Academic Catalogs

Independent Study

This is an alternative method of college study. If the instructor and the division dean approve, a student may take any course in the Orange Coast College catalog on a contract basis. The number of units received and the prescribed hours of study follow the approved catalog description. Two kinds of independent study exist at OCC:

Contracted Studies

For courses listed in this catalog, a student may prefer to take the course through Individualized Study because of special circumstances. A student who, for one reason or another, cannot attend a class or classes (excluding class or time conflicts) may negotiate an Independent Study Contract by following these procedures:

  1. Request a Learning Contract from the respective division office.
  2. Request the permission of the instructor and ask the instructor to specify in detail in the context of the contract the way the student will master the study area and the criteria for evaluation.
  3. Ask the instructor and division dean to approve the contract.
  4. Take the contract personally to Enrollment Services in Watson Hall. If the contract is approved, the Enrollment Center will officially enroll the student in the course and notify the student.
  5. After the student completes the coursework, the instructor will certify the earned grade. Enrollment Services will then record the grade on the student’s transcript.​

Directed Studies

A student may take advanced coursework in a field of study after having completed the introductory courses. Most departments offer a set of directed study courses numbered A291-A295. In unusual cases, students may petition to enroll in directed studies without completing the pertinent beginning courses. Directed Studies students must ask the instructor to fill out a Learning Contract for Independent Study and have it approved by the Division Dean. Follow the procedures given under Contracted Studies.

Course No. Units Clock Hours per Semester
A291 1 54
A292 2 108
A293 3 162
A294 4 216
A295 5 270

A maximum credit of 3 units per term –6 units total– in otherwise transferable subject areas is allowed. Letter grades are assigned for Directed Studies (grade only). Transfer credit for courses of this kind is contingent upon a review of the course outline by a University of California or California State University campus.

Not all courses are eligible for Contracted Studies or Directed Studies options. Students must first meet with the appropriate instructor and division dean to determine if a Learning Contract for Independent Study is a viable option.