Independent Study: Special Topic Exploration

Earn graduate-level professional development credit or CEUs for attending a seminar, workshop, training, online course, webinar, reading a book or other professional development experience.

Program Overview

This independent study course is designed for educators who participate in professional development in a variety of different formats such as seminars, workshops, trainings, online courses, or webinars. This course will guide educators through further research and provide practical knowledge they can apply directly in their classroom. Educators will create a lesson plan or professional development initiative to demonstrate their ability to apply the strategies they discovered.

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Approximately 15 to 45 hours

Up to 6 months to complete coursework

Estimated Tuition


Ways to Learn



1-3 PDUs per course

Graduate Level Professional Development Credits

Key Features

Online and self-paced   |   Earn graduate-level professional development credits for salary advancement

Ability to choose your own PD experience   |   Gain practical teaching strategies    |    Create a lesson plan or PD initiative

How it works: 

  1. Participate in a professional development experience such as an online course, reading a book, attending a seminar, workshop, training, or watching a live or recorded webinar (View UMass Global Webinars)
  2. Register for the course and select the number of credits you would like to earn (1-3 PDUs) 
  3. Select your project(s) type (create a lesson plan or professional development initiative) and complete coursework. Download a step-by-step guide.

What is an independent study course?
This self-paced, online, project-based course provides educators with a framework for exploring a topic that allows teachers the freedom to choose their own focus and readings.

Who Should Enroll?

  • PreK-12 teachers
  • Teacher candidates
  • Para-educators


Earn your credit in 3 simple steps

Step 1
Register online.

Step 2
Complete the course.

Step 3
Receive credits and obtain an official transcript.


View Course Overview Video

View Syllabus

View all PD Courses

What are Graduate-level Professional Development Credits?

Graduate-level professional development credits are not part of a degree program but instead are primarily used for professional advancement such as salary increment steps and recertification. Students should seek approval from appropriate district officials before enrolling in these courses.

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