Independent Study

What is an independent study?

An independent study is a means for students to study a subject within political science in more detail and perform important research while demonstrating critical thinking and other skills mandated by the discipline. One to three credits may be earned.


Who may enroll in an independent study course?

Undergraduate students who ...

  • Major in Political Science
  • Completed at least 24 hours of Political Science courses at UCCS
  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.3 or higher


Is there an application time frame?

Yes. Students must apply at least 4 weeks before the beginning of the semester in which the work is to be completed.

How do you apply?

You write an essay (3-5 typed, double-spaced pages) justifying the study which includes:

  • Rationale for the independent study
  • A detailed plan for the independent study
  • Description of the final product envisioned for the independent study
  • The name of the faculty member who will be supervising the independent study and a written note from that faculty member indicating his or her willingness to supervise the project
  • The semester in which the independent study will be completed


Include the following additional information with the essay

  • Student's contact information
  • Unofficial transcript


Who receives the essay?

  • The faculty member who supervises the independent study
  • 4 weeks before the beginning of the semester
  • Unofficial transcript must be attached
  • Student will be notified of the department's decision within two weeks of the submission of the application


What is expected of a 3-hour credit Independent Study?

  • 7 to 10 hours of work per week for the student
  • Reading several books on a selected topic
  • Writing a 40-page research paper


Full description

"Truth gains more even by the errors of one who, with due study and preparation, thinks for himself, than by the true opinions of those who only hold them because they do not suffer themselves to think." John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) British philosopher, political theorist, political economist