Independent Study Policy – Graduate Students

Approved by the President

Policy Contact
Office of Graduate Studies
(607) 436-3274

Policy Statement

The purpose of independent graduate study is to allow students to pursue projects that do not fit within the framework of regular course offerings. Such coursework is intended to be a truly independent project of a special nature and may be offered in a letter grade or a pass/fail format. To be eligible for independent study, the graduate student must be matriculated in a graduate degree or certificate program and in good standing or have received a master’s degree.


This policy is a revision to a previous policy on graduate independent study. This revision eliminates barriers to registering for an independent study and eliminates limits on the number of independent study credits a student can take. It additionally includes the new Dean of Graduate Studies position in the approval process.

Applicability of the Policy

This policy applies to graduate students at SUNY Oneonta.


To undertake an independent study, a student must submit the online independent study application.

The student’s advisor, the faculty sponsor, and the department chair must approve the independent study. In the case where the department chair is also the student’s advisor, the Graduate Dean or their designee must also approve the independent study.

Action on applications for independent study is guided by the following considerations:

  • The work to be covered is not available in a regular course offering.
  • An Oneonta faculty member has agreed to offer the independent study.



Questions related to the daily operational interpretation of this policy should be directed to:

Office of Graduate Studies
(607) 436-3274

Effective Dates

Approved by the President on 1/22/2024

Next Renewal: TBD

Back to top