about expectations and timelines:
If you have questions about directed studies, you are encouraged to talk to your program advisor to discuss how directed studies could fit within your program requirements. Not sure who your program advisor is? It will be listed on the webpage for your major.
Examples of past and/or current student directed studies projects:
- Applications of genetic modification that could improve agricultural animal welfare
- How predator prey relationships influence body size
- Investigating the effect of a multiple micronutrient supplement on zinc, copper, and selenium concentrations in Cambodian women
- Application of phospholipase A2 in cake formulation