Independent Study: Directed Study

Tutorial style learning, under direction and supervision of an OIST faculty member.  This course allows students to learn material that is not available through the regular elective courses, to permit independent and individualized learning to benefit their thesis research.


The elective course Independent Study (IND) will foster the development of independent study and research skills such as reading and critiquing the scientific literature, formulating scientific questions, and integrating knowledge into a coherent synthesis. Students undertake a program of reading and synthesis of ideas under the guidance of an OIST faculty member acquainted with the field.

Students should, in consultation with the Supervising Faculty,

  • prepare a plan of the study and reading material,
  • carry out the appropriate reading and exercises, and 
  • describe the results of their study in a substantial report or essay.  


Written assessment of some form is required. Assessment items must be described in the proposal.  After completion, the Tutor (an OIST Professor) will be asked to provide an evaluation of the assessment items and student performance. This course is graded as Pass/Fail.

​Independent Studies may be taken in any one term, and should be completed within the period of that term.  The due date for all work will be at the end of the current term.  The course may be taken multiple times on different topics.

The supervision provided, such as timing and format of face-to-face meetings, progress checks, and so on must be detailed in the proposal, and the student should commit to this undertaking. A minimum of 20 hours of faculty-student contact is required for credit to be awarded, with additional time for readings and exercises.  Online material may be added as needed, but does not decrease the required contact hours.

Please submit your request for Independent Study: Directed Study using THIS FORM.  You should submit before or close to the start of the term for which you apply.  Approval by the CEC may take up to one month.

Important: If you apply and the proposal is approved, you must complete or a Fail grade will be awarded. If not approved, you will be notified. If you require an extension, please contact Curriculum and Programs team before the specified end date.