Directed Study and Other Individualized Options

CLA has several registration options that allow for individualized learning opportunities under the guidance of a CLA faculty member. They require considerable individual initiative and require the ability to work independently. They represent excellent opportunities for you to design your own learning and allow you to work more closely with a faculty member. Please note: You cannot register for CLA internships using a Student Faculty Contract.

  • Directed Study/Directed Research: This allows you to design and carry out an independent project, working one-on-one with a faculty member.
  • Directed Instruction: This allows you to assist other students, generally by helping deliver instruction in a course you have already taken.
  • Extra Credit Registration (EXC): This allows you to add extra credits to a course you are currently taking or one you have taken in the past.
  • Independent Study Registration (IND): This allows you to enroll in an established course but to study independently without attending class.

For more information, contact CLA Student Services at 612-625-2020 or visit 16 Johnston Hall.

Registration and Credit

For the options listed above, the number of credits you earn will depend on the scope and depth of the project and on the department's criteria. In general, you will need to commit the same amount of time to one of these alternative registrations as you would to a regular class with the same number of credits. The number of credits will be agreed upon by you and the faculty member and will be noted in the Student/Faculty Contract.

Most CLA departments offer a Directed Study/Directed Research registration as part of their curriculum. Contact the department to obtain the course number and section. Students register for the Directed Study option that corresponds with the sponsoring faculty member's department. 

Click the link to the right to download and fill out the Student/Faculty Contract​. After you have completed the contract, make sure you, the faculty evaluator, and the department all sign it. You should then take it to CLA Student Services in 16 Johnston Hall, where you'll receive a class permission number that will allow you to register for your Directed Study project. If you are working on an EXC or IND opportunity, we may have to work with other offices to set this up for you. You will not be able to leave with permission and should expect to wait a couple of days for processing.​

Deadlines: If you are an undergraduate CLA student, you have until the end of the 10th week of the semester to visit 16 Johnston Hall to receive your class permission number. After that point, you will need to petition to late add the course which requires an Academic Policy Petition completed and signed by advising office staff, and One Stop will need to register the course for you.

All other students registering with a CLA student/faculty contract have until the end of the 2nd week of the semester to receive a class permission number from 16 Johnston Hall to register. After that, they will need to petition to late add the course through their college office. Graduate students can submit their late add petitions online.

Sometimes a Directed Study, Directed Research, Directed Instruction, EXC, or IND course can count toward the requirements of a major or minor. Many departments have restrictions on this, so you should never assume this will be the case. Consult your advisor about the possibility of using your course to meet departmental requirements.


IMPORTANT: There could be financial implications if you fail to complete your Directed Study and have to withdraw.

Please visit One Stop's page on the 13-credit policy page to learn more about financial aid considerations, important when deciding to withdraw from a Directed Study.


CLA Undergraduate Student Internships For Credit

CLA undergraduate, CLA non-degree seeking and non-CLA students seeking academic credit for internships should NOT use the CLA Student/Faculty contract form. If you are seeking an internship for credit search in Schedule Builder for the department designator and the common internship course number 3896. If the department offers an internship course, then you can register for that course. If the department doesn't offer an internship course, then you can register for the one credit "Internship Reflection" course; course number ID 3896.

Before enrolling in the course, you must:

  • Find and accept an internship.
  • Mike sure the internship will last for a minimum of twelve weeks during the term in which you plan to enroll.
  • Make sure the internship is a minimum of ten hours per week, for a total of 120 hours for the term in which you plan to enroll.

You will follow these steps to enroll in ID 3896, "Internship Reflection: Making Meaning of your Experience":

  1. Submit the internship information through Gold PASS powered by Handshake.
  2. Wait for your internship site supervisor and the course instructor to approve the internship experience.
  3. Check your UofM email for the permission number from your course instructor after the internship has been approved.
  4. Register for the ID 3896 course using the permission number you were provided.


    Go to the Career Services, Career Management Courses webpage, and scroll to "ID 3896, Internship Reflection: Making Meaning fo Your Experience" for complete instructions on how to register.

    If you have questions about internships, the process, or how to register, contact CLA Internship Coordinator: Char Myers via email