Topics Course Policy


Based on the established practices on many CSU campuses, this Topic Course Policy is set forth to standardize the process of initiating, approving and scheduling Topics Courses on the Fresno State campus.

The Topics Course Policy is a tool to assist departments in following the appropriate steps when proposing topics courses to ensure timely processing of their proposals, while remaining consistent with curriculum approval policies and processes.

1.  Definitions

Topics courses:
     a.   are courses departments offer occasionally;
     b.    are shown in the catalog with the generic “parent” course approved for each department/ program and
          the “child” courses listed underneath;
     c.    appear on students’ transcripts with unique course titles;
     d.  have unique course ID numbers;
     e.   are typically repeatable with different sub-topics under titles under the same “parent” topic course.

2.  Topics Course Guidelines

     a.  A "child” topics course can be offered a maximum of 5 semesters, after which the course needs to be
          either discontinued, or go through the curriculum approval process to be converted to a regular
          course.  NOTE:Once a child topics course has been created, it must be offered with the same title
          and description for the maximum 5 semesters, or it will not be accepted
 b.  A child topics course can be converted to a regular course earlier than the 5th offering.
.  A Topics Course Proposal form must be completed and turned into the Scheduling Office for each
          topics course that is to be offered in a particular semester, even if it has been offered in
semesters (Topics Course Form).
.  Each college will determine its own internal review process; Topics Course Proposal forms
include the department chair’s signature and the college dean’s signature prior to submission to
 Scheduling Office.
     e.  Topics Course proposals approved by a department/college and received in the Scheduling Office
           two weeks prior to the start of registration for a given term will be scheduled for that term.
     f.   Proposals received less than two weeks prior to the start of registration for a given term will be
          returned to the submitting department for resubmission for the following term.
     g.  Topics Courses cannot be used regularly as a required course in a degree, minor or certificate program
           due to their temporary nature.
     h.  Topics Courses may be offered as elective choices or as additional requirements for any program.
      i.  Topic Courses are repeatable only if approved by the academic unit; however, students will not
           receive credit for the same Topics course title.
     j.   Topics Course classes scheduled during prime-time hours are subject to being bumped from
          classrooms to allow the assignment of high-demand or GE classes. The Scheduling Office also
          reserves the right to remove from the assigned classroom, a Topics Course that does not "make" with
          enrollment (less than 10 students).

  3.  Class Classification/Components

    The classification/components of a “child” topic course must be the same as its generic “parent” course.

    Grading Basis:
           Parent Course = Letter Grade only, then each Child Course = Letter Grade only

     Primary Component:
           Parent Course = Lecture only, then Child Courses = Lecture only

           Parent Course = CS# 02, then Child Courses = CS# 02

     Unit Value:
          Parent Course = 3 units, then each Child Course = 3 units (if the course is a variable-unit course, i.e.,
          1-3 units, then the child courses can be set up as 1, 2, or 3 units)

     Course Requisites:
          A Child Course is permitted to have a prerequisite/co-requisite even if the Parent Course does not
          require the same, or the prerequisite/co-requisite differs from that of the Parent Course.

EXAMPLE: Generic "Parent" Course and "Child" Course: