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.