andrewh at siat

directs studies

The recommended steps for SIAT undergraduate students who are interested in pursuing a directed study.

What is a directed study?

A directed study is either a one or two-term project in which you are 'directed' by faculty (such as myself). There is the expectation that you will be quite self-directed in study, and a fair bit of initiative must be taken on by you, the student. I do not design special courses for directed studies students as you should be coming with some ideas of what you want to do already formed.

Your goal in doing a directed study should be to aim for an 'A'.

What doesn't fly

Sorry, but these things just don't work as directed studies:

  • doing existing courses as a directed study
  • proposing work that does not have a research component
  • asking me for a project
  • purely technical knowledge development (i.e. wanting to learn Photoshop better)
  • very low-level theory (i.e. understanding hierarchy)
  • topics outside my domains of knowledge (listed below)

Tips for a successful directed study

Some tips for a better chance at approval:

  • approach me very early in the term prior about doing a directed study
  • have three solid ideas of what you would like to do
  • ensure your idea can answer 'why does this project matter?', and 'how is this related to SIAT?'

Not everyone will be able to do a directed study

Please note that I cannot approve everyone's projects. Often this is either because the project is falling under the 'What does not fly' category, or there is a distinct problem focusing the project in time for the next term. This is why the sooner we start, the better.

The application process

If you're interested in doing a directed study with me (Andrew), please follow these steps:

  1. Before starting this list, read everything on this page.
  2. Check that you have a better than 3.3 GPA in your SIAT courses. If not, talk with me.
  3. Check availability and deadlines below, and contact me about your interest.
  4. Download the SIAT directed studies form, fill it out, and ask questions as necessary.
  5. Submit the initial draft of the form before the deadlines for next term.
  6. Be prepared for some revisions of your form before getting it approved.

Topics I can help with

These are the areas in which I can likely lead a directed study:

  • multimedia design (web, print, sound)
  • theatre + live performance technology
  • educational technology
  • design research


As directed studies are additions to my usual teaching load, I can only take so many on before it starts to hinder my ability to teach other courses. Each opening can accomodate one directed study, which can involve a group, or an individual. I have the following openings:

Fall 2018: 1 opening
2019: Unavailable


The following are deadlines for being considered for directed studies, they lead up to the proposed term of the study. When in doubt, contact me sooner rather than later.

Before the term of study

8 weeks: Have notified Andrew of interest and confirmed availability
6 weeks: Initial draft of directed studies form due
4 weeks: Revisions (as necessary) of directed studies form due
2 week: Completed directed studies form due
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