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The Music Department encourages undergraduate students to pursue research projects through the UNC Office of Undergraduate Research, the UNC Honors Program, and other forms of mentored study. The Music Department also offers specific financial awards to support independent research projects. All students are invited to explore opportunities through the Office of Undergraduate Research, where additional grants, fellowships, and programs are listed.

Independent Study

Independent study courses provide an opportunity for students to pursue a special research or academic interest under the direction of a faculty member of the Department of Music. As of Fall 2021, there are four independent study options in music:

MUSC 296. Special Studies for Undergraduates. 1-3 Credits.
Available only to music majors by permission of the director of undergraduate studies. Intensive study on a particular topic under faculty supervision.
Gen Ed: EE- Mentored Research.
Repeat rules: May be repeated for credit; may be repeated in the same term for different topics; 6 total credits. 6 total completions.
Grading status: Letter grade.

MUSC 493. Music Internship. 3 Credits.
Permission of the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Internship directly related to the study, practice, or the business of music. Students must complete at least 100 hours and submit a journal and report upon completion of the internship. No more than three credit hours may count toward the requirements of the music major. Excess hours may count as credit hours toward graduation, subject to the overall limit on music hours.
Gen Ed: EE- Performing Arts.
Repeat rules: May be repeated for credit. 9 total credits. 3 total completions.
Grading status: Pass/Fail.

MUSC 691H. Senior Honors Thesis in Music I. 3 Credits.
Admission by permission of the Honors Advisor. Independent study by a student who has been designated a candidate for undergraduate honors in music.
Gen Ed: EE- Mentored Research.
Grading status: Letter grade.

MUSC 692H. Senior Honors Thesis in Music II. 3 Credits.
Continuance and completion of an honors thesis in music.
Requisites: Prerequisites, MUSC 691H.
Gen Ed: EE- Mentored Research.
Grading status: Letter grade.

A student who wishes to pursue an independent study should write a research proposal and contact a faculty member who teaches in the research area of interest to supervise the project. After identifying a faculty supervisor, the student must complete an Independent Study Learning Contract through the Online Learning Contract Manager (OLCM) and a research proposal outlining the specific details of the semester-long project. Students should complete this process before the semester begins.

Deadline: The Independent Study Learning Contract must be completed and approved by both the faculty supervisor and the Director of Undergraduate Studies by the fifth day of classes each semester.

If you have questions about independent study, please contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Associate Professor Lee Weisert at If you have questions about an honors thesis, please contact the Honors Advisor, Professor Brent Wissick at