Independent Study Credits for Thesis-Related Work 

student writing in notebook seated among library stacks

Students may use four or more credits of independent study related to your thesis to fulfill a CHC Electives requirement alongside an elective colloquium (Option B). These independent study credits may be taken in a single term or spread out over multiple terms. 

  • 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.

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.

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 towards the CHC Electives 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 the CHC Electives requirement.

Please remember that it may take 5 to 6 weeks for these credits to appear on your CHC degree guide after you’ve submitted your notification form regarding these credits.