Directed Study: Overview and Requirements

The directed study is a thesis project that you design in consultation with a faculty member, making sure that it integrates theories and concepts from both of your academic concentrations equally. Research projects vary in structure and presentation depending on your concentration areas and interests, but you can expect to complete the equivalent of a 135-hour research project. This option is best for students who already have a particular issue to research or a meaningful project to share. The Directed Study experience offers students the opportunity to apply their education through analysis, synthesis, and evaluation.



A scholarly research project involving analysis that is presented in written form. This thesis represents a commitment to research, critical thinking, and an informed viewpoint of the student. Think traditional research paper.

Creative Project

A project that combines scholarship and creative work in which the primary outcome consists of something other than a written document but includes a written document that supports the creative endeavor and involves scholarly research. Past examples of projects include: educational curriculum, screenplays, art shows, business plans, sustainable architecture building re-design, etc.


Course Learning Outcomes

At the completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Specific learning objectives will be established with and assessed by a directed study mentor who is a full time member of ASU’s faculty.
  2. Demonstrate an ability to find and secure a faculty mentor and coordinate the completion and assessment of a substantial research project with that mentor.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to complete a substantial research paper—typically about 30 pages in length—that demonstrates the ability to gather, interpret, and evaluate evidence, OR Completion of a directed study project as defined by the mentor that requires the equivalent of 135 hours of study.
  4. Demonstrate an ability to integrate the student’s concentration areas expressed in the product of directed study.