A Directed Study (COMP4901) is a course that does not involve taking classes, but instead involves working independently on a particular area of study. Each directed study must have a well laid-out plan and must be formally approved by the Associate Director (undergraduate) before a student can register into COMP4901. A directed study is NOT a “second honours project”. Unlike an Honours Project, it usually involves reading & learning material in an area of study and completing multiple assignments and projects throughout the term, in a similar manner to that of taking a regular undergraduate course. The reading material, assignments, projects, papers and deliverables will be decided upon by a faculty supervisor. Since it takes a lot of preparation and overhead on the part of a faculty member to produce an adequate directed study proposal, it is often difficult to find a supervisor who is willing to supervise COMP4901. Directed studies are often used as a stepping-stone to graduate work and should not be viewed as a course to be taken simply because a student wants to graduate and there are no other courses available.
If you are able to find a supervisor, you must carefully prepare a proposal with your supervisor. It must be structured like a course and include:
- all topics that will be covered (include assigned reading materials)
- all deliverables (e.g., assignments, projects, reports, etc.) that must be completed
- evaluation criteria showing the breakdown of percentages assigned to each deliverable.
Keep in mind that your supervisor may require you to make a few changes to the proposal before it is finalized.
Submit your finalized project proposal to your supervisor (by filling out this COMP4901_ProposalForm) before the registration deadline. You will need to include a PDF file of your finalized proposal in order to complete the form. Once you submit the form, it will be sent to your supervisor for his/her approval and then he/she will forward the form and proposal to the Undergraduate Advisors so that a spot can be opened for you to register into COMP 4901. However, the proposal must also be approved, at this time, by the Associate Director (undergraduate studies). If it is not approved, you will need to make changes and resubmit the form again. Once approved, and once a spot opens up for you in COMP 4901, you must then register yourself into the course.