Research & Independent Study

The independent study must provide a rigorous academic experience equivalent to that of any other undergraduate Duke course. Independent study courses may not duplicate available course offerings in the semester or summer term in which the independent study is being taken, nor may independent study be used simply to provide low-level support for other projects or to observe or shadow the work of others.

Independent study courses are an exciting way to explore a subject or facet thereof, in an in depth study pertaining to the field of the student's academic interest. To do an independent study project, you must have already taken a related course as a foundation for your independent work.

Examples of past independent study topics:

  • Asian Dance and Theater
  • Aspects of the history and theory of modern dance and ballet
  • Community engagement
  • Dance and Engineering Algorithms
  • Dance as a Form of Therapy
  • Comparative study of lead female epic roles (Sita and Draupada) in the performance of Ramayana and Mahabharata
  • Persian influences on Kathak Dance

Note: if a student is interested in individualized study in choreography, they should enroll in DANCE 205T (Advanced Dance Composition) or DANCE 305T (Choreography).

How to Get Started

In consultation with the faculty advisor, students should develop a clear outline of what is to be accomplished in the independent study, and evidence that the research is doable before the regular course enrollment period. This proposal should include the thematic core of the study, research statement and questions, as well as a preliminary bibliography. Students must acquire faculty approval before the end of the enrollment period.