Independent and Field Study Information

Independent Studies include those opportunities outside of the regular curriculum in which a student is working closely with a faculty advisor to focus on a specific academic or theoretical area of study that is not part of the Kellogg curriculum.

Field Studies include those opportunities outside of the regular curriculum in which a student is working with an outside company or non-profit organization to address a real-world business challenge for course credit under the oversight of a faculty member. Students seeking a Field Study must find a faculty advisor and a project sponsor. The project scope must be agreed upon with the faculty advisor and sponsor. Students may pursue a Field Study as an individual or as a team.

Independent and Field Study Requirements:

  • A cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required to pursue an Independent or Field Study.
  • Students are restricted to a maximum 1.0 credit total of Independent and/or Field Study per quarter.
  • A 1.0 Independent or Field Study will run 10 weeks and will require 45-60 hours of work, while a 0.5 credit Independent or Field Study will run 5 weeks and will require 23-30 hours of work.
  • Students may not receive monetary compensation (salary, stipend, equity, etc.) for work completed as part of an Independent or Field Study.
Additional Field Study Requirements:
  • Students must limit their time on-site with a sponsoring organization - this is an on-campus project with occasional visits to the project site.
  • Students must represent their Field Study experience on their resume as an educational experience (not work experience).
Registration process for an Independent Study:
  1. Secure a Faculty Advisor.
  2. Student should work with the faculty advisor to complete the Independent and Field Study Form in detail.
  3. Submit the completed form to the Chair of the academic department of the faculty advisor for signature approval.
  4. The form, with departmental approvals, should be received by the Kellogg Experiential Learning Office in the Student Experience suite in the Global Hub by the add deadline (usually the end of the first week of classes or the end of the sixth week for a 0.5 credit Study) for the quarter in which the Study enrollment takes place. Go to Bidding and Registration Dates.
Registration process for a Field Study:
  1. Find a project to use for your Field Study by looking at the Kellogg Job Board or through your personal or professional network.
    1. Kellogg Job Board (Company Search = Kellogg Experiential Learning)
      1. Contact Experiential Learning staff for an introduction to the sponsor of a specific project.
      2. Connect with the sponsor to determine project fit.
  2. Personal and Professional Network 
    1. Connect with your potential project sponsor and develop the preferred project details – scope, deliverables, timing, etc.
    2. Discuss project details with Kellogg Experiential Learning staff for assistance in finding a faculty advisor, if necessary.
    3. Secure a faculty advisor.
    4. Work with the faculty advisor and the project sponsor to finalize the scope of the project, timing and deliverables in order to complete the Independent and Field Study Form in detail.
    5. Submit the completed form to the Chair of the academic department of the advising professor for approval.
    6. The form, with departmental approvals, should be received by the Kellogg Experiential Learning Office in the Student Experience suite of the Global Hub by the add deadline (usually the end of the first week of classes or the end of the sixth week for 0.5 credit studies) for the quarter in which the Field Study enrollment takes place. Go to Bidding and Registration Dates.

Please note: Late form submissions are allowed only if an email from the supervising professor is received by our office, indicating intent to supervise this project, by the deadline. For group projects, each student must submit his/her own paperwork. Registration & Records will notify the student, as well as the department, when final approval and enrollment are complete.

Responsibilities and time commitment of a Faculty Advisor:

  1. The faculty advisor will sign off on the Independent and Field Study Form to confirm the plan for the Study.
  2. Depending on the level of interest the professor has, he/she may want to meet with you throughout the project (every other week or so) to make sure the project is developing appropriately.
  3. You and your faculty advisor will conduct a mid-point check-in meeting, if you aren’t already meeting bi- or tri-weekly.
  4. The faculty advisor will provide project advice or recommendations on where to get additional resources to complete the project.
  5. Finally, the faculty advisor will provide the final grade for the quarter.

Please note: Neither Independent Studies nor Field Studies are eligible for Pass/No Credit.

Advice on finding a Faculty Advisor:

As to finding a faculty advisor, I generally recommend starting with a faculty member that you or someone on your team has a good relationship with and who might have an interest in your Study focus area. When you make your first approach, I recommend asking the faculty member for suggestions on a professor to reach out to. That way, if they are interested and have the time, they have an opening to say that they are interested. And, if they don’t, you have a great lead for a professor recommended by their peer. The Faculty Experts Guide is also a great source for finding faculty who have an interest in a particular research area.