Low Residency Format

The Independent Research Fellows Cohort (IRFC) offers the same course of study found in our traditional program in an intensive and innovative format designed to serve 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 necessary comprehensive exams and qualifying competencies through participation in a special low-residency format.

A limited number of students are accepted, taking 39 credits in a hybrid alternative structure over the course of one year. During this time, there are six separate residency requirements that span 4-6 days. In order to ensure the integrity of the cohort community, residencies cannot be individualized or postponed.

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.
  • Inclusion of clearly defined research interests that fit with faculty's expertise in the personal statement.
  • 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.