Independent Study Abroad Guidelines

Independent Study allows students to pursue an educational experience not available through regular WWU catalog course offerings. Students can participate in an international independent study through a WWU department and the Education Abroad (EdAbroad) office. Students should start planning at least two quarters in advance for an independent study abroad.

Academic Requirements

  • Independent Study requires approval by an academic department or college and/or a faculty advisor; the faculty advisor must determine how the Independent Study is evaluated and graded;

  • Acceptability to the Independent Study program, organization, or agency (if applicable);
  • EdAbroad requires that students are in full-time status at WWU, in good academic standing with at least 30 credits earned and a 2.5 GPA or above.


  • Meet with a faculty advisor and obtain approval for Independent Study. Independent Study credit can only be applied to one academic department.
  • Complete the Directed Independent Study and Registration esign form from the Registrar’s Office. Complete the form and route as indicated on the form. 
  • Complete the online Independent Study Abroad application and schedule an appointment to meet with an EdAbroad advisor.
  • The advising appointment is especially important if the student is on Financial Aid, as they will complete a financial budget with the EdAbroad advisor and obtain the EdAbroad advisor's signature on the Directed Independent Study and Registration esign form.
    • Exception: EdAbroad advisor will email Fairhaven College when Fairhaven students complete the EdAbroad Independent Study Abroad Application. Fairhaven students do not use the Directed Independent Study and Registration esign form.
  • It is up to the student and faculty advisor to determine how the Independent Study will be graded. Some departments have specific guidelines, for example Fairhaven College has their own guidelines. Students must follow departmental guidelines for Independent Study Abroad.
  • Students pay WWU rates for tuition and mandatory on-campus fees. If student is out-of-state, they will pay out-of-state rates.
  • After the Independent Study is completed, the student must meet with their advisor for evaluation of the Independent Study before a grade is determined.
  • The faculty advisor will send the grade and number of credits earned to the Registrar’s Office.
  • The Registrar’s Office will then post the grade and number of credits earned to the WWU transcript.

For more information, contact Krista Mantello.