Directed Independent Research (4912)

If you have students conducting research with you during a semester, they can enroll in Directed Independent Research (XXX 4912) to record their efforts and to create a formal structure for expectations. All that is required is a form from the mentor’s college, a very brief syllabus/set of goals and deadlines, and some signatures.

Directed Independent Research credits (XXX 4912) document and formalize independent research activities for undergraduates. UCF defines undergraduate research as an inquiry or investigation conducted by an undergraduate student that makes (or supports the creation of) an original intellectual or creative contribution to the discipline.

This course is different from Independent Study because students enrolled in this course are helping to contribute to scholarly discourse– by addressing problems with unknown answers or contemporary debates of interest to other scholars and professionals– rather than simply learning about a topic not offered through another course in the department.

Note: Students who are University Volunteers (learn more here) are not eligible to receive course credit of any kind (including 0 credits) and they must donate products  or creations to UCF, without reservation of rights (including IP).

  • This course shows up on a student’s transcript: this is a very good thing for students applying to graduate programs and professional schools.
  • Enrolling in 4912 keeps students accountable and creates a structure around the research experience.
  • This course is linked to faculty’s records. OUR collects data on enrollment in this course (and many other research programs) and can provide you a report with your mentorship activities for your tenure and promotion files and for TIP and RIA applications.

The process is different in every college, so be sure to check with your college’s/departments’ administrators and academic advisors first. Generally, though, the following steps are necessary:

  1. Students should consult with their academic advisor to determine how many 4912 credit hours they should enroll in.
    • 0 Credits: available for students with a full course load or who do not have the option to take 4912 as an upper-division elective. This option is usually no-cost for students who are enrolled in other courses during the semester when they are taking a 4912 course.
    • 1 – 3 Credits: If students take a 4912 course for credit, it will contribute to students’ GPA. This option can be selected if it fits into students’ academic plans.
  2. The faculty mentor should fill out an enrollment form (sometimes called a Restricted Enrollment Form, Undergraduate Registration Agreement, or Independent Study/Internship/Practicum Form)
    1. This form can be requested from the college to which the faculty mentor belongs, because the 4912 course’s full course code will reflect the mentor’s department (not necessarily the department of the student’s major).
    2. Some colleges’ enrollment forms are available online:
      1. Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences:
      2. College of Arts and Humanities: 
      3. College of Business Administration:
      4. College of Computer Science and Engineering:
      5. College of Optics and Photonics
      6. Nicholson School of Communication:
      7. School of Performing Arts:

  1. To fill out the Registration/Enrollment Form:
    1. Decide on the course code for your 4912, or the three letters that will precede 4912
      1. The code will reflect the faculty mentor’s specialty/department
      2. If the three-letter prefix you would like to use has never been used for a 4912 course before, you will need to contact your college’s Advising Services for the deadline to create a section
        1. This is a list of 4912 codes available as of Spring 2019
        2. You can also check if that three-letter prefix exists for a 4912 section at
    2. Faculty are usually asked to enter the amount of credit for this course, specify the work that is to be completed, due dates, and state policies on grading and absences.
      1. Make sure you decide whether grades will be A-F or S/U
      2. Make sure due dates fall on or earlier than the last day of classes
    3. Students and faculty should sign the form and return it to the office stated on the form.
      1. If you are not sure which office will receive the form, ask your college’s or department’s Academic Advisors. OUR might also be able to recommend someone to contact.

We recommend beginning this process the semester beforehand, but students can be enrolled in 4912 for credit through the ‘Add’ Deadline for courses: the first Friday of the semester. 

If you begin working with a student during the first half of the semester, there is “variable semester” that runs 7 weeks and is 0 credits. Speak to your college advising office about this option. 

Upcoming Add Deadlines:
These are the last days to enroll, but we encourage students to make use of registration windows to enroll in 4912 courses.

Summer A or C 2023

  • Full semester: Sunday, May 14th

Summer B 2023

  • Full semester: Sunday, June 25th

Fall 2023:

  • Full semester: Friday, August 25th
  • Variable semester: Friday, October 20th

Spring 2024:

  • Full semester: Friday, January 12th
  • Variable semester: begins Monday, February 26th (enroll by Friday, February 23)
In Summer, you can enroll in Summer Session B in lieu of using the variable semester.

Colleges’ enrollment forms will require you to list major deadlines and objectives for the semester or to attach a syllabus to the form. OUR recommends creating a course schedule that outlines when you will meet with the student(s) and when you expect students to meet benchmarks or submit materials to you.

Appropriate learning outcomes include, but are not limited to:

  • Strengthen oral and written communication of research
  • Develop critical thinking skills
  • Improve their information fluency skills
  • Strengthen peer reviewing skills
  • Gain an awareness of ethical issues in research
  • Strengthen their ability to formulate appropriate research questions
  • Evaluate primary and secondary literature sources
  • Synthesize literature
  • Learn how to use research related equipment or technology
  • Gain skills in quantitative or qualitative data analysis
  • Improve knowledge of academic writing conventions of the discipline
  • Learn about different dissemination modes

Possible final deliverable assignments include, but are not limited to:

  • Research Proposal
  • Research Paper
  • Manuscript draft
  • Poster Presentation
  • PowerPoint Presentation (or other comparable format)
  • Work of art or performance
  • Prototype/Model

See a full sample syllabus here.