Independent Studies

Getting Started with CRC-approved courses 

For answers to specific questions, see Frequently Asked Questions.

For an overview of Independent Studies @ Brown, see here.

First, you need a topic that you are truly interested in. To jumpstart this process, come talk to the staff at the CRC (Lower Level, Hemisphere Building), email [email protected], and check out the Past GISPs DatabaseOnce you have an idea, start talking about it with others. Visit faculty in their office hours to discuss how you might develop the topic. Run your ideas past other students, particularly if you are interested in doing a GISP.

Remember that Independent Studies on the same or similar topics may not be repeated for credit, except with approval of the College Curriculum Council. 

Finding a Faculty Sponsor:
If you do not already have a professor who you know is interested in the same areas as you are, a great place to start looking for an advisor is or Vivo Brown. Also, be sure to look at the CRC's Past GISPs Database to find professors who have a history of sponsoring GISPs in your subject. 

If you want a more streamlined way of finding a faculty sponsor, check out this list of faculty sponsors who have sponsored (G)ISPs/AIs in the past, including professors who have sponsored multiple courses.

For GISPs:
To find GISP members, e-mail your idea and contact information to [email protected] to be added to the Potential GISP Ideas DatabaseWe also  recommend using [email protected], posting flyers, e-mailing relevant groups and departments and advertising your ideas around campus as creatively as possible. 

For ISPs:
Before deciding to do an ISP, check to see if the appropriate academic department offers DISPs, independent research or reading courses. Departments that offer DISPs structure them in various ways. Some allow as much flexibility as a student-initiated ISP, while others are reserved for concentrators or thesis projects. For more information about DISPs, click here.