Individual Studies

UCSC offers the opportunity for students to receive credit for work outside of regular courses. There are many possibilities: lab research on-campus, a senior thesis project, or internships off-campus (see Field Studies below).

This information is intended for students pursuing Individual Studies coursework sponsored by the Baskin School of Engineering. If your credits will not be sponsored by Baskin Engineering, please consult the department with whom you are pursuing Individual Studies coursework.

Arranging Individual Course Studies

To arrange an Individual Studies course, you will need a faculty sponsor who is willing to supervise you. Positions such as Lecturers, Postdoc Researchers, and Graduate Students are not eligible to sponsor thesis work. If someone has Professor somewhere in their title you are likely to be fine!

Your Individual Studies course must be set up before you do your work. Credit for Individual Studies cannot be given retroactively; you must be enrolled during the quarter you are doing the work.

To receive UCSC credit for any Individual Studies project:

  • Print an Individual Course Studies Petition. You may also pick up a petition from the undergraduate advising office. (Printed petitions not available in-office during remote instruction)
  • Work with your faculty sponsor to determine the details of your Individual Studies. Describe this on the petition.
  • Determine with your sponsor how many hours per week you will be working. Individual studies is available in 2-unit or 5-unit increments. To earn two units, you must meet with your sponsor and work at least 6 hours per week. To earn five units, you must meet with your faculty sponsor and work at least 15 hours per week.
  • Get your sponsor’s signature on the petition.
  • If you are enrolling in a Thesis Research individual studies course, you will also need to obtain signatures from your department undergraduate director and department chair. The Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Robotics majors require an additional Senior Thesis Form (PDF).
  • Return the signed petition to the Undergraduate Advising Office to obtain department approval and a call number, which will enable you to enroll in the course. (Please send to during remote instruction.) The deadline to enroll in individual studies coursework is before the campus Add/Drop/Swap classes deadline each quarter. Because Petitions may not be reviewed and approved immediately, it is generally a good idea to submit petitions to the Baskin School of Engineering Undergraduate Advising Office a minimum of a week in advance of the enrollment deadline.
  • Additional information can be found on the Individual Course Studies Petition

Field Studies

Field Studies are individual programs of study with specific academic objectives carried out under the direction of a faculty member and a willing sponsor at the field site, and using resources not normally available on campus. Credit is based on the presentation of evidence of achieving the objectives by submitting a written and oral presentation. This field study may not normally be repeated for credit. If you have further questions, stop by the Undergraduate Advising Office or consult with your faculty adviser to discuss individual circumstances.

The Baskin School of Engineering does not provide placements in internships. Check with faculty or the Career Center for possible opportunities in your area of interest.

Enroll in Field Study to receive credit for Individual Studies listed above.

Last modified: Mar 29, 2024