Individual Course Studies

Individual Course Studies

If the subject matter a student wishes to pursue is not already covered in a pre-existing UCSC course, especially in the upper division, then students are encouraged to devise special courses to pursue independently. 

Please note: this information is intended for students pursuing Individual Studies coursework sponsored by Stevenson College. If your credits will not be sponsored by Stevenson College, please consult the College, Department, or Division with whom you are pursuing Individual Studies coursework.

Stevenson sponsored Individual Course Studies are available in 2-or 5-credit increments:

  • A 2-credit individual studies course requires about six hours of work per week AND a 6-7 page paper or equivalent. 
  • A 5-credit course requires about 15 hours of work per week AND a 12 –15 page paper or equivalent

Your Individual Studies course must be set up before you do your work. Credit for Individual Studies cannot be given retroactively; you must be enrolled during the quarter you are doing the work.

To arrange an Individual Studies course, you will need a faculty sponsor who is willing to supervise you.

Process to Request Stevenson Sponsorship of Independent Studies:

  1. Print an Individual Course Studies Petition
  2. Work with your faculty sponsor to determine the details of your Individual Studies. Describe this on the petition.
    1. Determine with your sponsor how many credits you will be earning
    2. Prepare a proposal that your sponsor approves including:
      1. A summary of the project or course of study
      2. A bibliography and/or syllabus
  3. Get your sponsor's signature on the petition.
  4. Return the signed petition to the College Office or by email to the Stevenson CAPC, to obtain Provost’s approval and a class number, which will enable you to enroll in the course. 


  • Fall 2019: October 2, 2019
  • Winter 2020: January 13, 2020
  • Spring 2020: April 3, 2020

Note: Additional information can be found on the Individual Course Studies Petition