Independent Studies

About Independent Studies

The founders of Brown's New Curriculum envisioned independent study as a cornerstone of the Brown academic experience. Today, Independent Studies, including Group Independent Study Projects (GISPs), Independent Study Projects (ISPs), and Academic Internships (AIs), are an integral part of the New Curriculum. 

 In Group Independent Study Projects (GISPs) and Independent Study Projects (ISPs), students and faculty work together to develop credit-bearing courses that are not a regular part of the Brown curriculum.  Participating students are responsible for researching the course topic, constructing a syllabus, and planning and conducting the academic coursework.  Each GISP and ISP is sponsored by a faculty member who assesses the proposed study, provides advice during the semester, and evaluates the work of each student. GISPs are intended for multiple students while ISPs are for individual students.

An academic internship is like an independent study, but with work at a organization being an integral part of the course. Typically, students work about 8-10 hours per week at the organization; readings for the course are still required, though assigned reading is typically less than a straight-up independent study.

With the exception of students enrolled in their first semester at Brown, all full-time undergraduate degree candidates in good standing at Brown are eligible to initiate and participate in a GISP, ISP or AI.

For specific questions regarding Independent Studies, see Frequently Asked Questions. You can also contact our Independent Studies coordinators at Independent_Study@brown.edu or visit them at the CRC (Room 228, Campus Center).