Section Three: The Graduate School

  1. Program, Option, or Minor Proposals
  2. Post-Baccalaureate Credit Certificate Programs
  3. Course Proposals
  4. Common Course Numbers
  5. Graduate Credits
  6. Pass/Fail Grading System
  7. Simultaneous Offering of Undergraduate and Graduate Courses
  8. Courses with Fixed Credits

Bylaws Article VII, Section 2, of the Constitution, Bylaws, and Standing Rules of the University Faculty Senate provides the authorization for the Graduate Faculty to approve new and revised graduate programs and courses. It reads as follows:

Section 2
The faculty of the Graduate School, as represented by the Graduate Council, is delegated authority for the interests of the Graduate School except in those matters that have University-wide implications; it shall administer its own affairs subject to review by the Senate.

  1. The review process shall include a report of actions of the Graduate Council to the Senate through the Senate Council. On special motion of the Senate Council, any of those actions may be placed on the agenda of the Senate for appropriate action.
  2. The Senate Council will provide for liaison with the Graduate Council.
  3. The Dean of the Graduate School shall present an annual report to the University Faculty Senate.

This delegation is interpreted by the Graduate Faculty to include actions governing the introduction of new graduate programs and courses, and changes in existing graduate programs and courses.

A. Program, Option, or Minor Proposals

Proposals for new graduate programs (including stand-alone graduate minors), extended access of graduate programs, integrated undergraduate/graduate degree programs, changes in graduate degree requirements, graduate program name changes, and discontinuing graduate programs must be submitted centrally to enter the Graduate Council curricular review process; a completed Graduate Council Program, Option, or Minor Proposal Form must be submitted with each graduate proposal. The Graduate School’s website contains guidelines for preparing graduate program proposals, for proposing extended access of graduate degree programs, and for developing integrated undergraduate/graduate degree program proposals, dual-title graduate degree program proposals, and joint degree program proposals. Questions may be directed to the director of graduate education administration at L-GRAD-EDU-ADMIN@LISTS.PSU.EDU or 814-865-2516.

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B. Postbaccalaureate/Graduate Credit Certificate Programs

The Graduate School’s website contains guidelines for the development and approval of postbaccalaureate credit certificate programs.

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C. Graduate Course Proposals

All graduate course proposals (add, change, and drop) must be submitted electronically via the Course Submission and Consultation System (CSCS), which is accessed through the ANGEL Course Management System. A User’s Manual and a Quick-Start Guide are available within the CSCS. All consultations and approvals must be obtained through the CSCS (no cover sheet or other attached documents should be submitted, as the proposal within the CSCS should stand on its own).

After a graduate course proposal has been approved through level 7 in the CSCS (review on behalf of the Dean of the Graduate School), it will arrive at level 8 and will be included on the next available meeting agenda of the Graduate Council Subcommittee on New and Revised Programs and Courses [note that effective Summer 2013, no hardcopy submission of graduate course proposals will be required at any point in the Graduate Council curricular review process].

Proposals for graduate course changes and drops will be reviewed by the director of graduate education administration, in consultation with the Chair of the Graduate Council Subcommittee on New and Revised Programs and Courses and/or the Chair of the Committee on Programs and Courses, as appropriate. Proposals for new graduate courses will be reviewed by the full Subcommittee on New and Revised Programs and Courses (proposals for common courses will undergo an expedited review).
Following final approval through the Graduate Council curricular review process, graduate course proposals will be published on the Senate Curriculum Report.

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D. Common Course Numbers

Specific titles may be added to some common course numbers (594, 894, 595, 895, 596, 896, 597, 897, 598, 898, 599, 899) in any given semester by using alpha suffixes following the same procedure that is used for undergraduate courses outlined in section I.D.2. The following alpha letters have been reserved for this purpose: A-G, I, and K.The following is a list of common course numbers (the dates the course numbers were established are listed for information only):

  • 590, 890 Colloquium (1-3) (Agenda Appendix B, 6/8/71)
  • 594 Research Topics (1-18) (Agenda Appendix F, 2/1/83)
  • 595, 895 Internship (1-18) (Agenda Appendix F, 2/1/83)
  • 596, 896 Individual Studies (1-9) (Agenda Appendix B, 6/8/71)
  • 597, 897 Special Topics (1-9) (Agenda Appendix B, 6/8/71)
  • 598, 898 Special Topics (1-9) (1/11/93 Senate Blue Sheets)
  • 599, 899 Foreign Studies (1-12, max. 24) (1/11/93 Senate Blue Sheets)
  • 600, 610 Thesis Research
  • 601, 611 Ph.D. Dissertation
  • 602 Supervised Experience in College Teaching
  • 603 Foreign Academic Experience (1-12)
  • 894 Capstone Experience (1-18)

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E. Graduate Credits

Information regarding graduate credits, including definitions of 500- and 800-level courses, is available in the Graduate Degree Programs Bulletin.

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F. Pass/Fail Grading System

The Graduate School’s website contains information regarding requests to use pass/fail grading in a graduate course.

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G. Concurrent Offering of Graduate and Non-graduate Courses

Graduate Council prohibits the simultaneous offering of graduate courses (500- and 800-level) and non-graduate courses (i.e., undergraduate, medical education, or law) courses in the same classroom. Special exceptions to this Graduate Council policy may be considered by the Dean of the Graduate School; information regarding submission of a request for an exception is available on the Graduate School’s website.

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H. Courses with Fixed Credits

A fixed-credit graduate course at the 500 or 800 level may not be offered for fewer than the approved number of credits, either on an individual or a section basis.

This policy does not pertain to 500- and 800 level courses created and designed to be variable credit offerings.

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