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Independent Study

Did you come across a particular topic in one of your EOS courses that really caught your interest?  Then consider doing an independent study to learn more about it while working one-on-one with an EOS faculty member.

How do I know which professors are offering an Independent Study?
All EOS faculty members (e.g. professors, lecturers, and research scientists) offer independent study but not necessarily every semester.  Contact the faculty member you wish to work with to find out whether they are available during the semester in question.

What topics are available for Independent Study?
Any topic that you and your independent study adviser deem relevant to the Earth and Ocean Sciences. If you are unsure what to study ask the Director of Undergraduate Studies or simply contact the professor you want to work with and ask to talk about possible topics.

What format does an Independent Study take?
That depends on your adviser. At minimum, you will be required to write a substantive paper or report, summarizing the topic of your study. Your adviser should meet with you every two weeks, or more frequently, to discuss the topic, answer any questions you have, guide your research into the topic, and suggest further readings. Some advisers have a more formal structure that might include quizzes or tests, and attendance of their research group meetings. Be sure you discuss their expectations, grading criteria, and set clear deadlines during the first week of your study.

How many Independent Studies can I take?
You can take as many independent studies as you wish, however, only TWO of these can be used to fulfill electives towards the EOS major.

I am not an EOS major, can I still do an Independent Study in EOS?
Yes, but whether and how the Independent Study will be counted towards your own major is up to that program’s Director of Undergraduate Studies.

How do I sign up for Independent Study?
You will need to contact your faculty adviser or Amy Kirkland to receive a permission number to enroll in the faculty member’s EOS 391 Independent Study section.  For a second Independent Study with the same faculty member, enroll in their EOS 392 section.

Can I do an Independent Study in EOS at the Duke Marine Lab?
Yes, with the consent of the EOS Director of Undergraduate Studies and the faculty adviser of your choice. Enroll in EOS 391A for EOS Independent Study at the Duke Marine Lab.

Do I have to produce original research as part of my Independent Study?
No. If you are planning on doing original research, sign up for Research Independent Study instead.

I am not yet a junior or senior, can I still do an Independent Study in EOS?
Yes, however this is by consent of the EOS Director of Undergraduate Studies only. Previous experience, course history, and adviser recommendation are taken into consideration in this decision.


EOS Independent Study Courses

EOS 391. Independent Study. Directed reading or individual projects. Term paper required. Open only to qualified juniors and seniors by consent of director of undergraduate studies and supervising instructor. Instructor: Varies. One course.

EOS 391A. Independent Study. Marine Lab version of EOS 391. Offered at Beaufort. Instructor: Varies. One course.

EOS 392. Independent Study. See Earth and Ocean Sciences 391. Term paper required. Open only to qualified juniors and seniors by consent of director of undergraduate studies and supervising instructor. Instructor: Varies. One course.