Directed individual study

Directed individual study (DIS) is a college, university or college preparatory school[1] level class providing a more in-depth and comprehensive study of a specific topic than is available in the classroom.

Courses may be taken as electives. In some cases, a directed individual study may be:

  • a professor-student rendition of a course that will not be offered again before a student graduates
  • the college or university department does not have an established course on the subject area
  • the student wishes to research an available course in more depth
  • a course offered at another college or university that is not a part of the general curriculum.
  • courses that may be applied to satisfy the requirements for a Master's degree.


In general, a student should have or may have to acquire:

  • an earned overall GPA of 3.0 (B) or better
  • an earned 90 hours toward graduation
  • have registered for a course load of no more than 15 semester hours
  • the advance approval of the department head of the department offering the course, and the instructor
  • follow an approved course of study of prerequisite or courses.


A student identifies an area in which he or she wishes to undertake research and approaches a faculty member with expertise in that field to request a directed individual study.

The student and instructor complete a DIS form and submit it to the academic coordinator who establishes the course in the registration system. The student often titles his/her own subject area.

The content and requirements of the course are worked out between each instructor and student. Generally, students should not expect a faculty member to agree to a directed individual study unless they have had the student in a regular class and are familiar with that student. The faculty member develops a related syllabus, for review and approval by the department chair and in some cases the dean of the college.


  1. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-12-12. Retrieved 2013-12-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)


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