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690. Special Studies
B.S.S. candidates have the option for one or more Blocks of reading on their own; auditing
courses; doing library or field research; working either as a volunteer or a paid employee with
public or private organizations; taking professional or vocational courses at other institutions;
traveling; or engaging in a creative endeavor involving writing, composing, performing,
painting, sculpting, etc. To arrange a Special Study course, the student must justify to her or his
faculty committee that the proposed experience is relevant to the student's educational
objectives as stated in the B.S.S. Prospectus and will materially help the student achieve these

Students who undertake a Special Study course (690) must file a Plan of Study with the
Registrar before the start of the Block. This is the contract for the Block and must be approved
and signed by the faculty committee. Special Studies projects may extend over two or more
consecutive Blocks; however, only one Plan of Study need be filed if only one project is involved.
Any changes in the Plan of Study after the start of the Block must be approved by the committee
and filed with the Registrar.

Students who file a Plan of Study at the beginning of a Block must also file a Progress Report at
the conclusion of that Block in order to receive a course credit for their work. The committee
determines whether the student has done what was proposed in the Plan of Study and either
signs the Progress Report (thus authorizing a course credit) or not, depending upon the
advisor's evaluation of the student's academic progress. Students who file a Plan of Study for a
multi-Block project need not file a Progress Report until they have completed the project, i.e., at
the conclusion of the final Block specified in the Plan of Study. Because the committee must
certify to the Registrar at the end of every Block that satisfactory progress is being made toward
the completion of the project, the committee may ask the student to submit periodic evidences
of such progress. The Progress Report, typed onto an official form by the Registrar and signed
by the student and the committee, becomes a permanent part of the student's transcript.

There is no limit to the number of Special Studies that a B.S.S. candidate may take. The
Registrar approves petitions (available from the Registrar's Office) to waive room and board
charges for one or more semesters (periods of not fewer than four Blocks) for a limited number
of B.S.S. candidates planning to undertake Special Studies outside Mount Vernon. (CR)

Summer Study

Students seeking credit for summer study begin by consulting a faculty member in the
department in which they wish to earn the credit, who can tell them whether the department
will sponsor their project and what, if any, prerequisites or other conditions must be satisfied in
order to obtain departmental approval. Although some departments may suggest topics or put
students in contact with prospective internship supervisors, most students develop their own
proposals and contacts.

To register for a Summer Study course, students must file a proposal with the Registrar,
available from the Registrar's Office, before leaving for the summer (the earlier the better in case
there is a problem obtaining the permission of the Academic Standing Committee). The
prospectus must be approved and signed by the faculty sponsor and the department chair. Late
or retroactive registration is not permitted.

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