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Independent Study

  1. A student may take one Independent Study course per semester.
     
  2. An Independent Study course may be for one, two or three credits.  
     
  3. An Independent Study course does not satisfy the Seminar requirement for graduation.
     
  4. A student may register for no more than two Independent Study courses for a maximum of four (4) credits. 
     
  5. A student may take an Independent Study only from a Supervising Professor.  A Supervising Professor must be a Law Faculty member. Adjuncts and professors from other units of the University are not within this definition.  Graduate level Individual Studies (596) credits will not be applied to the J.D. degree.
     
  6. Before a student may register for an Independent Study course, the student must submit a written course proposal to the Supervising Professor. The course proposal must state the student's goals for the course and propose a thesis for the research paper the student will produce as part of the course.  The Supervising Professor must approve the course proposal.  
     
  7. Each Supervising Professor sets his or her standards and expectations each student must satisfy for course credit.  A Supervising Professor may not award credit for an Independent Study unless the student produces a written research paper that reflects learning and achievement that merit award of course credit.  Normally, to meet this standard, a student should expect to produce at least twenty double-spaced letter size pages of high quality legal scholarship for each credit awarded for the course. 

Note: A student may not earn academic credit more than once for the same or similar work (“double-dipping”).  For example, a student may not submit the same or similar work to satisfy the requirements for membership on a law journal and for credit in a seminar course or independent study.  See Penn State Law Honor Code Appendix 12 (defining “plagiarism” as including “the re-submission of work originally completed for another course . . .” ).