Independent Study Courses
In this Section
Quick Access Links
The University offers independent study experiences for undergraduate students, including directed readings, internships/practica, mentored undergraduate research, and senior honors thesis courses for an individual student. Students, in consultation with the faculty member, must complete a learning contract and have it approved by the director of undergraduate studies (or designee). Registration for an independent study course must be completed after the learning contact has been approved and no later than the last day of “late registration” (the end of the second week of classes in fall or spring semester or the equivalent date in each summer session). Students are strongly encouraged to begin this process early, well before the beginning of the semester.
University policy requires all departments offering undergraduate independent study courses to collect and archive completed learning contracts.
Online Learning Contract Manager (OLCM)
*College Units only
To help with the process of reviewing and approving independent study learning contracts, departments in the College of Arts and Sciences have the option of using the Online Learning Contract Manager (OLCM) web application.
How it works
- Student initiates a learning contract in OLCM, after consulting with their faculty advisor and department. See student OLCM guide for more information.
- Instructor reviews the contract carefully before approving. Instructors can oversee no more than two students per semester (see the Limits and Exclusions subheading). Exemptions to this rule can be requested in OLCM. See instructor OLCM guide for more information.
- The independent study coordinator in the department reviews the learning contract for final approval. See coordinator OLCM guide for more information.
- The scheduler (e.g., student services manager) is notified when the contract has cleared all approval steps and is ready to be scheduled in ConnectCarolina.
Our office will contact OLCM users with notices about open/close dates, reminders, and other useful information. Departments are responsible for assisting students with the submission process and reminding their instructors about reviewing learning contracts in a timely manner. Our office may reach out directly to instructors and/or department users regarding specific concerns.
For more information about OLCM, contact Hannah Summers.
Requesting a Late Add for an Independent Study
For late adds to independent study courses (i.e., enrollment requests submitted after the add/drop deadline for a given semester), departments must request the review and approval of the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Curricula.
As part of this request, departments should provide the following items:
- A completed, signed learning contract (includes student, instructor, and coordinator signatures)
- A completed add/drop form for the student and independent study section
- A rationale for why the student could not be enrolled prior to the deadline
Submit the above items by email to the Associate Dean and Curriculum Analyst. Our office will respond within 3-5 business days and, in the event the late add request is approved, will notify the department/student and submit the signed add form to the Registrar for processing.
For more information, contact Hannah Summers.