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Independent Study

Students may enroll in an independent study if they wish to pursue the study of a subject that is considered to be of merit and is not addressed by any current course offerings. 

Independent studies are intended to allow students to study material not included in current courses at Stern, as a complement to carefully designed MBA program of study.


  • Students wishing to pursue and independent study must create a written proposal of study to be approved by a faculty sponsor. The proposal will then be presented to the department's chair and require his or her written approval.
  • Upon approval by the department chair, the faculty must submit the Independent Study Form to the Office of Records & Registration.
  • To ensure the academic integrity of the independent study, all independent studies must be sponsored by a full-time faculty member. Any adjunct faculty member working with a student on an independent study must be approved by the Vice Dean of MBA Programs.
  • Independent studies may be 1.5 or 3 non-Core credits, depending on the workload. An independent study should have an intellectual load equivalent to that of a conventional course of the same value, as determined by the faculty member.

Important Guidelines

  • Independent studies are for Stern MBA students only.
  • Independent studies are voluntary for both faculty and student.
  • Independent studies should be completed in one semester, like a traditional course, and a grade should be assigned at the completion of the study.
  • Students may not take more than three (3.0) credits of independent study during their MBA program.
  • 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 may only be counted toward elective credit.