As students progress in the major, some discover an exceptional interest in a particular topic – and a desire to extend their learning beyond the classroom through independent research and internships. Often, an internship will lead to an independent research, or directed study, project.
A directed study not only allows you to explore a topic of particular interest to you in greater depth, but also to develop an appreciation for the methods of scientific research – and to gain experience in project management and problem solving, which will be beneficial in your Coast Guard career.
Independent Research - Directed Studies
Students must obtain approval from their academic advisors to conduct independent research, which is carried out through two elective courses – a one-credit projects course that prepares students for the three-credit research course.Each independent study is directed by a faculty member.
Acceptance is generally based on your potential for independent work, as success in these courses depends greatly upon your initiative, effort and enthusiasm.
Normally, students take a directed studies course in their 2/c (junior) or 1/c (senior) year. In the projects course, students conduct a thorough literature search, identify the appropriate methodology and then write a research proposal for their three-credit, semester-long research course. Research studies conducted during these courses normally take at least nine hours per week.