College of Humanities and Social Sciences

Directed Reading and Research


Background Information

The terms Independent Study, Individualized Study, and Directed Reading are used interchangeably in the Economics Department. The course number for all of these types of registration is ECON 896, and each student is given a separate section number. Up to 6 credit hours of directed readings (ECON 896) may be applied toward degree requirements.

The instructor of record for ECON 896 should be an Economics full-time tenure or tenure-track faculty member. Exceptions to the instructor status must be approved by the PhD or the MA Director.

ECON 896 Directed Reading is counted as graduate coursework and is graded as graduate coursework.

Instructions for Registering for ECON 896

  1. You must use your Mason email account to request this approval. No replies will be made to non-Mason email accounts.

  2. You must first secure in writing the permission of the faculty member who will be the instructor of record for this ECON 896 section. This written permission should include the number of credit hours and the title of the course (must be 30 characters or less, including spaces and punctuation).

  3. Registration in ECON 896 is coordinated by the Economics Graduate Coordinator. To register, you must email with the following information:
     --Course title (30 characters or less, including spaces and punctuation)
     --Number of credits
     --Semester of enrollment*
     --Copy of the email from the faculty member indicating his/her agreement to supervise this directed reading course.
     *To register for a directed reading during a summer term, please refer to the Summer Session Administration website for important dates and deadlines. You must select one of the standard sessions (A, B, or C) as the term for the directed reading registration.

  4. The Graduate Coordinator will complete the "Individualized Section" registration form and return it to you for your signature acknowledging the following student responsibilities:

    I acknowledge that while the Economics Department is submitting the form on my behalf that:

    --I am responsible for ensuring that this registration is on my schedule.
    --I am responsible, if necessary, for dropping this course via Patriot Web.
    --I have ensured that this registration does not exceed the program requirement of a 
       maximum 6 credits allowed toward my degree.
    --I am responsible for any fees due to errors regarding any of the above.

    NOTE: To drop ECON 896, you must use Patriot Web.

  5. Upon receipt of your signature, the Graduate Coordinator will secure the additional required signatures and then forward the registration form to the Registrar's The Graduate Coordinator will confirm with the student the status of the registration form. This form enrolls the student in the directed reading section.
  6. To drop ECON 896, you must drop this course via Patriot Web.

Any requests that do not meet the above requirements will not be acknowledged.

Any requests for exceptions to the above must be submitted in writing to the Director of Graduate Studies, Professor Coyne.

Other Relevant Information

An independent study/directed reading section is a variable credit course which means you can register for 1 to 6 credits. The typical ECON 896 section is 3 credits.


Last updated: 03/20/17

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