» Student-Faculty Independent Research and/or Creative Activity 291/491/682 Course

Student-Faculty Independent Research and/or Creative Activity allows students to pursue independent scholarly research and/or scholarly creative activity under faculty guidance or work directly with a faculty member(s) on his/her independent scholarly research /creative project(s). 

Spring and Interterm Early Enrollment and Contracts Due:

Monday, December 5th, 2016

Student-Faculty Independent Research and/or Creative Activity is available to undergraduate and graduate matriculated students only.  It allows students to make an original contribution to scholarship in the discipline/creative area.  Projects under 291/491/682 are normally extracurricular, meaning outside of a degree or minor program’s curriculum and requirements and outside of standard course structure, an enhancement to traditional learning formats.  Student-Faculty Independent Research and/or Creative Activity is not intended to replace a capstone in the major or to supply coverage for a gap in the curriculum/degree program. (Previously approved capstones with a restricted research option are the exception.)


Students must obtain faculty approval and register for 291/491/682 credits by completing the OURCA registration form in its entirety during the standard course registration enrollment period for the upcoming semester.

+ - Requirements- Students

  1. Must complete Weekly Progress Reports through Blackboard to document student research progress/hours each week.
  2. At a minimum must fulfill all the required number of hours of research/creative activity per semester according to the following scale:
      1. 1 credit = 45 hours
      2. 2 credits = 90 hours
      3. 3 credit = 135 hours
  3. Must have a minimum of five (5) one-on-one faculty contact hours during the semester.
  4. Students each must submit an individual, unique, comprehensive summary of their research at the end of the semester in the format determined by the faculty mentor (e.g. research, oral presentation, or poster presentation – CUSRD); the final summary (Deliverable) should be uploaded onto Blackboard by the end of the semester.
  5. Failure to meet these requirements will result in a grade of “NP” or “F”.

+ - Requirements- Faculty

  1. Must be full-time faculty and cannot be on sabbatical or research leave.
  2. Must review and confirm student research/creative activity hours via the Weekly Progress Reports function in Blackboard on a regular basis (recommended weekly) and transfer the number of hours spent on research/creative activity per week into the Blackboard Grade Center.
  3. Must have a minimum of five (5) one-on-one, individual (not group) contact hours with each student during the semester.
  4. Failure to meet these requirements will result in forfeiting accrued/earned credits.

+ - Grading Option

Pass/No pass is the preferred grading option.  If a student opts for a grade, faculty must include a grading rubric as part of the contract.

+ - Registration Instructions

  1. Meet with your faculty mentor to complete and sign the Student-Faculty Independent Research and/or Creative Activity Application and contract.      (make a link to application and contract)
  2. Undergraduate students enroll in 291 or 491.  Graduate students enroll in 682.
  3. The student or faculty mentor submits this completed form and contract approved by the Chair/Associate Dean to OURCA via online registration. Paper applications will not be accepted.  (link to online submitting form)
  4. OURCA will review the application and proposed research, notify student and faculty of approval or denial, and will submit approved projects to the Office of the Registrar for enrollment.

How do I register?

     1. Complete a Student – Faculty Contract (sample attached): The student and sponsoring faculty member prepare a scholarly research/creative activity contract during the regular registration period for the term in which the project will be conducted.

     2. Approval: The student or faculty member submits the registration form with appropriate signatures and contract to the OUR ( our@chapman.edu ) by the published deadline.

     3. Registrar’s Office: The OUR confirms that the proposed contract meets the definition of the 291/491 FSRB program and forwards documents to the Registrar’s Office. Please note: Registration forms must be submitted to the OUR. Turning the form into the registrar’s office will slow the process down.

+ - Application and Contract

+ - Student FAQ

What's the difference between 291/491/682 and other forms of independent study?

You can see the full explanation for all independently-directed courses here. 

What's the registration deadline?

While it's preferred registration and research/creative activity arrangments occur before the semester begins, the absolute final deadline is the end of the second week of classes. This is different from othe independent study options where the deadline is the fifth week of classes. 

What’s the purpose of these Weekly Progress Reports again?

They serve two purposes: 1) documentation of weekly research progress and 2) recording of hours spent on research to validate the number of credits enrolled. The hope is that these reports serve as a useful record of research progress for both students and faculty that they can refer to throughout the semester.

Does the research/creative activity conducted have to be based on faculty or student research ideas/interests?

Your 291/491/682 project can be fully student-driven, or contribute to a faculty project. It is expected that students will participate in meaningful, independent research/creative activities.

What about research projects/creative activities that are conducted in a classroom setting?

The 291/491/682 system only applies to research and creative activity that is conducted outside of a regular course

How many hours research/creative activities are required?

Hours are dependent on how many credits the class is worth.

  1. 1 credit = 45 hours
  2. 2 credits = 90 hours
  3. 3 credit = 135 hours

How many credits can I take in one semester?

A total of 3 credits can be taken in one semester. This can be split between two faculty mentors.

How do I track my hours?

Students must complete Weekly Progress Reports administered through Blackboard, which will document student research progress/hours on a weekly basis (student tutorial available); these progress reports will only be accessible to the student for the current week and will become disabled after that week has ended.

Can I take this for a grade?

The default grading for all 291/491/682 courses will be P/NP; however, students may request a letter grade upon registration with approval of the faculty mentor. If stidents choose to take a gre for the ocurse, a rubric is required before registration can begin. 

What happens if I do a large amount of hours in one week but few in a subsequent week?

The hours are based on the semester. Track your hours on a weekly bases for your faculty to approve. Hours do not need to be evenly spread out by week.

What do I do if I don’t log my weekly hours and the progress report closes?

The progress reports are open on Blackboard from Monday (8am) through the following Monday (at 5pm) giving the student 8 days to report hours. This is a major requirement of the course and must be strictly followed. Failure to complete and/or report hours of research can result in a grade of “NP”, “Incomplete”, or “F”.

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OURCA Deadlines & Events 2016-2017

FALL 2016

Lunch With a Professor
October 3rd-7th

Grant Proposal Workshop
Thursday, October 27th 
1:00 PM-2:30 PM
AF 209C

Faculty Research Expo
Wednesday, November 9th
4:00-6:00 pm
BK 404
Friday, November 11th,
4:00 pm

Poster Design and Presentation Workshop
Monday, November 14
2:00 pm-3:00 pm 
AF 209C

291/491/682 Early Enrollment Forms & Contracts Due
Monday, December 5th

CU Student Research Day
Wednesday, December 7th
Times TBA
Sandhu Conference Center

CUSRD Lunch & Keynote Speaker
Invitation Only
Wednesday, December 7th
12:00 – 1:30 pm



SURF Application Deadline
Wednesday, March 1st

Grant Proposal Workshop
March TBA

Lunch with a Professor Week/
National Undergraduate Research Week
April 3rd-7th

Scholarly/Creative Grant
Friday, April 14th,
4:00 pm

Poster Design and Presentation Workshop
April TBA

291/491/682 Early Enrollment Forms & Contracts Due
Monday, May 8th

CU Student Research Day
Wednesday, May 10th
Times TBA
Sandhu Conference Center

CUSRD Lunch & Keynote Speaker
Invitation Only
Wednesday, May 10th
12:00 – 1:30 pm

SURF Program
June 5th – August 11th