The Independent Research Fellows Cohort (IRFC) offers the same course of study found in our traditional program in an intensive and innovative format intended to serve exceptionally well qualified students who would not otherwise be able to enroll in our on-campus program.
Independent research fellows complete foundation coursework and prepare for the comprehensive exams and qualifying competencies necessary for achieving doctoral candidacy through participation in a special low-residency format. A limited number of students are accepted into cohorts, taking 39 credits in a hybrid alternative structure (30 credits in core coursework and nine credits in elective coursework, excluding continuation credits).
The goal is to join the traditional brick and mortar experience with innovative interactive, learning, research, assessment and presentation technologies. Accepted students are automatically enrolled over the course of one year in five sessions that include two courses. Each session begins with a five-day residency. In order to ensure the integrity of the cohort community, residencies cannot be individualized or postponed.
Acceptance into the IRFC is judged according to a special set of standards in addition to the rigorous requirements routinely demanded of on-campus applicants.
Because of the accelerated and intensive nature of the format, independent research fellows are chosen through a close assessment of each applicant's:
- Demonstrated intellectual maturity and proven ability to work independently.
- Familiarity and comfort with using alternative learning and communication technologies (including access to high speed Internet or DSL and a capacity to run advanced software applications).
- Ability to commit to the rigor and intensity of the yearlong cohort experience (incomplete grades are discouraged).
Click here for more information on the Independent Research Fellows Cohort.