An Independent Module allows a student to combine academics and a Trek credit into one unique project that fits the student's particular interests. Students will select a subject to study and then create their own personal itinerary to interact with and learn from over a set period of time. Typically, Independent Module are created with a focus on the Trek CULTURE credit.


Students must either interact with a living culture that is geographically isolated from the United States during a minimum period of 14 days in another country (travel time included) OR complete no fewer than 45 hours of interaction with a living group that is culturally isolated from mainstream U.S. society (gender, race, socioeconomic status, and religion are all good examples). In the past, students have chosen to study a variety of topics around the globe ranging from the 20th Anniversary of Unified Germany, to the Evolution of the Azerbaijani Education.

Independent Module Stipulations: 

  • The culture must be different from that of the student's background.
  • The module must meet the 14 days or 45 hours requirement.
  • The student must be examining a subject area with the support of both their academic advisor and Module faculty instructor.

Independent Modules can be completed at any time during the year, including school breaks and summer vacation. If a student intends to complete their module during a school break, it is important to note that the committee who reviews Independent Modules is comprised of faculty and staff, many of whom are not under contract during academic breaks. For this reason, students should plan on submitting their proposals at least three weeks prior to the start of a holiday or summer vacation. However, the Independent Module must be approved by the Academic Policy Committee before applying for CULTURE credit to be attached, therefore students should begin the entire process long before the deadline.


Steps to Participate


Applying for module credit, which must be completed first, is the academic portion of your project. You must meet with the Office of the Registrar to request the required petition form and receive the guidelines on how to create a module proposal.

Please keep the following in mind when applying for module credit:

  • Determine a subject to study under faculty guidance. If the subject is not in your academic advisor’s area of expertise, you must find a faculty member to assist you with your proposal and act as your faculty instructor for the duration of the module.
  • The Office of the Registrar will begin the review process for the Academic Policy Committee which will decide if your proposal meets the guidelines to receive module credit.



When your module has been approved, you can then begin the process of applying for Trek credit. Working alongside the same faculty member who helped develop your module proposal, you will develop another proposal typically outlining what culture you will study and how you will interact with this culture throughout your module.

Please contact the Office of Intercultural Engagement if you're interested in pursuing this opportunity.

Your proposal would then go to the Trek Committee to be reviewed for Trek credit. If approved, your Independent Module will receive CULTURE credit (or any Trek Credit)and become an Independent Module with Trek Credit. After approval, you will also be required to submit additional documents to both the Office of Intercultural Engagement and possibly the Department of Public Safety.

For independent module forms

Following the completion of the Independent Module, students must complete the CULTURE Program Assessment, which is used to evaluate the student's involvement with and immersion into the new culture.