Bread Loaf offers students with exceptional academic records opportunities to pursue focused independent research over six or more weeks and produce a major essay, portfolio, or theater project. 

Independent Reading Projects

With approval, qualified students can undertake an Independent Reading Project (IRP). The work begins during the academic year and students submit a drafted critical essay or creative portfolio in mid-March. The work is concluded, in consultation with a Bread Loaf faculty member, the following summer.

The IRP is the equivalent of a one-unit Bread Loaf course and involves comparable reading, research, and writing. Students build the IRP from work done in a Bread Loaf course in which they have received an A- or higher, or they may draw on professional field work done in conjunction with the Bread Loaf Teacher Network. IRPs can be part of the MA and MLitt degree and may fulfill group or field requirements.

Read more about Independent Reading Projects.

Independent Summer Projects in Theater Arts

Students who would like to pursue independent study in the field of theater arts may design an Independent Summer Reading Project (ISP), to be carried out during the summer session. Like the IRP, the summer reading project counts as the equivalent of a one-unit Bread Loaf course and must build on work done in a Bread Loaf course in which the student has received an A- or higher.

Read more about Independent Summer Projects in Theater Arts.

Oxford Independent Tutorials

Students with outstanding academic records attending Bread Loaf in Oxford can pursue an Oxford Independent Tutorial (OIT) in addition to their primary course. These projects count as a one-unit Bread Loaf course and should involve a similar amount of reading and writing.

Students propose their own courses of study that must be approved by Bread Loaf’s director and a member of the Bread Loaf/Oxford faculty, who will supervise the student’s work during the summer.

Read more about Oxford Independent Tutorials.