Independent Study and Research (ISR)

If you're interested in conducting research or studying independently abroad while maintaining UT enrollment, independent study and research (ISR) may be right for you. Learn more about requirements, credit, deadlines and other pertinent information.

New Travel Guidelines in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The current prohibition on university-sanctioned travel for business or study is extended through July 31, 2020. Exceptions will be processed by deans or vice presidents for domestic travel and by Texas Global for international travel. Decisions about policy after August 1 will be announced on or before July 15.

Domestic Travel

  • Requests for domestic travel will be approved by the college’s/school's/unit’s Dean or Vice President; it is expected that precautions for travel will have been considered with concrete steps planned to mitigate health risks.
  • All air travel, hotels, and rental cars must be booked through UT Contracted travel agencies or Concur.
  • University funds may not be used to cover cancellation fees for meeting registrations or for travel booked outside of UT contracted travel agencies or Concur.

International Travel

At this time, the US Department of State continues to have a global health travel advisory, level 4 “Do not travel” and the CDC has a global COVID-19 pandemic notice level 3 “Avoid non-essential travel.” As of July 1, 2020, faculty/staff/students (whether paid by UT or external sources) seeking to travel will be able to do so based on the following:

  • Faculty/staff/students must petition for international travel through the university’s Restricted Regions process and submit a supplemental COVID-19 travel waiver. Approved travelers will need to follow all quarantine requirements in the destination country and upon return to the U.S., Austin, and the UT campus.
  • Visitors/researchers/scholars wishing to travel to campus from abroad will need to seek approval from the corresponding college/school's Dean or Vice President. All visitors will be subject to the same quarantine provisions as UT Austin approved travelers returning from abroad.
  • All international visiting delegations coordinated by Texas Global are suspended through December 31, 2020. 

Self-Quarantine Guidance Upon Return from Abroad

UT Austin will follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the U.S. Department of State. If you travel internationally, follow the guidance below for 14 days, upon your return:

  • Stay home (self-quarantine and remain away from others).
  • Monitor your health. You can learn more about what do if you become sick after travelling here.
  • Practice social distancing. If you go outside, stay away from crowded places, avoid group gatherings, and maintain distance (~6 feet) from others.

See all COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Communications.

General Information

Application Steps

  1. Determine if you will be traveling to a UT-Restricted Region

    If you are traveling to a UT-Restricted Region, If you must get International Oversight Committee (IOC) Approval. You can apply for this and ISR at the same time. Students not traveling to a UT-Restricted Region should proceed directly to the next step.

  2. Email

    Email with the following information:

    -Subject line: ISR Request

    -First Name

    -Last Name


    -When your first Semester abroad will be

    -The country where the research will take place

    -Indicate if you are awaiting IOC approval for travel to a UT-Restricted Region

    You will then be granted access to the MyAbroad Portal and sent an email notification.

  3. Submit Additional Application Elements

    Log into the online portal or "MyAbroad" and complete the "Online Registration Form" along with all listed steps/modules.

    Download the ISR Cover Sheet, and obtain the required signatures. If you or your supervising professors are out of the country, email the cover sheet and one-page proposal to your faculty member and graduate adviser for an email approval. Send all documents and approvals to the ISR Coordinator at

    Complete a one-page abstract/proposal that addresses when, where, for how long, and for what purpose you will be abroad. Email the application to or turn it in at Texas Global front desk or mail it to Education Abroad's physical address (listed in our website footer) - [attention ISR Coordinator]

  4. Receive Email Notification

    Once final approval has been granted, including Restricted Region requests, an email notification will be sent to the students confirming the student's ISR application status. You will then be registered in ISR 00090.