Special Courses

In keeping with the commitment to educational diversity, Sage offers its students an opportunity to participate in a number of special programs and courses, including independent projects, dual and interdisciplinary majors, internships, and minors.

Founder’s Seminar: Founder’s Seminar (SST 111 & SST 112) is a two-semester study of a single topic that is intellectually challenging for students and faculty; some of the topics studied include “Evidence,” “Passion,” “Edges & Middles,” and “Friction and Flow.”  In the fall, students discuss presentations on the topic made by faculty from the different disciplines and professions. In the spring, students develop their scholarly voices as they work on topically-organized individual projects which they present to their classmates. Students earn 1.5 credits (Pass/Fail) each semester. Founder’s can be an entry point for the Russell Sage Honors program, Honoring Women’s Voices.

Special Topics: Special topics courses may be offered in each discipline under the numbers 248, 348, and 448. Students should consult with the program coordinator or instructor offering the course to obtain a detailed description of that course.

Honors Projects: Each discipline may offer a departmental honors seminar under the numbers 410, 411.

Independent Work: Independent work may take the form of independent study, an internship, or regular courses taken independently. Students must read “Rules and Regulations of Independent Work,” available in the Office of Student Services, and complete a contract for independent study before enrolling.

Independent Study: Independent study is defined as academic inquiry carried on outside the usual instructor/class setting. The credit awarded is variable. To be eligible, students must have completed 30 credits with a 2.700 cumulative grade point average (GPA) at Sage or another accredited college.

Internship: An internship is defined as a credit-bearing work experience in the field, which fosters the development of applied skills and typically increases professional competence, links theory and practice, and offers opportunities for career exploration. The credit awarded is variable. To be eligible, students must have completed at least 45 college credits with an overall cumulative GPA of 2.000 and a major GPA of 2.200. Some programs have higher GPA requirements. Internships also require prior completion at Sage of at least 6 credits in the discipline awarding the internship credit with a grade of “C” or better. (See also Internships and Field Experience, below.)

Individual Study (Regular Courses Taken Independently): When a student does not have access to a scheduled course within a reasonable time frame and there is a compelling educational reason, they may seek approval from the appropriate program coordinator and faculty member to take a course independently. To be eligible the student must have completed at least 30 college credits with a 2.000 overall GPA or 2.200 GPA in the major. Some programs have higher GPA requirements.

Internships and Field Experience: Academic programs at Sage offer students a broad range of opportunities for off-campus internships and field experiences that connect classroom learning with practical experience. These resources enable students to explore and clarify academic and career goals, develop new skills, and prepare for the changing organization of work. Internships, cooperative education work experiences, community service, “shadowing,” and informational interviewing placements are available in businesses, community agencies, schools, legislative and governmental offices, and a wide variety of student interest areas.

The Office of Career Planning has listings of these sites in its onlline employment database, SAGElink. Career professionals are also available to help with career assessment and guidance. Internships carrying academic credit must be planned with and approved by a faculty advisor, and an internship contract must be completed and filed in the Office of Student Services. (See “Independent Work,” above, for more information.)

Credit Ceilings for Independent Work

In general, no more than 15 credits of independent work, i.e. any combination of independent study, courses taken independently and/or internship, may be counted toward the baccalaureate degree without approval of the Department Chairperson and/or Undergraduate Dean.

Contracts for Independent Work

The terms and conditions for all independent work are set down in a contract, which requires the written agreement of the student, the faculty supervisor, and the field supervisor. The contract must also be approved by the student’s faculty advisor, and the department chairperson (or program coordinator). Contract forms are available from the Office of Student Services/Registrar. The completed contract must be on file with that office before the start of the semester during which the independent work will be done.