Directed Study


(GWS 299/699)

UNDERGRADUATE GUIDELINES: Graduate students should contact faculty members directly about how to proceed)

Undergraduate students in good standing, including majors and non-majors, may undertake a GWS 299 or 699: Directed Study project under the supervision of a GWS Faculty member. If you are not sure about faculty eligibility, please consult the faculty listings. Directed Study projects typically build on work a student has already carried out in a GWS course. Directed Study projects may include volunteer activities at the discretion of the supervising faculty member; however, students must also undertake a significant scholarly/research/written project in keeping with the course credit elected and the expectations of 3 hours of academic work per week per credit elected. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain the support of a supervising faculty member and draft the required Directed Study proposal in consultation with the faculty member and well in advance of the final day of registration for fall or spring semester. Faculty are typically unavailable to supervise Directed Studies over the summer.


  • Directed Studies do not ordinarily carry general distribution credits (such as, S, B, H, L, e).
  • Under Department guidelines, GWS 299/699 cannot replace course requirements in the GWS major or certificate nor can it count as elective credit within the major or certificate.
  • GWS 299/699 cannot be used for Study Abroad programs or overseas course credits without prior consent of a GWS faculty member.
  • Students and supervising faculty with projects involving human subjects in any way are expected to be knowledgeable about and compliant with all University and federal guidelines governing human subject research (

TO REGISTER for a GWS 299/699 you should:

  • Have taken courses in GWS, preferably with the proposed supervising faculty member
  • Have obtained the written consent of  supervising GWS faculty member
  • Articulate clearly and convincingly in a 2-page proposal statement why you wish to carry out this directed study and what significant scholarly project(s) you will produce for the final grade. This statement should identify clearly the nature of all work which will be graded and the amount of time you will be expected to work.
  • Complete the the application form and have it signed by your supervising faculty member, attach the 2-page proposal, and turn it in to the Undergraduate Advisor in GWS.