Courses (New & Modifications)

Course proposals are completed in Curriculog, a paperless curriculum management system.

Approval Process 

  • Faculty Member and/or Department Chair originates proposal in Curriculog
  • Curriculum Coordinator completes a technical review
  • Assessment Specialist 
  • Program/Department Curriculum Committee 
  • Department Chair 
  • College Curriculum Committee 
  • College Dean and/or Associate Dean
  • General Education Subcommittee (If applicable)
  • Graduate Council (If applicable)
  • Liberal Studies Committee (If applicable) 
  • Multicultural Requirement Subcommittee (If applicable)
  • ​University Writing Committee (If applicable)
  • University Educational Policies Committee (If requesting a new prefix)
  • Curriculum Specialist 
  • Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
  • Enrollment Services Office (For notification purposes only)
  • Curriculum Specialist (To facilitate the completion of the proposal and addition into the catalog)


Frequently Asked Topics

Learning Outcomes Statements 

For resources to guide your department/program to develop learning outcomes, explore the Assessment Planning resources. 

 Course Learning Outcomes map to Programs Learning Outcomes which map to University Mission, Vision, and Values; Institutional Learning Outcomes; and, department and program mission.

Assessment Planning

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Accessible Technology Initiative

Instructional Materials must be delivered in a manner that is equally effective for persons with disabilities, as per Executive Order 926.

If you require guidance to make any of your courses online or web-based components accessible as required by federal law and the CSU Accessible Technology Initiative, visit the University Accessible Technology website for more information.

Course Numbering 

Course proposals for new courses must use unique course numbers.  For information on available course numbers for specific prefixes, contact the Curriculum Specialist. 

Course Level Identification

0001-0999   Prebaccalaureate courses. These courses do not carry unit credit toward the 120 units required for a bachelor's degree and are not included in grade point average calculations. May be used in financial aid unit calculations and excess unit approval requirements.
1000-2999   Lower-division courses designed primarily for freshmen and sophomores.
3000-4999   Upper-division courses designed primarily for juniors and seniors, and certain selected courses for graduate students. These courses should be taken by freshmen and sophomores only under unusual circumstances approved by both the instructor and major advisor.
5000-5999   Graduate courses. Open only to qualified graduate students. (Last-semester seniors within 9 units of graduation may enroll for postbaccalaureate credit with written approval.)
6000-6999   Professional postbaccalaureate courses. These courses do not substitute for course credit in a credential sequence and will not be applied toward General Education, major, minor, or elective requirements for the bachelor's degree.
7000-7999   Noncredit courses. These courses are not applicable to baccalaureate or advanced degrees, or to a credential program.
8000-8999   Extended Education Certificate program courses and those yielding continuing education units (CEUs). These courses are not applicable to baccalaureate or advanced degrees, or to a credential program.
9000-9999   Doctoral courses.  Open only to qualified doctoral students.

Note: Only courses numbered 1000-4999 for undergraduate students carry unit credit toward the 120 units required for a bachelor's degree.

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Credit Hour

As of July 1, 2011 federal law (Title 34, Code of Federal Regulations, sections 600.2 and 600.4) requires all accredited institutions to comply with the federal definition of the credit hour. For all CSU degree programs and courses bearing academic credit, the "credit hour" is defined as "the amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately 15 weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or 10 to 12 weeks for one quarter hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practice, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours."

A credit hour is assumed to be a 50-minute period. In courses in which "seat time" does not apply, a credit hour may be measured by an equivalent amount of work, as demonstrated by student achievement.

Initial establishment of course credit hours.  When new courses are approved by department and  college curricula committees, course credit hours assigned will be evaluated for appropriateness  based on a review of the course description, which includes learning objectives, texts and other  resources used, course requirements, and detailed course outlines.   

Periodic review.  Application of the Credit Hour Policy shall be reviewed during the Academic  Program Review process to ensure that credit hour assignments are accurate, reliable, and  appropriate to degree level. Evidence to support credit hour assignments includes course syllabi,  course learning objectives, assignment schedules, and class schedules identifying the times that  classes meet (if applicable). 

Credit Hour Policy.pdf

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Selected Topics vs. Special Topics Courses 

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Special Course Numbering

For uniformity, certain types of courses have been listed under a single number by all departments and divisions as follows:

Type  Normal Course # Link to Lists Typical C/S Factor Typical Units  
Cooperative Education 491X Examples S-36 Used in 2-4 units and 1-3 units variations  
Thesis 499X, 599X, and 999X Examples S-3 Used in 3-6 units, 1-4 units, 1-3 units, 3 units, or 1 unit variations  
Continuing Thesis or Project 7005 Examples S-36 0 units, typically accompanied by a course fee proposal  
Graduate Project 596X, 996X Examples S-3 Used in 3-6 units, 2-6 units, 1-4 units, 1-3 units, 3 units, or 1 unit variations  
Continuing Comprehensive Exam 7006 Examples C-78 0 units, typically accompanied by a course fee proposal  
Internship/ Fieldwork 494X, 594X, 994X InternshipsFieldwork S-36 1-4 units  
Selected Topics 295X, 495X, 595X, 995X Examples C-5 1-4 units  
Individual Study 498X, 598X, 998X Examples S-36 1-4 units  

Note: In previous years, the fourth digit may have been used to indicate course unit value.

Explanation of Course Notations

The notations used in course descriptions listed under the various departments are as follows:

  1. Courses offered for varying units are so indicated, e.g., (2‑4 units).
  2. A notation such as (Formerly 4500) within a course description indicates the course was previously numbered 4500 and credit for both courses is not allowed.
  3. To assist in planning an academic program, many courses in this catalog are marked to indicate when they will be offered, e.g., fall, spring, or summer. It is possible courses without those designations will not be offered during 2015-2016. Check the Schedule of Classes.

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Multiple Component Courses

If you are creating a course with multiple components, only one component can select a letter grade or student choice option. All other components must be Credit/No Credit. If you would like multiple components to have letter graded or student choice options, separate courses (with different course numbers) need to be created. These separate courses can be linked in the course schedule if concurrent enrollment is notated on course proposal form. 

If you are creating or modifying an existing course to create multiple components, ensure you identify the grading option and C/S numbers properly. The modification form does not include a proper section at this point, but please ensure you identify these items. 

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General Education Courses

Courses seeking a designation as General Education (GE) require review by the General Education Subcommittee of the University Educational Policies Committee. Courses currently designated as GE must also receive a similar committee review when requesting modification. The new and modified course proposals include information regarding proposing new GE courses or modifying current courses.

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Graduate Research or Writing Courses

Courses seeking a designation as Graduate Research or Writing courses require review by the Graduate Council.  Courses currently designated as Graduate Research or Writing courses must also receive a similar committee review when requesting modification.

For a list of current Graduate Research Methods and Writing Proficiency Courses, please use the link provided. 

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Liberal Studies Integrative Courses

Courses seeking a designation as Liberal Studies Integrative courses require review by the Liberal Studies Advisory Committee. Courses currently designated as Liberal Studies Integrative must also receive a similar committee review when requesting modification.

Writing Proficiency Courses

Courses seeking a designation as Writing Proficiency (WP) require appropriate University-Wide committee review.  Courses currently designated as WP must be reviewed by the University Writing Committee, a subcommittee of the University Educational Policies Committee, after approval by the department.

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