Independent Study Course

An Independent Study Course (also known as a Reading Course), is a one-semester course, in which most of the learning is done independently by the student, from textbook(s), articles and/or other resources suggested by the supervisor. The supervisor must be a faculty member, who meets with the student regularly to discuss the material and work on problems and/or other tasks assigned. Upon successful completion of the course, the student receives a credit for a 300 or a 400-level course in the appropriate discipline (Mathematics, Computer Science or Statistics).

Please read the Frequently Asked Questions below if you are interested in knowing more and possibly applying for an Independent Study Course.


How do I find a supervisor?

Who chooses the topic for the course?

How do I register for an Independent Study Course?

Are there any tests/exams in such a course?

Are there any prerequisites for an Independent Study Course?

Is my course a 300 or a 400 level course?

How long will the course last and how much work will be involved?

More Questions?


How do I find a supervisor?

Students who are interested in taking an Independent Study Course should look for an appropriate supervisor well in advance (1-2 months before the beginning of the term in which the course in being taken). Any faculty member can serve as a supervisor (as long as departmental approval is granted). The student should contact individual faculty and inquire about the availability and willingness to supervise an Independent Study Course, and possible topics for the course. Faculty members may tend to suggest topics which are closer to their area of expertise.


Who chooses the topic for the course?

Both the student and the supervisor can suggest topics. Students are encouraged to discuss their ideas with more than one proposed supervisor, and decide together on a topic that is appropriate and interesting to both the supervisor and the student.


How do I register for an Independent Study Course?

Students should not register for an Independent Study Course on ROSI!

Once you have a supervisor and a topic for the course, fill out an Application for an Independent Study Course form, and send it to your supervisor, who will fill out Part B of the form, and forward it to the undergraduate counsellor. Once the department approves the course, you will be registered in the course on ROSI, using the appropriate course code.

Mathematics Application Form (MAT388H5, MAT478H5, MAT488H5, MAT492H5, MAT498H5) 

Statistics Application Form (STA378H5, STA388H5,STA478H5, STA488H5)

Computer Science Application Form (CSC398H5, CSC492H5, CSC493H5, CSC498H5)


Are there any tests/exams in such a course?

Normally, there are no tests or exams in such courses. However, the supervisor may assign a final project in the course. The final project can be in the form of a written essay, a presentation, a computer simulation, etc.

The supervisor will evaluate the student based on the meetings and on any written or other work assigned to the student.


Are there any prerequisites for an Independent Study Course?

Students must have a minimum CGPA of 2.5 to be admitted for an Independent Study Course. Other prerequisites may be imposed by the supervisor.


Is my course a 300 or a 400 level course?

The supervisor will decide whether the course is at a level of a 300 or 400 course.


How long will the course last and how much work will be involved?

Normally, the course will run for 12-14 weeks. The expected amount of work should be about the same as in an equivalent regular course. You should be aware though, that the time you spend is very much up to you, and that many students find these courses highly interesting and can often put in more hours than they might in a regular course.


More Questions?

If you have further questions, please contact Yvette Ye, the undergraduate counsellor, at DV4006, or see the appropriate faculty advisor.