Getting Started with Directed Studies Courses

Directed Studies courses are not like other courses at Augustana! Are you an independent, self-motivated, and self-directed student in your 2nd, 3rd or 4th year? Are you itching to explore a topic about which you are really passionate? Then this could be for you! Directed studies courses let you dive into a research topic of your own interest! Directed studies courses are not a substitute for a regular course, but rather an opportunity for energetic undergraduate students to rigorously investigate a topic of their own interest that is not offered within the regular course selection.

Criteria/Requirements for Directed Studies Courses

Directed studies courses are generally at the 300/400 level and are worth 3 to 6 credits (fall and/or winter terms). Minimum GPAs range from 3.0 to 3.5, depending on the department. Check with your department administrator to determine the GPA necessary to enrol in a Directed Studies Course in your department. Other enrollment criteria are set by supervising professors; allowing the student to enroll is at their discretion. Meetings between you and your supervising professor will happen weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. These meetings can occur in person, or via the phone or email. There is no set requirement for length. These meetings are for you and your supervisor to establish grading criteria, deadlines, progress, and to develop new ideas and ways of thinking

What Directed Studies Courses Include

Directed studies courses require a great deal of time and commitment. In a directed studies course, you might be required to complete any of the following scholarly activities:

  • Literature review
  • Research proposal
  • Ethics approval
  • Gathering data
  • Developing methods/techniques
  • Analysis of data
  • Major research paper or other substantial creative work
  • Public presentation
  • Regularly scheduled meetings with your professor

You and your supervising professor will decide on your grading criteria. You will typically be marked on these criteria. Other grading criteria will vary from course to course