Dec 05, 2022  
2022-2023 University Catalog 
2022-2023 University Catalog

Curricula Information


Course Descriptions

Course descriptions briefly describe the content or subject matter to be covered and provide additional information on units of credit, the level of instruction (see course numbering code), prerequisites and the type of course (lecture, laboratory, activity, seminar and individually supervised work).

A laboratory course, which accompanies another course, shall be identified by the letter L and a variable topics course shall include the letter T with its number.

A controlled entry course is one that has enrollment requirements in addition to any pre- or corequisites. Additional requirements may include special academic advising, a qualifying exam, a placement test, language proficiency, an audition, a portfolio review, a teaching credential or similar special qualifications.

Academic units shall identify courses having controlled entry in the course description. Academic units shall develop guidelines for enforcing controlled entry requirements. Instructors may initiate withdrawal (a drop) for any student not qualified to undertake the academic work of the course.

Course Numbering and Requisites

The first number in each course designation is intended to indicate the level of complexity of the course. In addition, the first number also is a rough index of the student’s year of study at the university. The following are guidelines for course numbering.


Courses that carry no credit toward a degree or credential. Generally, these courses are developmental or support-oriented in content.


Lower-division courses designed primarily for first-year level, but also open to other students. These courses are generally introductory in nature and are usually designed without prerequisites.


Lower-division courses designed primarily for sophomore level, but also open to other students. Although there is no clear distinction between lower-division courses listed at the 100- or 200-level, there is an inherent assumption that students in these courses have acquired skills appropriate to the second year of university-level work.


Upper-division courses designed primarily for juniors, but also open to other students. Third year or junior-level coursework is likely to emphasize specialization in the disciplines. If a course has prerequisites, they shall be stated as an indication of the necessary competencies required for study.  These prerequisites cannot consist of junior status or upper-division standing only. These courses do not grant graduate credit.


Upper-division courses designed primarily for seniors, but also open to other students. These courses must have stated prerequisites. These prerequisites cannot consist of senior status or upper-division standing only. Coursework is intended to provide depth of understanding or additional focus appropriate to the disciplines. Courses at the 400 level are sufficiently sophisticated for inclusion on graduate study plans if the requirements of University Police Statement 411.100, section V are met.


Courses designed for graduate students who are enrolled in advanced degree programs. The courses of study are advanced and specialized in nature and require substantial undergraduate preparation. Undergraduate students may enroll if they have reached senior status, have the prerequisites required for entry into the course, and have gained consent of the instructor. Courses at the 500 level may be used on doctoral study plans if the approved program provides for such use.


Courses designed for graduate students beyond the master’s level who are enrolled in doctoral programs. The courses of study take up advanced topics using sophisticated approaches that presume prior study at the graduate level within the same, or a closely related, discipline. Master’s program students may enroll only with consent of both the instructor and the graduate adviser. Closed to undergraduates.


Course numbers for graduate and post-baccalaureate students (including those seeking a credential) to maintain continuous enrollment during a semester when they are not enrolled in regular courses. These numbers do not represent courses and do not therefore grant unit credit.


Courses specifically designed for professional groups seeking vocational improvement or career advancement. Credit for these courses does not apply to undergraduate degrees, graduate degrees or credentials at the university.

Universal Course Numbers

For uniformity, certain types of courses have been listed by all academic units and colleges with the same numbers: 499 and 599 are used respectively for undergraduate and graduate independent study; 296 and 496 for student-to-student tutorials; 497 and 597 for a project; and 598 for a graduate thesis.

Explanation of Course Notations

Certain notations are uniformly used in the course descriptions in this catalog.

  • The figure in parentheses following the course title indicates the number of semester units for the course. Courses offered for varying units are indicated as (1-3) or (3-6).
  • A course listing such as African American Studies 108 (same as Linguistics 108) indicates that a student taking the course may enroll in either of those two disciplines.

Student-to-Student Tutorials

The student-to-student tutorial is a course that provides a supervised way for students to learn through teaching other students on an individual and personal basis. The student-to-student tutorial is a high-impact practice that provides an intensive learning experience. It is expected that the tutoring students will not only increase their mastery of particular subject matters, but also develop their communication and interpersonal relationship skills. The student-to-student tutorial has a pedagogical purpose and therefore must not be used to employ students to assist faculty members in their work, including teaching classes or sections thereof, engaging in research, grading and covering office hours. Student-to-student tutorials shall be numbered 296 at the lower-division level and 496 at the upper-division level. Given the personal nature of these courses, it is expected that student-to-student tutorials include “consent of the instructor” in their prerequisites. Student-to-student tutorials that are numbered 496 may not be included as electives on graduate study plans.

An academic unit electing to offer a student-to-student tutorial shall devise a general study plan that lays out how the course will be organized and how its requirements will be satisfied. In addition, the instructor and tutor shall design, in writing, particular study plans that outline how the educational needs of the individual students to be tutored (also called “tutees”) will be met. To deepen the learning experience of the tutor, it is expected that the tutor submit a written report that analyzes and evaluates the tutorial experience as part of the requirements of the course. It is the responsibility of the instructor to hold the tutor to a standard that meets the learning needs of the tutees. To this end, the instructor shall supervise the tutoring process and assess the tutor’s performance in a timely manner so that effectiveness is enhanced and, if appropriate, suggestions for improvement and/or remediation are offered.

The tutees shall be limited to a number that allows for individual and personal interaction with the tutor and ensures that the tutees’ learning needs are met. The number of tutees shall be in relation to the number of credit hours being earned by the tutor. This number shall be determined by the instructor with the consent of the academic unit chair. Three hours of work per week are expected for each hour of credit earned by the tutoring student. This work may include, apart from contact hours with tutees, such activities as preparing for the tutorials and consulting with the instructor. Student-to-student tutorials may be taken for a letter grade or credit/no credit. No more than three units of any combination of tutorial courses (296 or 496) may count toward an undergraduate degree program. Under no circumstances shall credit be granted for having been tutored.

Independent Study

By registering for an independent study course, a student may pursue topics or problems of special interest beyond the scope of a regular course under the supervision of a faculty adviser. The work is of a research or creative nature, and normally culminates in a paper, project, comprehensive examination or performance. Independent study units shall not be granted for teaching duties, administering classes, tutoring students or grading courses, or for internships. For independent study used on graduate study plans, 300-level courses may not be used as the sole basis for 499 Independent Study. The 300- and 400-level coursework may not be used as the sole basis for 599 Independent Study. The 100- and 200-level courses may not be used as any part of the basis for 499 or 599 Independent Study.

Before registering, the student must get a topic approved by the instructor who will be supervising independent study and by the academic unit chair. Independent study used on a graduate study plan must also be approved by the academic unit graduate program adviser.

A student may take no more than six units of independent study at the undergraduate level (299 and 499 numbered courses) in a given semester. No more than nine units of independent study may be applied toward completion of the baccalaureate degree.

A graduate student may apply no more than six units of independent study (499 or 599 numbered courses) toward completion of the master’s degree.