Special Projects

A Special Project is an arrangement for an individualized course offered as an independent study project. Important restrictions apply:

  • Must be a course listed in the current Ohio University Undergraduate Catalog
  • Cannot have a required laboratory component
  • Must be approved by the academic department in which the course is offered
  • An Ohio University faculty member must direct the work in the course

The faculty member assigns the text and other materials to be used and lists activities required to satisfy the course requirements. Special course examinations also may be arranged.

Students who are not on campus (doing an internship, studying abroad, returning to OHIO as an online student, etc.) are more likely to request to take a course through Special Projects. Faculty members also request Special Projects for students who need to graduate, but the required courses are not offered during the current semester and/or academic year.

How to Enroll in a Special Project

In order to enroll in a Special Project, a contract must be developed between the student and faculty member offering the course. The contract should list the academic requirements assigned by the faculty member and completed by the student in order for the faculty member to evaluate the work and assign a grade. The student should contact the coordinator to get started.

In order to officially register the student in the course, the faculty member, the faculty member's department chair, the student, and the coordinator must all sign a contract. Once the student is enrolled, a charge will appear on the student's account.

The Special Project option allows the student six months to complete the work assigned and receive a final grade. Students may enroll at any time. The course does not appear on the Registrar’s list of available courses.

A four-month extension, at the discretion of the faculty member, can be provided to the student who cannot complete the course in six months. While OHIO staff enroll the student in the course, students who want to drop the course will need to use the My OHIO Student Center just as they would for any other course.

Information for Faculty

Request a Special Project for My Student

The faculty member contacts the department chair for approval and the coordinator to obtain the Special Project forms. The faculty member returns the completed forms to the coordinator who will contact the student to complete the course registration form. Once the forms are completed, OHIO Online will send the contract to the Registrar’s Office and the student will be officially registered.

What types of academic work can I require for a Special Project?

Any academic activity that might be required for the course when it is taught in the classroom, which also can be completed outside the classroom, can be assigned to a student who is doing a Special Project. Additionally, the faculty member can require the student to take the regular midterm and final exams for the course, which Testing Services will send to a verified testing center for administration. Exams are sent to the faculty member for grading.


Justin Kish, Special Projects Coordinator

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