Independent Study

LSA Experiential and Directed Reading / Independent Study Guidelines

SAC 499 Independent Study Proposal (PDF)

Please complete the proposal form above and email it to

SAC Independent Study Guidelines

Independent study (SAC 499) is intended for serious SAC students with a strong academic record who seek advanced knowledge in a certain area of study that cannot reasonably be met by normal course offerings. It is reserved for those SAC majors who have exhausted the course work in a specific area of study within the major and can demonstrate a compelling intellectual or creative need to undertake work for independent study credit.  For example, if a student has taken all available courses in documentary (SAC 301, SAC 320, SAC 401) she/he might be eligible to initiate a project-based independent study in documentary. Due to limitations of faculty and equipment resources, most requests for independent study cannot be met and permission will be granted only to requests that show substantial merit. Before you request a discussion with a faculty member regarding SAC 499, please consider the following:

  1. Independent study credit does not count toward credit in the SAC major, but may count toward credit hours in LS&A.
  2. Independent study will not be considered for a student who has not exhausted the courses in a particular area of study in SAC. Please also consider whether the work you wish to do as an independent study might be undertaken within a current or future SAC course. If you are uncertain as to what particular courses cover or what course are to be offered in upcoming semesters, please check with the SAC office. They may help you initiate discussion with the appropriate faculty member to see if your interests can be met within an existing course. 
  3. All independent study projects must have a SAC faculty adviser who agrees to work closely with the student. The student must work with the faculty adviser to develop the attached proposal form and written agreement detailing a description of the project, the academic goal(s) of and plan for the project, clearly articulated expectations, interim deadlines, and a final deadline for completion of the project.  Students must also list relevant courses that have prepared him/her for the independent study and note which previous courses he/she has taken with the faculty adviser.
  4. If the project involves production equipment or resources, these must be listed. For projects requesting the use of SAC production studios or equipment, the signature of a member of the SAC production staff is required on the attached proposal form.
  5. An unofficial transcript should also be attached to the proposal form.
  6. A copy of this proposal/agreement, signed by the faculty adviser, the student, and when necessary, SAC production staff, should be sent to the Department Chair for final approval. 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 rests with the Chair of the Department.  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 prior to SAC 499 enrollment.
  7. Independent study in Screen Arts & Cultures is available to SAC majors only and can be taken for 1-4 credits.  Students are expected to put in at least 3 hours per week of actual work for a 14-week term for each credit elected.