Independent modules allows students to combine academics and Trek credit into one unique project that fits each student's particular interests. Students select a subject to study; create a syllabus in conjunction with a faculty supervisor, including a personal itinerary to interact and learn;  register for an Independent Study; and submit an Independent Proposal Form to the Trek Committee. Typically, Independent Proposals are created with a focus on either CULTURE or COMMUNITY credit, although it is possible to combine both.


To include…

You must ensure...


…that the syllabus clearly outlines a minimum of 30 contact hours.

CULTURE (CU) credit

…that the immersion period is either at least 14 days within the target culture, including travel time; or involves at least 45 hours of academic work, 25 hours minimum of which must be in direct contact with the target culture.

Previously, students have chosen to study a variety of topics around the globe ranging from the 20th Anniversary of Unified Germany to the Evolution of  Azerbaijani Education.

Independent Module Stipulations

  • Students will register for an Independent Study course during the period they wish to complete coursework, or in the August term if planned over a summer period (to avoid additional tuition costs).
  • Proposals intending to fulfill a Trek requirement must be submitted to the Trek Committee by either the 1 November or 1 April deadlines in order to be considered.
  • For CULTURE studies: The culture must be different from the student's home or native culture.

Independent Modules may be completed at any time, including school breaks. 


Steps to Participate

STEP 1: Develop your syllabus and register for Independent Study course

STEP 2: Request your Independent Study receive Trek credit (s)

Submit your independent module forms

to the Office of Intercultural Engagement to be brought before the Trek Committee.


1 April -- for May Term or Summer projects

1 November -- for Winter Break or Spring projects

After Trek approval, you may be required to submit additional documents to  the Office of Intercultural Engagement and the Department of Public Safety.


STEP 3: Complete your Program Assessment

After completion of the Independent Study, students must complete the relevant Trek Program Assessment(s) in order to be assessed for Trek credit(s).

Students not achieving an appropriate level of knowledge, skills, or competence in the relevant Trek area may be allowed to resubmit work and self-evaluation within a reasonable time frame, at the discretion of the Committee.