Independent Study as Field Work Term Credit

Independent Study Applications for Field Work Term(FWT) 2018 are due Friday, October 27. (Late applications cannot be considered.)

This alternative to FWT employment offers time to delve into a particular problem, research area, theme, or question, working in association with a sponsor. You may apply to spend an FWT pursuing an Independent Study (IS) project if you have completed at least four terms, one FWT, and are in good academic standing. This alternative to employment offers time to delve into a particular problem, research area, theme, or question, working in association with a sponsor.

A sponsor must be a Bennington faculty member whose area of expertise is appropriate to the IS. Bennington faculty are not obligated to sponsor IS and funding is not available to pay sponsors. Your sponsor must have in-depth knowledge of your proposed area of study and be willing to:

  • Meet with you at a minimum of every two weeks either in person or over phone/Skype/email to discuss your progress and offer feedback
  • Meet in person by Friday, February 23, 2017 to review the content of your IS work
  • Complete an online evaluation provided by the FWT Office by Friday, March 2, 2017

How to apply

If you are interested in pursuing an IS, please apply via the FWT Registration Form in WorkLink by October 27, 2017. On your WorkLink home page, click the shortcut for “Register & View Your FWT Records,” and click “Add New” to access the form. This form includes space for a detailed description of the goals and methodology of your proposed work. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted. As indicated on the form, please copy and paste your response to the essay question “What is your intended project?” into an email to your proposed sponsor and your advisor, by October 27, 2017, for their records and approval.

A project proposed for IS is, at minimum, equivalent to the 210 hours required for FWT. Alternatively, you can split the IS option for use over two FWTs. In this case, you would complete a half IS and half FWT employment consisting of a minimum of 105 hours each. Supplemental hours do not apply towards an Independent Study or towards a half FWT. Both the IS and the primary job site must be registered. Your IS application will need to be approved by the director of FWT as well as your sponsor and your faculty advisor.

The FWT Office will notify you via email within a week of the IS application due date as to whether the application is accepted or declined. If aspects of your application need clarification, the office may ask you to submit additional information within a given timeframe.

Independent Study Sponsor Evaluations

All students completing an IS are required to meet with their sponsors to review their completed work by February 23, 2018. Sponsors then fill out an online evaluation form with a recommended pass/marginal pass/fail assessment by March 2, 2018. Final IS assessments are determined by the FWT Director, who may also request to see your finished work. IS topics, sponsor evaluations, and final assessments become part of your permanent academic record

An FWT Reflective Project is not required for a full IS, but is required for a half IS/half FWT, in which case the reflective project should focus on the work done for the half FWT.

Independent Study Application Guidelines

Your Independent Study application should address the following:

  • What learning goals do you have for this project?
  • What methodologies will you use to achieve your project and learning goals?
  • How does your proposed inquiry connect to your Plan?
  • How will your Independent Study bring your work to the world in some way?
  • What will be your final product?
  • What is your proposed timeline/workflow?

Submit your application to:

  • the FWT Office through the FWT Registration Form in WorkLink. (If you encounter any problems, you can directly email your proposal and application information to
  • your faculty advisor and your sponsor by sending them a copy of your response to the essay question “What is your intended project?”

Ensure your faculty advisor and sponsor email their approval of your proposal to the Director of FWT by the time your application is due on Friday, October 27, 2018. To meet this due date, we strongly encourage you to submit your proposal to them at least a week in advance.