Directed Study

Questrom School of Business Policy


A directed study is a coherent, well-defined, substantive reading and research project supervised by a faculty member, usually resulting in a major written document. It is not credit for work experience. Rather, it offers the student an opportunity to explore in detail a carefully defined area of special concern, as well as a chance to work under the close supervision of a faculty member. Counting as a Questrom elective, the directed study should be approved no later than the last day of the add period; it is billed as a 4-credit course unless otherwise indicated by the faculty member.

For procedures for approval, applications, and further information, inquire at the School’s Undergraduate Program Office, or download the Directed Study Application here.


Investigation of Area of Interest

Students who wish to conduct research in a specific area of interest under the guidance of a faculty member may apply for directed study. Directed studies can vary from 1 to 3 credits. A directed study may not substitute for a required course (including all core, Executive Skills, and Career Management courses) or duplicate an existing elective course. Upon completion of the directed study, the student receives a grade from the sponsoring faculty member.

MBA students wishing to do more than one directed study during the course of their program must attach copies of any previous directed study applications to any subsequent applications. The subsequent application will be subject to careful review to ensure that the studies are clearly non-overlapping, separate courses. A student may not do more than one directed study in a given semester.

Procedure for Directed Study

• Obtain a directed study application for full-time students from the Graduate Programs Office (GPO) or download the form from the GPO website.

• Discuss plans for directed study with an appropriate faculty member.

• Negotiate area of investigation, requirements, number of credits, and evaluation criteria with the faculty member.

• Complete the application for directed study and have it signed by the faculty member, department chairman, and program director, if applicable.

• Return the form to the Graduate Programs Office for approval no more than two weeks after the start of the semester. Upon approval, the Graduate Programs Registrar will assign a course number for the class and process the registration.