Mass Communication

Directed Study Guidelines

Description of a Directed Study

A Directed Study is a MCOM course in which a student pursues independent research under the guidance of a faculty member. A student may choose to undertake a Directed Study for the following reasons: 1) to pursue in depth an area covered more generally in a course, or 2) to explore a topic not normally covered in the curriculum. In either case, it is the student’s responsibility to identify the topic fully and to acquire enough information to ensure its worthiness for independent research.

Creating a Directed Study Proposal: Student and Supervising Faculty Member

    1. Select a faculty Instructor and design your Directed Study with their consultation. Write a working draft of this document so that revisions suggested by your Instructor may be incorporated into the final Directed Study contract.

    1. After a topic has been chosen, decide how much time should be devoted to the Directed Study. Directed Study is three credits. It is important to remember that the number of credits received for a Directed Study should be reflected in the amount of work detailed in the proposal. This work should include meetings with the supervising faculty member, an appropriate amount of reading and research, and an appropriate number of written pages.

    1. Identify key references (books, journal articles, or other sources) pertinent to the start of the project.

    1. Arrange a meeting between the student and supervising faculty member. The design of a clear, explicit plan for the completion of the course is the main purpose of this initial conference. Topics to cover should include: supervision, a tentative list of references and research materials, and assignments to be completed. Often, but not necessarily in every case, the work entails a major paper / production; or a series of papers /productions.

    1. Obtain signatures from your Instructor and the Chairperson of the department in which credit is to be earned. Submit the signed Directed Study contract to the department secretary’s office  to clear for registration.

  1. Notes on deadlines: Directed Study contracts are due during the registration period for the term in which the Directed Study will occur.

It is important to allow yourself ample time to develop a thorough and academically rigorous directed study proposal. You should begin thinking about your Directed Study during the semester prior to your anticipated registration. It is not recommended that you begin creating a proposal once the semester has already begun.

Directed Study Contract

Directed Study Contract


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