Independent Study (ECON 199/399)


Independent studies provide students opportunities to explore their interests deeper and make important decisions about how and where they will direct their talents in the future.

Independent Study provides an intermediate or advanced student opportunity to (a) undertake the study of a topic not otherwise offered in the curriculum, or (b) pursue a topic beyond or in greater depth than is possible within the context of a regular course. Independent Study should be seen as a rigorous investigation of a highly specific topic, calling for student initiative, and requiring a formal structure overseen by faculty.

Economics Independent Studies for Undergraduate Students take many forms, and opportunities are coordinated between the student and faculty, with support from the Undergraduate Studies Office.

Independent Studies may be any of the following:
  • Independent research study/project (design, data collection, analysis, etc.) based on the student’s specific interests
  • Project/Research expanding on a topic presented in class (project must be beyond what is required within the course)
  • Research Assistant (RA) for a faculty member’s research, helping with data collection, data cleaning, analysis, literature review, and other projects to help understand the research process
  • Teaching Assistant (TA) to help faculty with their course, which may include presenting a certain lesson(s), providing website support, answering student questions, and other various matters (may not do any grading or have access to student grades)
Independent Studies may consist of, but are not limited to, any of the following:
  • Paper (required to be considered for academic distinction for 399, see below)
  • Presentation (to faculty, at a conference, at the research symposium, etc.)
  • Weekly or bi-weekly journaling of experience
  • Wrap-up of hours/tasks completed

An Independent Study may be approved for course credit as ECON 199 or 399 (coordinated through the Economics Undergraduate Studies Office, see below).

Application Form

ECON 199:

  • Credit: 0 TO 5 hours
  • Approved for both letter and Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U) grading
    • If taking for a grade, students must take between 1-5 credit hours.
    • 0 hours must be S/U grading
  • May be repeated
  • Recommended for students in conjunction with or after having taken ECON 102 and ECON 103
  • Teaching Assistants (TAs) always receive 199 credit

ECON 399:

  • Credit: 0 TO 9 hours
  • Approved for both letter and S/U grading.
    • If taking for a grade, students must take between 1-5 credit hours.
    • 0 hours must be S/U grading.
  • May be repeated
  • Junior or senior standing
  • ECON 302 (Inter Microeconomic Theory) required as prerequisite
  • A more advanced student project
  • Not for TAs