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Independent Study


Sara Kitsch

Director of the Gerald & Carol Vovis Center for Research & Advanced Study

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999


Fax: 309-341-7166


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Stacks of ceramic bowls created by students in the ceramics studio.

At Knox, our students explore their interests beyond the classroom. It may be by further pursuing a subject of interest discussed in class. or initiating the exploration of a topic not included in coursework.

In fact, 89% of our students take advantage of independent study by the time they graduate. 

Here are a few examples of how students have pursued independent study to take their Knox experience beyond the classroom:

  • Many science professors have lab research programs that involve several different students, each independently pursuing a particular aspect of the professor's general research.
  • The art department's Open Studio program allows students to work full time on their art projects throughout an entire term.
  • Students interested in history have worked on projects based on the historical document collections in Seymour Library's Special Collections.
  • Literature students have developed literary projects focused on particular writers or genres.
  • Students interested in the social sciences have interviewed Galesburg residents for a study of the local economy.

Many of our undergrad research opportunities help support independent study. Learn more about the Honors Program, Richter Scholarship, ASSET Program, and Ronald McNair Program.

Recent Independent Study Projects


  • pH study of a hydrogel polymer

Computer Science

  • Parallel computing and strategies for teaching computer science at the undergraduate level

Educational Studies

  • Curriculum to make learning about the Lincoln-Douglas Debates more engaging and relevant
  • Exploring education for minorities in Galesburg

Educational Studies/Theatre

  • Impact of arts programs such as Marwen, Gallery 37, and Young Chicago Authors on students from underrepresented backgrounds in their likelihood to attend college

English Literature

  • Dystopian fiction and how the ideas have progressed throughout the years

English Literature / Anthropology and Sociology

  •  Talking about the Land: Reflections on Language and Landscape in Brazil

Environmental Studies

  • Operating a sustainably produced food stand at the Galesburg Farmers' Market

International Relations

  • Connections between the notion of American exceptionalism and perceptions of violent actions perpetrated by and against America

Read Related News

A student discusses her research with library director Jeff Douglas.
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Printed on Tuesday, July 14, 2020