independent studies? [plus vent]

So. here's the deal. 

I SEVERELY dislike my school. I can't stand the faculty, I can't stand the students, and I really can't stand the hour long commute. What's worse is that I should be graduating this coming May, but they aren't offering classes when I need them, so I'm looking at graduating May 2013!!!!! Ugh!!!!! (btw. this coincides with my previous post about having to be married between semesters)

 I woke up the other morning and said "enough". I'm not going to put myself through this any longer, I'm transferring. I've been in school for four straight years now, including summer school. I'm burnt out. 

So here's my point. Someone suggested that I take independent studies so that I can get a break from the classroom scene. I'm a little confused as to how independent studies work [my school didn't offer them]. What's the difference between that and an online course?

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