Graduate Independent Study

The College of IST will allow students to take independent study courses (IST 596) with IST graduate faculty members to learn about areas that are not taught in currently offered Penn State graduate courses.

The college will use the following guidelines for the Independent Study policy:

  • Students requesting an independent study course must submit a completed Independent Study Form to the Office of Graduate Programs for review by the director of graduate programs before or during the first week of the semester in which the student plans to take the independent study course.
  • Students can earn a maximum of six credits of independent study during the duration of their studies. Independent study course hours can range from one to three depending on the work proposed. These credits will count toward the specialization area course requirements.
  • Independent study is not to be used for M.S. or Ph.D. research credits. Rather, it is for students to do independent coursework on a subject that is not being offered in IST or elsewhere at Penn State.
  • The student must meet with the independent study instructor for the contact hours related to the number of requested credits. For example, a three-credit independent study course would require three contact hours a week.
  • The output of the independent study course must be a deliverable that is relevant to the course and agreed upon by the student and the instructor.

Office of Graduate Programs

E103 Westgate Building
University Park, PA 16802

Resident Programs
(814) 863-0591

Online Programs
(814) 863-9461