ILP Guidelines


An individual learning project (ILP) is a well-developed course of study planned and carried out by a student. It provides opportunity to pursue academic interests in several ways: tutorial studies, directed studies and individually studied courses. In undertaking an individual learning project, a student structures a college-level course and assumes responsibility for bringing it to fruition. A student plans a syllabus which identifies the goals, problems, methods, resources and evaluative criteria of the study. The faculty moderator gives initial approval of the project, is available for consultation and assumes responsibility for submitting a final
evaluation. Unless a specific department specifies an earlier deadline, students must submit a detailed proposal for an individual learning project to the faculty moderator and department chair prior to the beginning of the semester.

First-year students are not eligible for individual learning projects.  No more than four ILP credits may be undertaken within a semester.  Upper-division ILPs have as a prerequisite the completion of 12 credits of coursework within the department.  This form is available online at

Guidelines for Individual Learning Project


  1. To provide students opportunities not available in their published curricula;
  2. To foster self-education capacities and to encourage the assumption of imaginative and resourceful responsibility;
  3. To recognize successful study of unavailable or nontraditional but academically valid intellectual concerns.


  1. Independent Studies – Projects planned independently and contracted for by a student with a Faculty Moderator entailing a minimum of three meetings between the two during the term.
    • Lower Division ILP courses will be registered for under the course number 271, meaning first, second or third course in this subject.
    • Upper Division work will be registered for under the course number 371 if the student has completed twelve or more credits (normally three courses) in the subject.
  2. Individually Studied Courses – Students may wish to fulfill requirements of a course by studying on their own because of circumstances which prevent attendance at classes.  Requests for this  ILP option are made through the course instructor with approval of the chair of the department.


The following are not eligible for credit through Individual Learning Projects:

  • A general education requirement unless approved by the Academic Dean
  • A requirement in a major, unless approved by the department chair
  • A requirement for certifi cation (e.g., teaching) if CSB/SJU provides courses by which such certification requirements may be met
  • Courses available in the curriculum (i.e., published in the Official Class Schedule), unless approved by the department chair.

The following guidelines govern eligibility for registration for ILP:

  • Students are not eligible for individual learning projects until the start of their second year in college AFTER graduating from high school (based on time, not class standing)
  • A student is eligible to carry up to four credits of ILP per term.  A total of 16 credits of ILP may be applied to graduation except where the Academic Dean approves a greater amount.  As a rule, a credit hour is equivalent to 20-30 clock hours of study by the student; thus, a four credit ILP would show evidence that some 100-120 hours of effort would be expended toward its fulfillment.


Before completing the Application, discuss the proposal with the potential faculty moderator.  With their assistance, supply the following information:

  1. Program Content – Include material to be studied, scope of the study, resource material to be used (books, laboratory, field research or experience).  A tentative bibliography is helpful for planning and for assessing feasibility
  2. Procedure – Include description of the way the study will be done.  Also include the number of times student and faculty moderator will meet.
  3. Basis of Evaluation – Explain specific means by which both the amount and quality of work in the project will be assessed. Some possible methods include examinations, interviews, assessment of written work, evaluation of creative accomplishments or laboratory work.  Indicate type of grade plan sought: A-F or S-U

The completed application should be regarded as a summary of a more detailed plan.  This detailed plan, to be retained by the moderator, cites learning goals, problems to be studied, methods to be used, a full bibliography and criteria for evaluation to be employed.  The detailed plan should show clearly the responsibilities for the project of both the student and the moderator.

The ILP Application Form, after approval by the moderator, must also be approved by the chair of the department in which credit is sought.

The completed, approved application for ILP should be submitted by filling out the online form.  Deadlines for registration of an ILP are as follows:

4 credit ILP by the 4th class day of the semester
3 credit ILP by the start of B Mod
2 credit ILP by the start of C Mod
1 credit ILP by the start of D Mod