The School of Public Health offers a number of undergraduate independent study courses which allow students to earn credit for research, readings or project based work with an SPH faculty member. These courses are open to all University of Michigan Ann Arbor undergraduate students.
Independent Study Courses
How to Enroll in Independent Study
Independent study courses provide the opportunity for students to pursue public health topics of interest in depth by designing an individualized academic experience in collaboration with a faculty member. Interested students should begin by reviewing the Independent Study Guidelines and Application to learn more about the expectations for earning academic credit for independent study. An overview of the process for enrolling in an independent study course is listed below. Please see the Independent Study Guidelines and Application for additional details.
It is up to the student to identify a possible research, readings or practical projects topic and a possible supervising faculty member. An independent study is intended for students and faculty who have common public health interests.
Often, the student and faculty member already know each other. Students in search of a faculty supervisor can review faculty profiles to identify someone with similar interest or experience in the intended topic area. Current public health undergraduate students interested in a research based independent study should go to the Michigan Public Health Careers portal to view any existing opportunities submitted by SPH faculty members.
Note: the Careers portal is only open to current SPH students.
In your own words, write a 1–2 page proposal for the project, which must include a description of the scope of the research or project, learning objectives agreed upon with the faculty member, how you will complete the project (methodology), and deliverables after discussions with your supervising faculty member. You are required to submit a paper or final product that reflects the appropriate rigor, sufficient workload for the requested credit, and the projected length is to be indicated in the proposal.
Other suggested information to include in the proposal: a list of duties, how it will contribute to your learning, proposed weekly/meeting schedule, description of external partners involved (if applicable).
The faculty supervisor must review and approve the proposal before signing the application form. Guiding questions for your faculty supervisor to consider when reviewing your proposal draft can be found on page 6 of the Independent Study Guidelines and Application form.
What if my faculty supervisor is not a School of Public Health faculty member?
- A student wishing to enroll in an independent study course under the direction of a faculty member in another school/college of the University must obtain approval from a faculty member in the School of Public Health, who agrees to serve as co-sponsor before beginning the project.
- A prospective co-sponsor will verify that the proposed independent study meets all of the criteria outlined in the Independent Study Guidelines and will confirm that the project/research is focused on public health.
Undergraduate students may elect one independent study course per semester for 1 to 3 credits and may not exced a total of 6 credits in public health independent study courses. This limit includes independent study courses offered by the SPH graduate departments.