Independent Study

A student interested in independent study in the Department of Architecture must secure the supervision of a faculty member in this Department. Course 4 students who wish to do independent study in a different department must secure a subject number in that department to register.


Students requesting an independent study must submit a proposal to the project supervisor (a faculty member in the Architecture Department) that includes:

  • A statement of the intellectual purpose of the activity
  • An explanation of the relation of the proposed endeavor to the student's overall educational experience
  • A plan for approaching the intellectual problem
  • A discussion of the expected result and its evaluation
  • A statement of the amount of time to be expended in the effort

Once the proposal has been accepted by the supervisor, the student must also download and complete a Department Independent Study form which requires the signature of the supervisor. The following information is required to complete the form:

  • Student's name, department of registration, MIT ID number and e-mail address
  • Subject level (graduate or undergraduate)
  • Grading system (grade or pass/fail—to be determined by the supervisor)
  • Credit units to be earned, based on the effort to be expended (generally 6, 9 or 12)
  • Signature of project supervisor

The student then brings the completed form with proposal attached to headquarters (7-337) to request an independent study subject number from Tessa Haynes or Tonya Miller. The numbers are based on which discipline area the subject falls into appended by the number "9" and one other digit. For instance an independent study in Building Technology might be assigned the number "4.491". If another BT student requests an independent study, they would use the same number to register. Either Renée Caso or Tonya Miller will email the student with the assigned number.

It is important to emphasize the importance of the student completing an online Add/Drop form to add the subject to their registration.

At the end of the term, headquarters sends supervisors a PDF of the original Department Independent Study form for grading (if it is a grade and not a pass/fail). Note that if the subject will count toward the student's degree, it MUST be graded. If the supervisor hasn’t seen student all semester, they have to give student an "F".