Independent Studies Program

The Trinity College Independent Studies Program is open to students of all colleges. Only full-time students are eligible to apply. The program allows you to undertake extensive research into a topic that interests you, and is an especially suitable way of doing interdisciplinary work on subjects that are not directly part of the present university curriculum. Enrollment is open until the end of the first week of the semester in which the course will begin.

Participation in the program is restricted to students who have completed at least 10 courses (FCEs) and have maintained a CGPA of at least 3.50. Students applying to the Trinity program must already have the agreement of a full-time faculty member of the University to act as supervisor for either a half course or a full year Independent Study course.

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, typically one credit in third year and one credit in fourth year. Permission to undertake Trinity independent studies projects 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 be approved by your supervisor and accepted by the director of the program.

Course numbers are as follows:

Students enrolling for the first time register for one or more of TRN300H1, 301Y1, 302Y1 (third year), or for one or more of TRN400H1, 404Y1, 405Y1 (fourth year), as appropriate. Those enrolling for a second time register in one of TRN400H1, 404Y1 and 405Y1, as appropriate. Enrollment in third year TRN independent studies courses is not a prerequisite for fourth year TRN independent studies courses but students who initially enrol in fourth year TRN independent studies courses may not subsequently enroll in third year TRN independent studies courses.

Students are enrolled in TRN independent studies courses by the Dean of Arts’ office at Trinity College. Students should complete the enrollment approval process in enough time to be enrolled no later than the end of the first week of classes in the relevant term.

Please note that a TRN independent studies course is not a “directed reading” course. The expectation is that students should do original research and provide a report of this research as part of their evaluation.

Students are required to identify a second reader for their final reports, in addition to their direct supervisor, whose evaluation of the paper will form part of their final grade for the course. The second reader should also be a Faculty member.

Students are required to file a graded progress report with the director of the program, no later than two weeks before the last date for dropping the course without academic penalty. All work including final reports must be submitted on or before the last day of classes. The supervisor and second reader will then grade the report and copies of the final essay or report, one graded by the supervisor and one independently graded by the second reader must be emailed to the Director within one week of the last day of classes. These should be submitted to the Dean of Arts’ office, Trinity College, Room 300, Gerald Larkin Building, 15 Devonshire Place, by email to

Final 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.

Questions about the Independent Studies Program? Contact:

Independent Studies Program Director
Les Boehm