Independent study (PSYC 4993) is a reading course designed for the student who would like to explore and discuss a topic of interest in greater depth than is normally covered in a lecture course. The course is conducted through a series of individual tutorials or discussions with a faculty member that typically involve extensive, analytical review of the literature.

At the end of the semester, the student submits a paper that critically organizes and summarizes these discussions and his or her findings. The student needs to take the initiative in contacting the relevant faculty member at least one semester before the course begins to discuss and organize the independent study project.