Jul 15, 2024  
2020-2021 Academic Catalog 
2020-2021 Academic Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Course Information

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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.

Course Numbering

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.

Special Course Numbering

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

491X   Cooperative Education
494X, 594X, and 994X   Internship/Field Work
295X, 495X, 595X, and 995X   Selected Topics
496X   Senior Seminars
498X, 598X, and 998X   Individual Study
499X, 599X, and 999X   Thesis/Dissertation
596X, 996X   Graduate Project
7005   Continuing Thesis or Project
7006   Continuing Comprehensive Examination

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.

Individual Study Courses

At the option of the instructor, Individual Study courses may be available in certain fields to a student who has demonstrated capacity for independent study. A total of nine units of individual study credit earned at Stanislaus State is the maximum permitted toward a degree, credential, or other educational objective. These courses are numbered 4980, 5980, and 6980 following the subject field prefix.

A student seeking to enroll for an Individual Study course must file the original copy of an approved Request for Course by Individual Study form at registration. Request forms are available at the Enrollment Services Office. The request for individual study must be approved by the student’s individual study instructor, the instructor’s department chair, the major adviser, and the appropriate college dean at the time the student registers for the course. The approved request form must be received in the Enrollment Services Office on or before the last day to add classes.