The Latin American Studies Program offers students the opportunity to earn credit for independent work with a University of Iowa faculty member. Independent projects must be approved by the Latin American Studies Program prior to student registration.

For a full list of CLAS policies on independent study, visit the college's Undergraduate Independent Study Policies page. 

Enrollment Criteria and Instructions

  • Students find a faculty mentor for their LAS:4990 Independent Project Latin American Studies.   Contact the LAS Academic Advisor if you need help finding a faculty mentor.
  • Students follow the instructions below to create a project proposal.
  • Students complete an online Registration Preapproval form to request approval for LAS:4990 Independent Project Latin American Studies. They must upload their project proposal to the online form.
  • Students will receive an email with permission to enroll in LAS:4990 Independent Project Latin American Studies within 5 days of the final approval of the online form. The deadline to add a course without a Dean's signature is day 10 of the fall and spring semesters. Contact the LAS Academic Advisor with questions.
  • Students must be in academic good standing to register for LAS:4990 Independent Project Latin American Studies.
  • If students want LAS:4990 Independent Project Latin American Studies to satisfy any part of their Latin American Studies certificate or minor requirements, prior approval must be granted by the LAS Academic Advisor.
  • A maximum of 3 s.h. of LAS:4990 credit may be used in the LAS certificate or minor.

Instructions for the Project Proposal

Students must upload a project proposal to the online Registration Preapproval form. The proposal must be typed and must include:

  • a one-page description of the project, including:
    • the dates and location of your work,
    • a specific research question,
    • a brief narrative,
    • the final form of the project (research paper, poster presentation, multi-media project, etc),
    • the grading criteria to be used by your faculty supervisor (i.e. 40% methodology, 20% style, etc.), and;
  • a rationale for the number of semester hours requested for the project;
  • a timeline for the project, including (but not limited to):
    • a plan for a preliminary literature review,
    • how often and by what method you will consult with your faculty mentor throughout the project,
    • target completion dates for the first and second drafts of your project, if applicable, and
    • a final completion date;
  • a reading list, in a recognized bibliography format, including at least ten works consulted in your preliminary planning and identification of a research question;
  • if you intend to complete your independent study while off campus you must include:
    • information regarding your overseas contacts and resources;
    • your plan for ongoing communication with your faculty mentor;
    • an explanation as to what preliminary work you intend to pursue before departure; and
  • proof that an application has been submitted to the Human Subjects Office, if necessary (see the Registration Preapproval form).

NOTE: Any research which involves "human subjects" must be reviewed by the University of Iowa Institutional Review Board (IRB) prior to the initiation of the project. Proof of the determination/review process must also be submitted to the Latin American Studies Program before the project proposal can be approved. Read a summary of the IRB process on the International Programs website. For all questions contact the IRB at (319) 335-6465; or complete the IRB Determination Form to find out if your research meets the definition of human subjects research.