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Independent Study Program

The Independent Study Program is open to intellectually curious Juniors and Seniors who have satisfied the graduation requirements of a department and possess a special interest in a particular topic or field. An Independent Study does not replace courses already offered in the existing curriculum but instead allows for students with keen, nuanced interests to pursue their intellectual passions.

Each student who takes part in the program has a faculty sponsor and also meets regularly with the director of the program. The course concludes with a multimedia presentation during which the student presents his/her culminating project and then fields questions from a panel that includes the department chair, faculty sponsor, director of the program, the assistant head of school, and any other invited guests.

In order to participate in the program, a student must contact the director of the program, Bob Matthews, and then fill out an application. The application process requires a detailed course plan that gains the approval of the chair of the appropriate department, a faculty sponsor, the director of the program, and the assistant head of school.

Recent Independent Studies include…

EnglishBella Ray '18 married her two passions of literature and acting, deeply studying several plays and then writing her own one-act play (directed in the Spring of '18 by Caroline Campbell '18, another Independent Study!).

Journalism - Isabella Goodman '18 took a historical and critical look at journalism as a passageway into politics and culture by researching past eras, critically writing about that research, and then emulating in her own original articles the different styles she studied.

Art – Austin McGinnis '18 melded together his interests in mechanical engineering and design. He refined his drawing skills specifically for design within the CAD models that he could then physically create using the school’s 3D printer, learned the CAD program, and then designed and printed his own chess set.

History - Holden Markoff '17 took his passion for the sports world and dug into the inner-working of sports management. Through the reading of books about sports management and interviews with sports agents, Holden examined what major players in the industry believe makes a good business plan and then developed his own business plan for a future sports management agency of his own.

ScienceGregory Abraham '16 developed his passions for engineering by researching, designing, and building a prototype of an Autonomous Electronic Device for underwater exploration.

HistoryAnthony Small '17 presented a solution to a conflict between the oil and gas industry and regulators. Deeply researching the dilemma through reading and extensive interviews with oil executives and regulators, Anthony created a detailed plan for finding a middle ground that served both the needs of the planet and a resource dependent world.