NAS 85 & 86 Rules

Proposals and Approval

Proposals and Approval


NAIS 85: Independent Study


Written proposals for independent study in NAIS should be submitted to the chair of the Department at least one term prior to the term in which the independent study will be undertaken.  Proposals must:  (a) provide an overview of the project in terms of subject matter and the central research question(s) to be investigated; (b) a brief review of the academic literature that you have or will consult as part of the work; (c) a brief description of the prior course work and/or experience that serves as a foundation for this independent study; and (d) confirmation of the faculty member who will oversee the work throughout the term.  In essence, your proposal should demonstrate that your project has a clear focus; that you have the proper foundation/experience to undertake independent study work of this type and that you have a clearly laid out plan, working under appropriate faculty supervision, for how you see the work unfolding throughout the course of the term.


Faculty Guidance and Student Responsibility

Students who plan to do either NAIS 85 or NAIS 86 will work under the supervision of a faculty member who will offer guidance and suggestions. However, each student bears full responsibility for developing and sustaining the research project and for completing the work in a timely manner. An Independent Study or Independent Research course will require as much work as any other course and will also require that each student schedule and manage his/her own time effectively.

Students who register to do an Independent Study or Independent Research in Native American Studies accept the responsibilities as well as the opportunities and challenges of carrying out a substantial piece of work on their own and bringing it to a successful conclusion. Students should expect that NAIS 85 or NAIS 86 will entail writing a paper of approximately thirty pages, or the equivalent amount of work as determined in the agreement with the faculty advisor.


The student will produce a thorough bibliography and any other appropriate preliminary work by the second week of term and will make arrangements to meet regularly with the faculty advisor. It is in the student's best interest--and it is the student's responsibility--to provide the advisor with drafts of written work: an advisor can help best by responding to the written work produced. Faculty members have many other demands on their time and are unlikely to search out the student for the meetings and to check up on the student's progress. It is up to the student to do the work and to keep the advisor informed.


The project must be completed and handed in by the last week of classes so that the grades can be assigned and submitted to the Registrar's Office. Incompletes will only be approved under special circumstances, after the student has initiated the necessary procedure with his/her class dean. On-going grades can only be assigned to NAS 86 when NAS 87 (the writing of the thesis) is completed in the term immediately following.