Independent Study Credits for Thesis-Related Work 

Two women, masked against COVID and socially distanced, discuss in the the Clark Honors College thesis library.

One elective colloquium may be replaced by four or more credits of independent study related to your thesis. These independent study credits may be taken in a single term or spread out over multiple terms. Once at least four credits have been accumulated, they can take the place of a single elective colloquium. 

  • Independent study credits for thesis-related work may be taken under any subject code and any independent study course number (401, 403, and 405 are most common).
  • All independent study courses on campus require a UO instructor permission to register.
  • Credits may count towards both CHC and department requirements.
  • Independent study credits of any course number and under any subject code may be taken for a grade or may be taken P/N, depending on your and your advisor’s preferences and the requirements of the home department. 
  • Independent study credits for thesis-related work are typically supervised by your primary thesis advisor.
  • You may mix credits with different course numbers and from different departments to reach 4 credits.  

If you are interested in enrolling in independent study credits, start by talking to your primary thesis advisor. What course number do they usually use to supervise independent study credits? Does your department have a 403 course number specifically for thesis work, or a 401 or 405 number that your advisor recommends? Is there a course number that is best for having the credits count towards major or minor requirements?

If your primary thesis advisor recommends 401, 403, or 405 credits in your major or minor department:

Independent study credits under the course numbers “401” (e.g., CH 401, HPHY 401), “403” (e.g., PS 403, HIST 403), or 405 (e.g., CINE 405) are commonly used for work related to the thesis. Contact your department for information on how to register. Once you enroll in 401, 403, or 405 credits, the degree guide will capture them automatically and count them towards an elective colloquium requirement.

If your primary thesis advisor refers you to the honors college:

HC 403H credits can be supervised by any faculty member on campus through the Clark Honors College. Complete the application for preauthorization to register for Independent Study HC 403H found in The form is saved and routed to your Instructor of Record, and then to Academic Thesis and Programs Manager Miriam Jordan ( for preauthorization.  Once you enroll in HC 403H credits, the degree guide will capture them automatically and count them towards an elective colloquium requirement.

If your primary thesis advisor recommends credits in your department under a number other than 401, 403, or 405:

Your major/minor department or primary advisor may suggest that you take the credits under a different course number such as ANTH 406 in order to align with major/minor requirements or departmental practices.

If you enroll in 406 or other independent study credits related to the thesis, you can still use them to substitute for an elective colloquium requirement. However, since they are not automatically captured by the degree guide, you will need to complete the Notification Form for Independent Thesis and Study Abroad Credits verifying that these credits were for thesis-related work to have them apply towards an elective colloquium requirement.

Please remember that it may take 5 to 6 weeks for these credits to appear in the elective colloquium section of your CHC degree guide after you’ve submitted your notification form regarding these credits.