Independent study, SAC 499, is reserved for those majors in Screen Arts & Cultures (SAC) who have exhausted the coursework in a specific area of study within the major. Therefore, it should be understood as having been designed to be a capstone course for serious students who seek advanced knowledge in a certain area of study that cannot reasonably be met by normal course offerings. For example, if a student has taken all available courses in video art (SAC 301, SAC 401), then they would be eligible to initiate a project-based independent study involving video. If a student has taken all available courses in American film, but wanted further study, SAC 499 is an option.
That said, it should be recognized that not every request for independent study can be met by the Department of Screen Arts & Cultures because of the relatively few faculty we have to meet the demands of over 200 majors as well as limitations on equipment. Therefore, before you request a discussion with a faculty member regarding SAC 499, please consider the following:
1. An independent study does not count toward credit in the major, only towards hours in LS&A.
2. An independent study will not be considered for a student who has not exhausted the course work in a particular area of SAC study.
3. Consider whether the work you wish to do in an independent study might be undertaken within a course currently offered or to be offered in the near future. If you are uncertain as to what courses are to be offered in upcoming semesters, please check with the SAC office. There may be courses or options of study within a particular class of which you are not aware. We will help you initiate discussion with the appropriate faculty member to see if your interests can be met within an existing course structure.
4. An independent study must have an SAC faculty advisor who agrees to work closely with the student to bring the project to completion. When approaching a faculty member to sponsor an independent study, the student should be prepared to provide a 1 to 2 page written proposal of the academic goal of and plan for the study. If the faculty member agrees to sponsor the student, an agreement between the student and faculty member should be written up that includes a description of the project, internal benchmarks and a final deadline for completion of the project and clearly articulated expectations. A copy of the agreement, signed by both the advisor and the student should be sent to the Associate Chair for final approval of the independent study before an override can be issued to the student permitting enrollment for SAC 499 credit. This is to ensure that SAC has adequate resources to support the project, especially in cases where the student undertakes a production-based independent study. Final approval of independent study rest with the Associate Chair, who may consult with the Chair of the department or the Faculty Undergraduate Committee in making a final determination. Because of the time needed to obtain this approval, student requests for independent study need to occur at least 30 days before the last day of class during the semester previous to SAC 499 enrollment.
5. Independent study in Screen Arts & Cultures is available to SAC majors only.
- Why Screen Arts & Cultures?
- Major Requirements
- Declaring a SAC Major
- SAC Honors Program
- Screenwriting Sub-Major
- Global Media Studies Minor
- Course Descriptions
- Study Abroad & Transfer Credit
- Independent Study
- Awards & Grants
- Recommended Technologies for Production
- Guest Artists @ SAC
- Film & Video Student Association