Directed Research

In addition to academic courses, students may choose to work on an independent research project under the tutelage of a French scholar. This option provides an opportunity for highly driven and motivated students to investigate in depth a specific research topic while acquiring the methodological and analytical skills necessary to undertake academic scholarship. The Directed Research project is therefore an excellent preparation for writing a Senior thesis and/or undertaking graduate studies. It gives students a ‘taste’ for research while teaching them to work independently on a project under the one-on-one supervision of an expert in their field.

Eligibility & Requirements

All students are encouraged to think about this option, whether they are certain about the type of research project they want to do or not. But they should indicate their interest in their application form along with their proposed field of study. The Program Director will subsequently contact them to discuss their suggested topic and help them develop their proposal. Ideally, students should have a certain degree of familiarity with their chosen area of study or at least a strong passion and interest. The Director will also help students estimate the value and scope of their proposed project, along with the workload implications. Students, however, may also register for this option once in Paris. They are encouraged to meet with the Program Director to receive the appropriate help to develop their project. Once the students’ projects have been approved, they are assigned a Research Director with whom they will work with on a weekly basis and complete a Mémoire - a research paper of 25 pages for 4 points. At the end of the semester, students also give an oral presentation of their research, and should be prepared to discuss their topic in front of their peers and other research directors present at their presentation. Students will devote a minimum of two hours of work per week for each credit awarded for the Directed Research project (24 clock hours per semester; thus, a 4- credit course will entail an average of 8 hours per week over 12 weeks).

Please contact your academic advisor for information.