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Independent Study/Thesis Registration

Register for Independent Studies here.

Course Numbers

  • JLC 690 Independent Study Project in Justice (1-6 Credits)
  • JLC 790 Doctoral Independent Study in Justice, Law and Criminology (1-6 Credits)
  • JLC 797 Master’s Thesis Research (3-6 Credits) course credits are graded as Satisfactory Progress (SP) or Unsatisfactory Progress (UP) only. Departmental permission required.

Prior to Registration

  • Conduct preliminary research on potential topics. A research question, preliminary outline and bibliography must be approved by your faculty supervisor prior to registration. 
  • Network with faculty to determine their availability and relevance to the research topic. Many faculty members prefer to be consulted one semester prior to the semester you plan to register. You are responsible for finding a faculty supervisor. 
  • If you are writing a thesis, please consult the Office of the Provost’s Guide to Preparation of Theses and Dissertations for information on writing a thesis proposal.
  • If your project will involve human subject research, you may be required to receive approval from AU’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). For more information, please visit the AU IRB website.

Registration Procedures

  1. Contact your academic advisor or visit the Registrar’s List of Forms website to obtain the necessary forms. Work with your advisor to complete the Independent Study Registration form or consult with them about how to receive approval for a Master’s Thesis Research project.
  2. To register for an Independent Study, follow the Registrar’s instructions for the electronic form and submit it. Afterwards, your academic advisor and the Department Chair will approve the electronic form via email and you will be enrolled in the appropriate course. To register for the Master’s Thesis Research course (JLC-797), consult with your academic advisor on the appropriate procedure. Instructor permission and departmental authorization are required for all Master’s Thesis research projects.
  3. Return the form and/or other required materials to your academic advisor as soon as you are able. Please note the deadlines listed on the Academic Calendar. If the independent study is the only course for which you plan to register in a semester, the deadline to register without a late fee is the Wednesday before the first day of classes.

Important Information

  • As of Fall 2012, all theses are graded SP/UP (Satisfactory Progress/Unsatisfactory Progress), and independent study must be registered for the A-F option. Theses must be pursued in 3 credit increments with a maximum credit allotment of 6.
  • Independent study courses may be registered across multiple semesters by dividing the credits with a maximum credit allotment of 6. For example, a 3 credit IS may be registered as 2 credits of IS in the fall semester and 1 credit of IS in the spring semester.
  • Work is expected to be completed during the semester when the course is registered. An In Progress (IP) or Incomplete (I) grade may be assigned by the faculty supervisor if work is not completed in a timely manner.