Directed Study Course Guidelines

Directed Study courses provide:

  • A way of dealing with low-enrolled classes.
    They can be used to allow students to take a required course (i.e., not an elective) when it has low enrollment. Instead of cancelling a course due to low enrollment, students have the opportunity to take the class with the original instructor and syllabus and satisfy the original course learning outcomes but under a different course number.
  • An option allowing students to pursue advanced study in a specialized area.
    They may be offered to provide students an opportunity to work with a full-time faculty member to conduct an in-depth examination of a topic that is not offered in courses scheduled for that semester. When a student is interested in advanced study beyond what is covered in the department/program’s existing curriculum, they can work with a faculty member to develop a specialized course and syllabus. The Directed Study syllabus will include assignments that require the student to engage in substantive reading/research, with the objective of producing a culminating project, artifact, or scholarly work.

Note: Directed Study courses are not a mechanism for trying out a new course; the Special Topics course is the appropriate mechanism for this.

Requirements and Procedures

Directed Study courses must be approved by the faculty member who is offering the Directed Study, the student’s faculty advisor or Department Chair/Program Director, the Area Associate Dean, and the Assistant Dean for Academic and Faculty Services in CASA. The Directed Study registration form must be completed and returned to CASA. Once approved, CASA then registers the student for the course.

Like all courses, Directed Study courses must have a syllabus following the College of Arts and Sciences syllabus guidelines.

As per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, full-time faculty are not compensated for Directed Study courses during the academic year (Fall, Intersession, and Spring terms). They are compensated during summer sessions at the PHP adjunct faculty rate. Adjunct faculty are compensated for Directed Studies at all times, using the rate (PHP2, PHP, or non-PHP) appropriate to their rank. Compensation is 10% of the relevant per-unit pay rate multiplied by the number of units and number of students. For example, if the relevant pay rate is $2,000/unit, and a 4-unit Directed Study course has 3 students enrolled: .1 x $2,000 = $200, $200 x 4 x 3 = $2400.