Independent Study for Business Masters Students


The purpose of an independent study course is to allow students to tailor their education to their individual learning needs. Students interested in completing an Independent Study should speak to their advisor. Advisors can provide students with an Authorization for Independent Study Project Form.


  • An independent study course is only granted under special circumstances, usually when a subject is unavailable within a program's established curriculum.   
  • For most Specialty Masters programs, students may complete up to three (3) independent study credits as part of their program of study. The Master of Science in Accounting program has an option for up to four (4) credits in specific situations, to be discussed with the program adivsor.
  • Independent study courses offered by any unit outside the Smith School may not be used toward a Smith School Specialty Master degree.
  • Independent study projects offered under the Smith School’s master's-level prefixes must be completed under the supervision of a Smith School faculty advisor.
  • Independent study projects must be based at a student's home campus (for example, a student admitted to the Master of Finance program must register for an independent study course at the College Park campus).
  • The project’s description, objective, number of credits, and other details must be agreed upon by both the student and the faculty advisor, and approved by the area chair and academic director. 
  • The independent study courses utilize the number 759 under each of the Smith School master’s level prefixes.


  • The Authorization for Independent Study Project Form is due to the appropriate Masters Programs Office (MPO) advisor before the first day of the semester of which it will occur. For example, a Term B independent study request should be submitted before the start of the Fall semester.

Instructions for Approval

  1. Student must complete and sign the Authorization for Independent Study Project Form.
  2. Student must obtain his/her faculty advisor signature on the form.
  3. Student should then provide the form to his/her MPO advisor.
    1. The MPO advisor will submit the form for signature by the area chair and academic director.
    2. Once the MPO advisor receives the form with all four signatures, he/she will provide the student with registration permission and instructions.