For students in the IS and ISST Major, independent research credits are offered to allow you to explore independent research projects under the supervision of a faculty member. Please review the list of Information Science faculty and researchers to find a suitable supervisor for your project, if you haven't already. The list of Information Science Research Groups and labs may also be of interest. 

Cornell students who have an appropriate background in the field of information science are eligible to receive academic credit (INFO 4900) for doing independent research with Information Science faculty or researchers. Typically, students participating in independent research will have had at least 1-2 years worth of information science field course experience. The background experience that you are required to have varies depending on the nature of the study and the stated requirements of the sponsoring instructor.

If you are interested in doing an independent study, you should:

  1. Define your area(s) of interest
  2. Review the list of Faculty Research Interests to find faculty members who might have related interests. If you are still uncertain about who to approach after looking at faculty research areas, you should discuss the matter with your IS faculty advisor.
  3. Approach an IS faculty member who is working in the area that interests you and discuss the possibility of doing an independent research project.
  4. Reach an agreement with the supervising faculty member about what will be studied and how the results will be evaluated.
  5. Provide the faculty member with a brief written understanding of what you think you are studying and how the results will be evaluated.
  6. Register your project as outlined below

Registering for INFO 4900

All IS and ISST students taking INFO 4900 are required to register an abstract.

Here are the steps to follow to register your INFO 4900 project:

  1. Officially add INFO 4900, via online Add/Drop or paper Add/Drop*, using the Course ID# from the University Roster that corresponds to the professor with whom you're working. (make sure that the professor knows you are working with her/him before you sign up - see the steps outlined above)
    *You must use the paper Add/Drop if you have already registered for another INFO 4900 this semester.
  2. If using the paper Add/Drop form, stop by the CIS Undergraduate Office to receive departmental approval (stamped on the Drop/Add form)
  3. Email the following six pieces of information to the Information Science advising office at
    • your name
    • title of your independent study
    • brief abstract describing your study
    • name of the instructor with whom you are working
    • agreed upon number of credits for the independent study
    • graduation year

The purpose for registering INFO 4900 projects is to share research ideas with other students in the program. Your submission may be posted on the web unless you specifically request otherwise. If you would like us to include a URL of your project website, please make sure it is a permanent research archive site, not a location that exists in your temporary account.

For more information about registering for INFO 4900, email the Information Science Undergraduate Office.

Please note: Students may not receive credit for paid research.