The department offers special problems (independent study) courses for only very special circumstances. If a student requires a specific course in order to graduate, and that course is not being offered that semester, with instructor consent, students may sometimes be enrolled in a special problems course. This is a section created especially for one student, and it requires the instructor to work one-on-one with the student to make sure that they get the same materials and information that a student enrolled in a "regular" section would get, so this option is used only for emergencies. All the courses that the department requires for majors and minors are offered on a regular rotation, so with some planning on the part of the student, this option will rarely be necessary.
Students may also have a keen interest in a particular topic relevant to the study of world languages that is not offered as a formal course. If a student can find an instructor who is willing to work with them and whose interests and expertise are also in that area, the department can set up a special problems course to serve as an independent study of a focused topic.
Graduate as Undergraduate/Undergraduate as Graduate
We may also use special problems sections to allow graduate students to enroll in undergraduate-level courses and still earn graduate credit or for undergraduate students to enroll in graduate level courses and earn undergraduate level credit.
In the case of graduate students who wish to enroll in undergraduate courses, there are sometimes implications with financial aid and full- or half-time enrollment requirements, so we're happy to do this to accommodate graduate students who want to (or are required to) take lower-level courses.
For undergraduate students, this type of request requires the advance consent of the instructor, as graduate courses are more demanding and require greater familiarity with the language than undergraduate courses.
Special Problems Request
In almost all cases, the final approval rests with the instructor even after the main office reviews your request, so your request may not automatically be granted. Please complete the form below and submit it to the World Languages department office in LANG 101.
Click Here for the Special Problems Request Form