Independent Study as Field Work Term Option

This alternative to Field Work Term (FWT) employment offers time to delve into a particular research area, theme, or question, working in association with a sponsor. You may apply to spend an FWT pursuing an Independent Study project if you are a returning student (5th-term through 7th-term), have completed at least one FWT, and are in good academic standing. A sponsor must be a Bennington faculty member whose area of expertise is appropriate to the Independent Study. Bennington faculty are not obligated to sponsor Independent Study, 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 regularly either in person or over phone/Zoom/Hangout/email to discuss your progress and offer feedback. Typically, sponsors arrange a weekly meeting time but scheduling is at the discretion of the sponsor. At a minimum, a sponsor should converse with the student every two weeks.

  • Meet virtually or in person to have a final review the content of your Independent Study work/research

  • Complete an evaluation on your work

How to Apply

Before applying for an Independent Study, students must discuss their plan with their advisor and Independent Study faculty sponsor to receive pre-approval to apply. Once your plans are confirmed with your faculty sponsor, apply for your FWT Independent study by requesting an experience in Handshake. (Select FWT term and Independent Study as experience type.)  This application must be completed by Nov. 3 for winter FWT 2024 - late submissions will not be approved. Registrations will be reviewed and approved by the FWT office and then sent to the Office of the Provost and the faculty sponsor for approval. Students wishing to complete research involving human participants must follow IRB guidelines and receive approval prior to beginning work; please plan accordingly and submit specific IRB inquiries or completed IRB applications to For general Independent Study application related questions, please contact