Independent Studies

Independent Studies courses are not a regular offering, but a unique opportunity for students to pursue an in-depth study on an specific topic related to our programs, but beyond the scope of regular courses. These courses are offered at the 400 level as 0.5 FCE. Students work independently with a professor who acts as research supervisor.

At times, students become interested in a topic through a SPA, PRT or LAS course and approach the instructor of that course for supervision of a more in-depth project. Student's demonstrated ability to do independent work, availability to meet regularly, and the quality of the proposed project are all elements that influence a professors' decision to support the student's independent study.

Students who wish to conduct research that involves human participants (either by interviewing participants, conducting tests or surveys, or doing participant observation) will need to submit a proposal to an Ethics Review Committee in advance to the start of the period of study. Students should be familiar with Canada’s research ethics framework and policy before planning an independent research project. Visit the Ethics in Human Research website in the Research & Innovation page for general information. Be sure to visit the Ethics Review of Course-Based Research site to learn more about the process, and look under "Student Initiated Research" for detailed instructions.

How to request an Independent Studies course

  1. Students must select their own research topic and then approach a professor from the Department of Spanish & Portuguese to ask if they could be their research supervisor. This step may require the student to prepare a more specific statement of the scope and objectives of research, including some preliminary reading on the selected topic, for an initial discussion with the professor, well in advance of the deadline.
  2. If a professor agrees to supervise the student's research project, both jointly submit an Independent Studies Application Form. To obtain this form, please contact the Associate Chair of Undergraduate Studies. The form requests the following information: (a) A clear statement of research purpose; (b) A reading list; (c) A calendar of proposed activities; and (d) A marking scheme with appropriate standards.
  3. After submission, the Department evaluates the application for academic approval. If approval is granted, enrolment is processed through the Department.

The deadline to submit the form is five business days before the first day of classes of the session in which you wish to enrol in the Independent Research course. For instance: if classes begin on Thursday, September 10, the deadline for submission of the Independent Studies Application Form is Thursday, September 3.