Independent Study

  • Students may propose independent study projects in order to pursue advanced study not offered in the curriculum or study that involves a dimension different from that offered in a regularly-scheduled class. Independent study courses may earn up to one credit per semester or two credits for a yearlong course.

    Generally, independent study projects are designed for students with particular academic interests and/or talents. While independent study work can be important in a student’s academic trajectory, both DHS and HPHS offer a wealth of course options that in most cases provide a more well-rounded and enriching experience for students. 

    • Development. Interested students must develop a project proposal in conjunction with a faculty sponsor. Departments may have special prerequisites for Independent Study; applicants are encouraged to meet with the Department Chair prior to developing a proposal. Students should expect that the timeframe for proposing a successful independent study project will take weeks and are encouraged to begin the process the semester before the semester that the project begins. 
    • Grades, Credit. An Independent Study project may be taken on a pass/fail basis or for a grade. Projects of unusual difficulty may qualify for Honors credit on a pass-fail basis only. However, in the event that a student has exhausted the Honors curriculum but has not exceeded the total number of Honors credits available within the department, they will have the option of pursuing Honors Independent Study and receive a weighted grade. For example, a student who has completed all the honors courses in the mathematics sequence would be eligible to propose an independent study project for honors credit.
    • Forms. Independent study forms are available online on the website of the counseling department and appear as an exhibit to this Policy. Proposals include these elements: rationale for request, objectives of the plan, mechanics of meeting times, the nature of the final product, and evaluation procedures.
    • Review, Approval. Independent Study proposals that have been reviewed and approved by the faculty sponsor, department chair, and assistant principal must be submitted to the student's Counselor by the end of the third week of each semester to allow the student time to complete the project in the school year or in the semester, whichever timeframe the project requires.

    Independent studies will appear on transcripts in the hosting department with the abbreviation “IS” (for “independent study”) followed by the independent study project name.

    Independent Study Form