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Independent Study

Through the Computer Science or Information Systems independent study course (CSC 499 or CIS 499), students can earn one to three credits for one semester of independent, but supervised, study or project work completed in an academic setting. The option is intended to enrich the student's knowledge in an area that is not covered by regular course offerings. Students interested in pursuing a graduate program are strongly urged to consider the independent study course to test out their potential for independent research and advanced study. Students interested in pursuing some independent exploration and completing a thesis may consider the thesis option (CSC 486).

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for an independent study, the student must:

  1. Have at least junior standing in the College (54 credits).
  2. Have an established Brockport GPA (must have completed at least one semester at Brockport.
  3. Have a cumulative GPA of at least 2.00 or higher.

Individual independent study instructor-sponsor may have additional requirements, such as knowledge of specific subjects, programming languages or software. Besides meeting the formal prerequisites, candidates should be self-motivated and interested in real-world learning, and should have good communication and problem-solving skills.


Certain forms of work experience are expressly excluded from consideration for independent studies:

  1. Independent study credits cannot be given for work carried out in an employment situation.
  2. Independent study credits cannot be given for projects already completed or in progress.
  3. Independent study credits cannot be counted towards the major elective requirement.

Application Procedure

  1. Each interested student should begin by carefully reading the description of the independent study option and verifying his/her eligibility.
  2. If the student meets the eligibility requirements for the independent study option, he/she should contact faculty members, discuss possible study topics, and then identify a full-time member of the department faculty who agrees to serve as his/her instructor-sponsor. In case of joint supervision by two or more faculty members, a primary instructor will be identified.
  3. Finally, the student must complete and submit an Independent Study Application Form and an Independent Study Outline Form to the instructor-sponsor, and then to the Chair of the Department for approval.
  4. All Independent Study paperwork must be submitted to the Registrar's Office by the student by the published deadlines.

Independent Study Activities

The Independent Study Outline, signed by the student and the instructor-sponsor, must provide in sufficient detail a clear description of the project, the requirements (deliverables), method of instruction, contact/meetings with the instructor-sponsor, and a bibliography. This outline forms the basis for final grading for the course. It is strongly recommended that students present their findings during the annual Brockport Scholars Day.

Necessary Forms

The forms may be obtained from the Department of Computing Sciences or the Office of the Registrar.

  • Independent Study Application Form
  • Independent Study Outline Form

Last Updated 5/26/21