Registering for Independent Study Courses


Required Form: Enrollment Contract and Registration Form for Independent Study Coursework

Claremont Graduate University offers individualized instruction on a wide range of topics through the following types of courses.

  • 397 - Tutorial Reading (Master's Level)
  • 398 - Independent Study (Master's Level)
  • 399 - Masters Thesis Research (Master's Level)
  • 495 - Doctoral Research (Doctoral level)
  • 497 - Tutorial Reading (Doctoral Level)
  • 498 - Independent/Doctoral Research
  • Internships, Directed Research, Field Studies, etc.

These types of courses are commonly referred to as Independent Study courses.  Students should have completed at least one semester of enrollment in regular courses before requesting an independent study opportunity.

The procedures outlined below apply to enrollment in all types of independent study. 

Registering for Independent Study

The registration process for an Independent Study course is different from enrollment in regular courses and cannot be done online.  This is because each activity is structured to meet the needs and interests of the individual student.

  1. Students must complete the Enrollment Contract and Registration Form for Independent Study Coursework Credit.  Designed as a contract form for the academic activity to be undertaken, the form requires the signatures of the student and the instructor.  The form must also be approved by the student's advisor and department head.
  2. Students must submit the completed Enrollment Contract and Registration Form to the department.  Departments will approve and send enrollment forms to the Registrar's Office for processing before the end of the Add/Drop period.
  3. Forms submitted to the Registrar's Office after the Add/Drop deadline are considered late registration and are subject to the applicable fees.

Completing the Enrollment Contract and Registration Form

The purpose of submitting the Enrollment Contract and Registration Form is to document your independent study activity and justify the assignment of academic units for financial aid and other purposes.

  • Identify the topic of your independent study.  Be specific and focused.  You should be able to accomplish your study goals within a single semester.  Note that for Thesis/Doctoral research activities, you must identify the specific area of your reaseach.  "Development of a thesis/dissertation" is not acceptable.
  • Identify a title for your independent study course.  This title is recorded on your transcript to indicate the area or focus of your independent study work.  If no title is submitted, a title will be supplied based upon the learning outcomes provided in the contract.
  • Identify literature, goals, or other academic activities for your independent study.  Summarize the learning outcomes you anticipate in a statement or syllabus to be included in or attached to your Enrollment Contract and Registration Form.  These anticipated learning outcomes define the terms for assessing your performance in this independent study.  When Preparing for Qualifying Exams or Developing a Thesis/Dissertation, specify the general area of your academic activity--for example, "British Literature - The Restoration Comedies" as opposed to merely "English" or "English Literature."  For internships, attach a copy of the internship contract or detail of the intern's responsibilities and focus of work.  If an establish class will provide the framework of your study, you may attach the class syllabus.
  • Identify a faculty member to oversee and guide your independent study.  You will work closely with this instructor to accomplish your independent study goals.  You will need the instructor's signature on the Enrollment Contract and Registration Form as evidence of the faculty member's agreement to supervise your independent study.  Internships, which have an on-site supervisor, also require identification of a faculty, who will review the experience of the student and provide a grade.
  • Specify the units to be earned by completion of the activity.  Units must be consistent with CGU credit hour policies.
  • Enjoy your independent study activities, but be sure to complete the required outcomes by the end of the semester.  You may wish to consider enrolling in your independent study on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading basis.

Independent study enrollment forms are registration forms and all Add/Drop deadline apply.


Contact your department for assistance. 

Helpful Links

Return to registrar's website.


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