Trinity College Independent Studies Programme

The Trinity College Independent Studies Program is open to students of all colleges.  Only full-time students are eligible to apply. It allows you to undertake extensive research into a topic that interests you, and it is an especially suitable way of doing interdisciplinary work on subjects that are not directly part of the present university curriculum.

Participation in the program is restricted to students who have completed at least 10 courses. The maximum number of independent studies half courses for which a student may receive credit is one, and the maximum number of independent studies full course equivalents for which a student may receive credit is two. Normally the work done is to be the equivalent of two full courses. Permission to register in an independent studies half course, or in an independent studies full course, will normally be granted only to students with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.50. Permission to undertake an independent studies project for the equivalent of two full courses will normally be granted only to students with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.70. Your proposal must also be approved by your supervisor and accepted by the co-ordinator of the program.

Course numbers are as follows: Students enrolling for the first time register for one or more of TRN 300H1, 301Y1, 302Y1, or for one or more of TRN 400H1, 404Y1, 405Y1, as appropriate. Those enrolling for a second time register in one or more of TRN 400H1, 404Y1 and 405Y1, as appropriate. Enrolment in third year courses is not a prerequisite for choosing fourth year courses but students who initially enrol in fourth year courses may not enrol in third year courses in subsequent years.

Enrolment dates in the courses are the same as University of Toronto Arts and Science courses

Please note that this is not a "senior essay" or "directed reading" course. Work done is usually the equivalent of two full courses.  A two-credit independent study would involve writing a mini-thesis of approximately 80 pages. Work in certain disciplines, such as the sciences, might involve other forms of evaluation.

Students are asked to file progress reports with the co-ordinator of the program at the beginning of December and before Reading Week. All work must be submitted on or before the last day of classes. The supervisor and second reader will then arrive at a grade.  A copy of the final essay or report must be handed in to the co-ordinator, Prof. Kanaganayakam.

Marks are due on the same day as final marks for University of Toronto courses without final exams - usually seven (7) business days after the last day of classes.

Applying for the Program

You might wish to contact the co-ordinator about your eligibility for the program, and for more information.

You will need a supervisor and a second reader. Either the supervisor or the second reader must be a tenured University of Toronto faculty member. A supervisor who is not a tenured University of Toronto faculty member will normally be required to be a full-time faculty member of the University. The second reader must be nominated by the supervisor and approved by the co-ordinator before the end of September.  The second reader is not responsible for guidance or consultation. The role of the second reader is to grade your work. (Your supervisor will also grade your work.) 

Whether the credits you receive will be allowed to count towards your major or specialist program will depend on your primary Department. Trinity College does not get involved in that process. Please check with your Department and your College Registrar before enrolling in the program. Deadlines for enrolment are the same as for all courses listed in the calendar. Since the task of finding a supervisor can be time-consuming, you should st art the process early.

In order to be considered for enrolment, you should submit to the co-ordinator of the program:

  1. your academic transcript
  2. an outline (several pages) of your proposed topic, signed by the supervisor
  3. a suggested bibliography
  4. the registration form.

Feel free to contact the co-ordinator for information and help. If the co-ordinator is not available, please leave a message on his answering machine.

If you move during the academic year, please inform the program co-ordinator of your new address/phone number.

Please download the registration form here and return completed to Room 300, Gerald Larkin Building, 15 Devonshire Place.

See also the University of Toronto Calendar.