Numbering of Courses
Courses numbered 100 through 299, referred to as lower-division courses, are usually introductory in nature and intended for undergraduates (primarily for but not limited to freshmen and sophomores). Courses numbered 300 through 399, often having prerequisites, are for advanced undergraduates (primarily for juniors and seniors. Courses numbered 400 through 499 are for advanced undergraduates and graduates (juniors, seniors, and postbaccalaureate students). Courses numbered 500 and above are open only to post-baccalaureate students. Lower division students may enroll in 300 and 400 level courses upon the consent of the chair of the department offering the course or if the course is approved for enrollment under the Open Learning Program. The lower case letters, ab, abc, etc., indicate the semesters of a course more than one semester in length. In such courses the b semester is a continuation of the a semester, etc.
Prerequisites and Corequisites
Special requirements for admission to certain courses are introduced by the word “prerequisites” or “corequisites.” A prerequisite is a course taken prior to another course. A corequisite is a course taken at the same time as another course unless already completed. Students who do not have credit in prerequisite courses but believe they have equivalent preparation should consult the chair of the department. Permission to enroll requires the written approval of the chair.
For articulation purposes the University requires that course descriptions consist of only three sentences. The first sentence provides a basic description of the course beginning with, “This course provides/introduces/covers/is designed to/includes….” The second sentence describes the actual content/topics of the course to be addressed. It begins with, “Topics include/Emphasis is placed on….”The third sentence describes the actual competencies or measurable outcomes for the course. Listed competencies compose at least 80% of the student learning outcomes of the course. It begins with, “Upon completion, students should be able to….” A short fourth sentence is optional and is for clarification purposes. The first and second sentences are limited to 40 words each. The third sentence is limited to 50 words.
Credit is in semester hours. Each semester hour generally represents one hour per week in class and two hours preparation outside of class (with a corresponding equivalency in the summer term). Courses involving laboratory, clinical experience, activity, or other application normally require additional hours of class attendance. In registering for a course with variable credit, students must indicate at registration the number of semester hours for which they intend to take the course.
The Academic Year
The academic year includes two regular semesters, designated the First Semester (August-December) and the Second Semester (January-May) respectively. Each semester consists of a minimum of 75 class and 3 examination days.
Most, but not all, courses are offered at least once during the academic year. The Schedule of Classes, published each semester and summer session, details the scheduling of courses. Refer to specific certificate, diploma, or degree programs for suggested schedules in the Academic Programs section of this website. The Schedule of Classes, published each semester and summer session, details the scheduling of courses.
Undergraduate Open Seminar
The advanced undergraduate course, Undergraduate Open Seminar (399), is a special topics course for reading and conference or for experimentation, or a seminar on topics not treated by regularly scheduled courses. Requests for initiation of the course and suggestions of areas of study may be made by students, but normally the course may is initiated by a faculty member. The seminar may be offered with approval of the faculty member involved and the department chair. A maximum of three hours of credit may be earned toward the bachelor’s degree in Undergraduate Open Seminar. Undergraduate Open Seminar may not substitute for an existing course.
Enrollment requires senior standing, permission of the department chair, and consent of a faculty member to act as sponsor. Admission is based upon evidence of ability to pursue independent study in depth and approval of a project submitted at the time of registration. Regular progress reports are required throughout the semester. A formal final report shall be made and placed on file with the department chair before granting of credit. A maximum of three hours of credit may be earned toward the bachelor’s degree in Independent Study. Independent Study may not substitute for an existing course.
Some courses provide a link to a Course Prospectus (an abbreviated syllabus). The plan is to have a prospectus available for every course offered by the University. The prospectus is an abbreviated version of the actual course syllabus used in the course. These are presented here to provide students with a better idea of the content, structure, and requirements of a course before they register. The actual course syllabus will vary as instructors update their courses.
The University reserves the right to withdraw any course for which there is not sufficient enrollment to warrant its offering.