The Independent Study is available to students who would like to explore a significant research problem related to their professional needs; the nature and extent of this independent study are determined by the student and a faculty sponsor. Sponsors should be faculty members at Columbia Business School; adjunct professors are also eligible to serve as sponsors. In certain instances, professional work at an internship or other engagement may be appropriate for academic credit through the Independent Study; this should also be determined with the guidance of a faculty member.
For the Independent Study, students are required to meet with the faculty sponsor a minimum of two times: once, for an initial planning discussion, and again in the middle of the semester to confirm that the project is on track. The student must provide written confirmation of this second meeting, signed by the faculty sponsor, to the Office of Student Affairs. Students are expected to commit to the original project plan approved by the faculty sponsor; any change to the topic or scope of the project must be agreed to by the professor prior to the midpoint of the semester. Students who fail to obtain this approval risk not receiving academic credit for the course.
The student may register for up to 3 credits of Independent Study per semester; the course may be taken for either 1.5 or 3 credits. The independent study is designed to be independent of the classroom experience; it may not be used as a means of adding a seat to a course with a full capacity.
No more than six credits of Independent Study will be counted toward the MBA degree. (For dual degree students, the maximum number of independent study credits is 3.) Students may count a combined maximum of 6 credits of B8000 Independent Study, B9002 Cross-Cultural Seminar, B9502 Global Business Project, and graduate-level courses from other Columbia schools toward the MBA degree. For details, follow the degree requirements links at the bottom of the screen.
Students should bring a completed Independent Study Application form, signed by the faculty sponsor, to the Office of Student Affairs to register for the course prior to the end of the B-term add/drop period.