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Academic Affairs
NYU Stern

Independent Study

Independent studies are exclusively for subjects considered to be of merit that are not addressed in conventional courses. They are intended to allow students to study material not included in courses at Stern, as a complement to carefully designed programs of study. Independent studies require a written proposal of study prepared by the student and signed by the faculty.

The proposal is presented to the department's chair and require his/her written approval. Independent studies can be 1.5 or 3 non-Core credits, depending on the workload. It should have an intellectual load equivalent to that of a conventional course of the same value as determined by the faculty.

To ensure the academic integrity of the independent study, the faculty member sponsoring the independent study must be a full-time faculty member. Any adjunct faculty member working with a student on an independent study requires the additional approval of the Vice Dean, MBA Programs.

Important Guidelines:

  • Independent studies are for Stern MBA students only.
  • Independent studies projects should be sponsored by full-time faculty only (adjunct faculty are not considered full-time faculty). Any exceptions to the above policy should be made by the academic dean of the program in which the student is enrolled.
  • Independent studies are voluntary for both faculty and student.
  • Independent studies require a written proposal of study prepared by the student and signed by the faculty. The proposals will be presented to the department chair and require his/her written approval.
  • Independent study courses are intended to allow students to study material not included in courses at Stern, as a complement to carefully designed programs of study.
  • Independent studies may be for one and one-half (1.5) or three (3) credits, depending on the workload. A three (3) credit independent study should have an intellectual load equivalent to a regular, three (3) credit course, as determined by the faculty.
  • Like a traditional course, Independent studies should not linger for longer than a semester. A grade should be assigned at the completion of the study, as is done with a traditional course
  • The maximum number of credits from all independent studies should not exceed three (3) credits for any given student.
  • Independent studies do not involve course credit for the volunteer instructor.
  • Independent studies may not be used to give credit for work experience alone, including paid or unpaid internships.
  • Students are not eligible for independent study in their first semester.
  • Independent studies are only allowed on elective course work.

Upon approval by the department chair, the faculty must forward this form to the Office of Records & Registration.