This article presents the results of scientific-pedagogical research, which consisting in identifying of roots of independent study development in the USA in from the early 1900s to the moment of its extensive implementation in academic programs in the 1950s. The author began to investigate the independent study with aid of heuristic approach which allowed making a comprehensive analysis of the American experience in the field of self-learning systems of education. This allowed the author to come to the conclusion of the origination of the independent study in the USA. It is confirmed by scientific works published by Princeton University professor aimed to solve the issue of the ill-determination of the term ‘independent study’ which was falsely related to such terms as ‘project work’, ’self-learning’, ’self-education’ etc. We have distinguished the most appropriate definition for ‘independent study’ and distinguished its peculiarities distinct from other terms. One of the key tasks of our research was to explore the ways of implementation of independent study in the educational process of higher educational establishments and we have found the most fitting cases of its introduction which ranged from personal mentor work of the professors to help self-directed and self-motivated students to obtain skills and abilities to work independently over the material send by Universities teaching stuff by mail with feed-back to the broadcasting of the educational material of certain modules using radio stations which were in University disposal. The features of these techniques we observe nowadays in the use of the PCs in educational purposes for instance in the distance study implanted in academic plans of certain Universities in Ukraine. Our research is appointed to facilitate independent study introduction in Ukrainian educational system through investigation of its origination and development.