I've been talking to one of my professors at a Master's program about enrolling in an independent study course under his supervision.
(An independent study course is a course in which a student engages in guided study on some topic under the direction of a faculty member. Students formally enroll in such a course as part of a degree program, just as they would for a traditional course, and it appears in the students' transcripts, academic records, etc.)
However, it's not clear to me whether independent study courses work the same way as regular courses with respect to tuition and credit accounting:
Tuition: Am I expected to still pay tuition for independent studies?
Credits: With traditional courses, there's typically some quantitative relationship between the number of credits a course is "worth" and the contact hours it involves. For example, a 4-credit course involves a certain amount of class time.
With independent study courses, where there are no fixed contact hours, is it common for institutions to have some expectation of how much time a student is supposed to spend on the course, per credit hour? For instance, that a 1-credit course expects about N hours a week from the student.