Independent Study

Graduate students who have a special interest in a specific topic may be permitted to undertake an independent study under the personal direction of a GW faculty member, in accordance with the rules of the appropriate department. Students may opt to enroll in any where between one credit and three credits for the independent study dependent on the coursework completed.

To request an independent study, students and their faculty advisor must complete the Independent Study Form  and submit the form and course outline to their academic advisor within the first two weeks of the selected semester. Students may petition to complete a maximum of two independent studies in two separate semesters during their tenure in their graduate program.

Responsibilities & Requirements

Independent Study coursework must not duplicate courses that are traditionally offered at the University. The final work product must be developed with the Independent Study faculty advisor. The faculty advisor may be any full-time GW professor; however, he/she must have knowledge of the issue or topic the student will explore in the independent study.

Academic Requirements

  • Research Paper/Project: Students must complete a business-related paper / project. The paper / project is to be developed over the course of the semester in conjunction with the faculty advisor. The faculty advisor has final approval on all aspects of the paper / project.
  • Readings: Decisions regarding what books and articles must be read are to be negotiated by the student and the faculty advisor. Faculty advisors may assign readings or they may approve readings that students suggest if they feel the content is appropriate and relevant. In addition, faculty advisors have the authority to set deadlines and assign any related work.
  • Faculty/Student Meetings: The faculty advisor and student will meet regularly throughout the semester.