Directed Studies Application Form

Directed studies courses offered through the School of Environmental Science include EVSC 391 and EVSC 491, which can be taken as a variable unit course of 1 to 8 units.

Students may take each Directed Studies course only once and the total number of units earned from each course may not exceed 8 units. Students should take EVSC 391 before talking EVSC 491. Students must consult with an academic advisor.


Applicants must have:

  • Completed 60 units
  • Earned a minimum GPA of 3.00 in their two most recent terms
  • A completed Directed Studies Course Proposal Form (see below)
  • A Directed Study Proposal approved by a supervisor/faculty member
  • Academic advisor’s approval to use course units towards degree
  • Completed all regular courses that cover the relevant background material

Directed Studies courses may not duplicate material covered in other courses.


The initiative for implementing a directed study course comes from the student. The student identifies a
supervisor/faculty member who has expertise in the area of the proposed studyl. It is the faculty member's prerogative to refuse any request.

Students and faculty are advised to make their arrangements for the course well in advance. The student submits an initial proposal to the faculty member and then discusses the proposal to confirm the academic quality of the Directed Study, as well as to ensure the proposed study does not duplicate the content of a calendar course.

The student and the supervisor/faculty member together draft the final proposal (see below). The student acknowledges that they will be responsible for the completion of all assigned work, will maintain contact with the instructor, will meet deadlines, and will fulfill other related academic responsibilities for the successful completion of this course.

The student submits the form and required attachments to the academic advisor for approval at least two weeks prior to the first day of classes. The proposal and attachments must then be forwarded to the Undergraduate Chair for approval and registration in the course (either by the student or their academic advisor). Students may not register themselves for a Directed Studies course.

Students will be added into the course only when the form is complete and approved. Notification of approval/denial will be forwarded to the student.

The supervisor/faculty member is responsible for submitting a final grade for the course on the regular due date for courses without a scheduled exam.

Faculty Obligations

Although students may become involved in data collection, coding, and data analyses of faculty members' research in the context of Directed Studies and Research courses, faculty must ensure that the courses are devoted to advancing students' knowledge. Students must not be used as unpaid research assistants.

Course Requirements

The student must perform a sufficient amount of work to justify the units in the course, which is normally a minimum of three hours per week for each unit. The student is also expected to meet with the instructor on a regular basis (i.e., weekly or biweekly meetings). In addition to other deliverables that may be outlined in the proposal, the student is required to submit a substantial written report on material covered in the course (i.e., essay, literature review, annotated bibliography, research report). This will be forwarded to the supervisor/faculty member.

Steps to Completion

  1. Fill out Directed Studies Course Proposal Form
  2. Attach your written Directed Studies Proposal
  3. Advisor to review package
  4. Undergraduate Chair to approve or deny
Course Number

GPA for previous 2 terms

The attached required Directed Studies Proposal must include:

  • Title of the topic
  • Description of the course, including main texts proposed for study
  • List of preparatory courses for the Directed Study
  • Statement of how the course will be conducted, including mode, frequency and duration of meetings between the student and supervisor
  • Statement of how the student's performance will be assessed for grading purposes, including deliverables and deadlines
  • Statement justifying the need for the particular course rather than one of the regular courses offered by the university
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: If this proposal involves research with human subjects, including field work or seeking of primary data from community members, your draft SFU Ethics Committee forms must be completed and attached to this proposal: See for further information and forms
The total size of uploaded attachments can be no larger than 15MB
Does the supervisor have an special requirements? (For example, are you expected to do an oral presentation?)