Individual Studies

The 2012-13 University & College Access Network (UCAN) students: http://news.ucsc.edu/2013/01/ucan.html. Photo by Thomas Gelder

Students may elect to pursue an individual study to supplement their experience at UCSC. In an individual study, the student works directly with a faculty member to pursue a subject of interest to the student. Individual studies are also referred to as independent studies. 

Types of Individual Studies:

  • SOCY 193, 5-unit Field Study. A field study is for students who have an internship/volunteer opportunity in the community and would like to receive credit. Students should set up the internship on their own, then complete the steps listed below to enroll in the individual study. 5-unit field studies-including time spent in the field, with the instructor, and on assignments-must be at least 15 hours per week.

  • SOCY 193F, 2-unit Field Study. A field study is for students who have an internship/volunteer opportunity in the community and would like to receive credit. Students should set up the internship on their own, then complete the steps listed below to enroll in the independent study. 2-unit field studies-including time spent in the field, with the instructor, and on assignments-must be at least 6 hours per week.

  • SOCY 194, 5-unit Group Tutorial. A group tutorial allows for a small group of students to study a particular topic with a faculty sponsor. The faculty member arranges the group study.

  • SOCY 194F, 2-unit Group Tutorial. A group tutorial allows for a small group of students to study a particular topic with a faculty sponsor. The faculty member arranges the group study.

  • SOCY 195, 5-unit Thesis. SOCY 195A, 195B and 195C are thesis tracking courses that allows a student to obtain credit while working on their thesis. A thesis can be done over 2-3 quarters, beginning any quarter, and the courses may be taken consecutively or concurrently. Please review the senior thesis information.

  • SOCY 198, 5 units Independent Field Study. This field study applies to work done at a remote site for which the faculty supervision is not in person. Instead supervision is usually done by correspondence. See also Field Study.

  • SOCY 199, Tutorial. This is an independent study for any type of independent research or advanced directed reading not covered by the types of independent studies list above.

Individual Study Enrollment Directions:

  1. Fill out the Petition For Undergraduate Individual Studies Course, and obtain the faculty sponsor’s signature. This must be a faculty member, and cannot be a lecturer, teaching fellow, or graduate student. Refer to the Sociology Faculty Advisors list under Forms and Handouts.

  2. If the Individual Study is for a senior thesis, students must also be sure to review and follow the guidelines on the senior thesis page. 
  3. In the Individual Study is for an internship and volunteer opportunity (field study), students should be prepared to discuss the following items with their faculty sponsor at the initial meeting:

    • How your field work/internship ties in with Sociological themes
    • The academic component that needs to be completed. Academic components may include: relevant readings, response papers, midterm or final paper, reflective paper, journals, media projects, etc. Students are encouraged to have a proposal in mind, such as relevant readings you have found that tie in with the work, a proposal of a paper you would like to write for the quarter that reflects on your field work and relates it to a relevant sociological concept/theme, or an idea for a project. The more you can demonstrate that you have done some research on the subject and have thought about the academic component, the better.
    • The sponsor may require a certain amount of time spent checking-in via email, phone, or in-person, which should be indicated on the form.
    • A combined total of six hours of work per week are required for two units, and fifteen hours of work a week are required for five units. The total number of hours a week is a combination of time spent in the field/internship opportunity, time spent with the sponsor, and the time spent completing the academic component. Discuss the time and unit amount with the sponsor, who will then indicate the units on the form.
  4. Once the form is complete, students must submit the form to the Undergraduate Advisor to obtain an enrollment number. The form must be turned in prior to the campus's add/swap/drop deadline.

  5. If the student wishes to use the SOCY 193, SOCY 194, SOCY 198, or SOCY 199 individual study as one of their electives towards the major, the course must be five units, and a course substitution petition must be filled out. 5-unit individual study courses with sociology faculty are considered previously approved elective course substitutions. There are limits on applying elective course substitutions to the major, please be sure to review the policy. In the case of a senior thesis Individual Study, students may apply one of the thesis courses to their major, please see step #6 on the senior thesis steps.

See Also