Independent Study & Research

Through independent study, you can earn course credit while pursuing your own individual interests under the supervision of a faculty member. There are two types of independent study:

  • Independent Study (non-research), and
  • Research Independent Study.

To participate in independent study, you must do the following:

  1. Get the approval of the instructor involved as well as the director of undergraduate studies in the relevant department or program;
  2. Participate in meetings with the instructor at least once every two weeks during fall or spring semester and once each week during summer semester; and
  3. Complete a final product to be completed during the semester for which you are registered for the course.

Your instructor will evaluate your final product, and provide a grade for the independent study.

Application Form

Download the Independent Study application form

Please also consider Graduation with Distinction!

Independent Study

Project: Public Service Announcement Advocating Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccination in Senegal.

Students: Charmaine Mutucumarana (French & Biology '13), and Eileen Chia-Wen Lin (Language Studies & Global Health '16)

"This poster stemmed from a class project where students had TalkAbroad conversations with individuals from Francophone countries and then designed a culturally-specific Public Service Announcement for a particular health conditions," said Mutucumarana.

"I am excited about combining my interests in languages with a Global Health orientation," said Chia-Wen Lin.


Project: Voices in Global Health (Spanish) Public Service Announcements

Student: Jina Kim (Biology '13)

"Language and culture play an enormous role in our public health system. Unfortunately, the importance of understanding socio-cultural differences is oftentimes unknown and/or underplayed in our health system. In this class, we aim to begin to understand these differences and their impact on health-related choices and disparities. This poster displays one of our projects, which was to create a public service announcement (PSA) for Durham's Latino community. Through these PSAs and other projects, we hope to facilitate communication and innovation for a more effective, cross-cultural health system in the United States and beyond," said Kim.

2018 Program

Each year the Department of Romance Studies (with co-sponsorship of the Office of the Dean of Academic Affairs) presents an Undergraduate Research Conference on the theme of ‘Old Worlds, New Worlds, Future Worlds.' The conference provides an outlet for the outstanding research produced by students in Romance Studies courses, and is an important means by which the department fosters an active culture of research and exchange among students and faculty. This spring at the eighth annual conference, thirteen student projects will be presented displaying an amazing variety of interdisciplinary and innovative topics and research approaches.