Students who wish to pursue a topic not covered in the regular curriculum or who wish to study individually may register for a private reading.

College of Arts and Sciences

Students who wish to pursue a topic not covered in the regular curriculum may register for a private reading course. This one-to-one tutorial is normally at the advanced level in a specific field and is arranged with a member of the faculty who has agreed to supervise the student. Approval for a private reading course depends upon the following conditions:

  • The student should have completed the basic courses offered by the department in which the work is to be done
  • The substance of the private reading course may not duplicate the work of a regular course unless the student is unable to enroll in a course theyneeds to meet the requirements of a major or course sequence
  • Applied music lessons may not count as private reading courses
  • The student is limited to one private reading per semester for either a half course or a full course. Requests for exceptions are to be submitted to the Academic Advising Resource Center (AARC)

Students wishing to register for a private reading course must obtain an Application for Private Reading in the College of Arts and Sciences card from the AARC, complete it and get it signed by the relevant professor and return it to the center before the end of a regular registration period or the add/drop period for a given semester.

Students wishing to register for more than one private reading course in a given semester must visit the AARC to request permission for this policy exception.

Students should have the Application for Private Reading in the College of Arts and Sciences card completed and signed by the relevant professor before their visit to the AARC.


Oberlin Conservatory

For students enrolled in Oberlin degree programs who wish to study individually and in depth a topic not covered in the regular curriculum, the option of a one-to-one tutorial is available. This work is at an advanced level in a specific field and is coordinated with a member of the faculty who has agreed to supervise the study and who possesses expertise in the area in which the private reading is being undertaken.

Approval for a private reading course depends on the following conditions:

  • The student shall have completed the basic courses pertinent to the subject matter of the private reading. As a rule, only juniors and seniors are eligible to undertake private reading courses
  • The subject matter of the private reading course may not duplicate the work of a regular course
  • The student is limited to one private reading course per semester for either two or four credits
  • Private applied study and composition lessons, ensemble playing, other forms of musical performance, and work in elementary and intermediate aural skills may not count as private reading courses
  • Normally, the faculty supervisor for a private reading course should be a faculty member other than a student’s own applied study or composition teacher
  • Approval for a private reading course must be given by the student’s advisor, the faculty member supervising the project, and the conservatory’s associate dean for advising and retention

Students wishing to register for a private reading course must obtain an Application for Private Reading in the Conservatory of Music card from the Conservatory Dean's Office. This application is due by 4:30 p.m. on the last day of add/drop.

If all signatures are acquired on time, the AARC will manually register the student in the private reading and Banner Self Service (formerly PRESTO) will likely reflect that enrollment after add/drop period ends.