We investigate the conditions under which single layer metamaterials may be described by bulk optical constants. Terahertz time domain spectroscopy is utilized to investigate two types of geometries, both with two different sizes of embedding dielectric-cubic and tetragonal unit cells. The tetragonal metamaterials are shown to yield layer dependent optical constants, whereas the cubic metamaterials yielded layer independent optical constants. We establish guidelines for when epsilon and mu can be used as material parameters for single layer metamaterials. Experimental results at terahertz frequencies are presented and supported by full wave three-dimensional electromagnetic simulations.