Guidelines for Independent Study: Research Problems (ANTH 398A)

The University of Maryland encourages that all students should have the opportunity for an enriched and challenging experience through a variety of learning opportunities. Students benefit significantly from Independent Studies.  Working in an Independent Studies situation can be a source of considerable enrichment for the student.  Students should be able to apply their classroom learning, test out their interests and skills in anthropology, and receive training in a specialized aspect of anthropology, which is not available on campus.

Requirements for ANTH 398A
  1. Permission of the department is necessary for a student to register for ANTH 398A, and a contract or a memorandum of understanding is required.
  2. A signed contract or memorandum of understanding shall exist between the student and faculty member.  This agreement shall clarify duties, assignments, expected hours of effort, and final product to be produced as a result of the independent study.  This agreement shall be filed with the undergraduate advisor and will be placed in the student’s files. See below for a sample agreement.
  3. Students can register for ANTH 398A (1-3 credits), and the student may earn up to 6 credits (for 2 or more courses).  If a student takes more than one independent study, the subject matter must be different and specified in the contract.
  4. Typically, a student can earn one credit for every 45 hours of effort.  Therefore, three credit hours of independent study shall be earned when the student completes 135 hours of study in the course.  Students should work closely with their mentor/advisor on the number of credits they may earn in the course.
  5. Advisors may want to have their students create a product from their independent study course, for example - keeping a diary, or writing a research paper.  The nature of the final product and the basis for the final grade shall be specified in the contract.
  6. Students shall meet with their advisor before, during, and after the course, and the advisor and student shall remain in contact (via email, phone, or meeting) throughout the course.
  7. The evaluation process shall be specified in the contract.
Steps and Timeline for ANTH 398A Credit

Prior to the semester in which the student registers for ANTH 398A credit:

  1. Read the ANTH 398A guidelines.
  2. Identify a potential faculty sponsor and meet with him or her.
  3. Negotiate your learning contract.
  4. Have contract confirmed through required signatures.
  5. Turn in copies of the ANTH 398A contract to the undergraduate advisor no later than 10 a.m. on the last day of schedule adjustment period.
  6. Register for ANTH 398A under your faculty sponsor's section number.

In the semester students receive ANTH 398A credit. Students shall complete the requirements outlined in the contract OR memorandum of understanding.


Please complete a Contract for ANTH398A in order to register for the course.