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Resources and Reports

CWUP 5-50-020(6) Graduate Courses (initial digits 5, 6, 7)

(A) Graduate Enrollment - Graduate courses numbered 501 and above are generally restricted to students who have a bachelor's degree and who have formally been admitted to a graduate program of the university. Competitive admission may be required for some programs. Students may be required to complete specific preparatory course work before acceptance into a graduate program, especially when the student's undergraduate degree was in a different field of study.

(B) Undergraduate Enrollment - Seniors may enroll in graduate courses with the permission of the instructor and the department chair. Credit earned by seniors may meet either undergraduate or graduate program requirements, but not both. If the credit earned by a senior is to be applied to a graduate program, approval must be obtained from the dean of graduate studies and research.

(C) Curricular Criteria - Graduate curricula are usually more specialized than undergraduate curricula, focusing on a few academic or applied areas. Introductory courses and courses that can be approached by a student without extensive preparation are not appropriate to the graduate level.

Graduate courses assume comfortable use of the terminology, knowledge-gathering methods, practical skills, and basic understandings of the discipline. Nearly all graduate students have a grade point average above 3.0 for their last two undergraduate years, and therefore, graduate courses should challenge the learning skills of these students. Graduate instruction places a greater burden on library, equipment, faculty, and administrative resources than undergraduate study. Curriculum proposals must recognize these special demands.

(D) Layered Courses - A layered course is one that has different number designations for undergraduate and graduate students who take the same course. For graduate students, the course will be taken at the 500 level or higher. Layered courses provide faculty the opportunity to augment course material with graduate-level content and expectations in a way that meets the intellectual rigor graduate students need and enhances the teaching of upper-division undergraduates. Distinctions expected between these corresponding levels typically focus on differences in content and assessment stemming from each graduate program's specific educational objectives. In general, these distinctions require a greater depth of study and increased demands on student intellectual or creative capacities that would be expected at an undergraduate level.

The distinctions must be clearly indentified in the content and assessment methods outlined in each course syllabus, as well as new course proposal forms. Examples of potential content differences include, but are not limited to: additional readings or additional writing expectations, additional laboratory, field, performance or studio work. Examples of assessment distinctions include, but are not limited to: different grading scales and assessment of additional work.