Taking Classes Outside of SAIC

The process to request permission to take classes outside of SAIC begins with the Permission to Take Classes Outside of SAIC Request form. Enrolled degree-seeking students who wish to take courses at another school (other than through Off-Campus Study Programs) and subsequently have that credit transferred to SAIC MUST complete this form in order to receive prior approval from the appropriate departments. Review all of the requirements below and have selected the courses you wish to seek permission to take before you begin.

Eligibility requirements for Permission to Take Classes Outside of SAIC:

1. Course(s) must be taken through a regionally accredited college of university.
2. Course(s) cannot duplicate any offered at SAIC.
3. A maximum of 15 credits may be taken via Permission towards any undergraduate SAIC degree.
4. Students must have completed their 6-credit First Year Seminar requirement to transfer any other Liberal Arts credits to SAIC and will only be granted 3 credits of non-language Liberal Arts classes. Students cannot take a Liberal Arts course online.
5. Students must have completed their 6-credit Art History survey requirement to transfer any Art History credits to SAIC and will only be granted 3 credits of Art History during the course of their SAIC degree. Students cannot take an Art History course online.
6. Students must have completed all Contemporary Practices requirements to transfer any Studio or General Elective courses.
7. Students may not exceed the maximum total number of transfer credits towards their degree.
8. Students must be in good or warning academic standing.
9. Course(s) must be at a high academic level (e.g. no remedial or college prep courses).
10. International Students (F-1 or J-1) seeking fall or spring credits off-campus must maintain their Visa status and obtain approval from the International Affairs office.

If you have any questions after reviewing and completing this form, please contact or Academic Advising at 312.629.6800.

Taking a Leave of Absence

Students who completely withdraw from courses, or who complete a major academic semester (fall/spring) but voluntarily choose not to enroll in the next major academic semester (fall/spring) will be placed in one of the following categories:

  • Student Requested Leave of Absence (LOA): The student voluntarily leaves SAIC and plans to take a semester or more away. The student completes the LOA process and is eligible to re-enroll at SAIC within five years of the LOA date.
  • Student Requested Discontinuation: The student voluntarily leaves SAIC and does not plan to return. They will be discontinued from the program/degree.
  • Administrative Leave of Absence: The student voluntarily leaves SAIC, but does not request to be placed on LOA or Student Requested Discontinuation from SAIC, and does not enroll within the next major semester. They will be placed on Administrative Leave of Absence, which requires a student to submit a written appeal to the Academic Review Board in order to reenroll at SAIC.


Waiver/Substitution for a Class

In some situations, students may request to be waived from a specific class or degree requirement, or to have an alternate class be substituted for the original requirement. In order to request a waiver or substitution, please be aware of the following: 

  • In order to request that a course be substituted for a specific requirement, the request must be made of the appropriate department before the course has been taken.
  • When a request to waive a requirement is granted, please note that actual credit hours are NOT granted.
  • The Waiver/Substitution form used to request such changes must be signed by the chair or designee of the department accepting credit into that department or waiving a requirement of that department. 


Any other requests regarding degree completion should be discussed with your academic advisor, and appealed to the Academic Review Board. Following are examples of requests heard by the Academic Review Board: 

  • Requests to graduate with less than the required credits in residence.
  • Substitution of a course for credit in another department after the course has been taken.
  • Appeals for a grade of “W” after the midpoint of the semester.
  • Requests for reinstatement of previous credit upon readmittance to a degree program.
  • Appeals for reinstatement after academic suspension or dismissal.
  • Requests for additional transfer credit after the student has been at SAIC for one semester.
  • Requests to complete the final semester off campus.


FERPA waiver

The Federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 governs SAIC’s release of information in your student record to a third party, such as information about grades, billing, financial aid, and other student record information. Although the law has certain exceptions, as a general matter, you must consent in writing to disclosure of your educational records to a third party. Directory information may be given without the student’s consent. (See below)

It is often beneficial to the student for SAIC staff and faculty to be able to discuss student information with a parent, guardian, spouse or other support person. You may, at your discretion, give SAIC faculty and staff permission to release information about your records to a third party (e.g. a parent/guardian, emergency contact, spouse, or potential employer). You must complete the Student Information Release Authorization to grant access. This release has no expiration date; however, you may revoke authorization at any time by completing this form and marking Revoke Authorization instead of Grant Authorization. You may indicate up to two individuals to grant authorization per release. This form allows third parties access to student record information. The specified information will be made available only if requested by the third party. SAIC does not automatically send information to a third party. Please complete this form and turn it into the Office of Student Affairs, Sullivan Center, 36 South Wabash Ave., suite 1204.

FERPA allows schools to disclose educational records, without consent, under certain circumstances. The following exceptions may be of particular interest. See the list of all circumstances allowed under the law.  

Directory Information

FERPA allows SAIC to disclose directory information without a student’s consent. Directory information includes: student’s name, address, email address, telephone number, date of admission, degrees and awards received, previous institutions attended, date and place of birth, expected graduation date, current term hours and enrollment status. To prevent the release of directory information you must submit a written request to the Registrar’s office no later than the 10th day of the semester. Such requests for nondisclosure are honored as long as you are continuously enrolled or unless you revoke the request in writing.

Health and Safety Emergencies

SAIC reserves the right to notify a student’s parent, guardian, or emergency contact, regardless of the student’s age, status, or conduct, in health or safety emergencies, including hospitalizations or when, in SAIC’s  judgment, the health or wellbeing of the student or others may be at risk. In accordance with federal legislation, SAIC may also contact parents or guardians of students under the age of 21 who violate any federal, state, or local law and/or SAIC’s policies, which govern the use or possession of alcohol or controlled substances.


Manage your Week

Wall-to wall classes and obligations may feel productive, but may undermine the quality of your work. Do you find you need help with organizing your schedule, finishing work by its due date, or balancing coursework and life?

If so, please schedule a meeting with your academic advisor and/or the Disability and Learning Resource Center to talk about time management strategies that can help you manage your time more effectively.