Graduate Course Offerings
Course descriptions by subject
Course Numbering and Description Key
Each course at Boise State University has a course description that consists of a 1) prefix, 2) course number, 3) title, 4) credit code, 5) semester code, 6) additional information, 7) list of requisites as well as the content description. These elements of the course description are described below.
BIOL 527 STREAM ECOLOGY (3-3-4)(F)(Odd years). The biology and ecology of flowing waters is emphasized; their biota, management, and ecology at both the community and ecosystem level will be discussed. PREREQ: BIOL 323 or PERM/INST.
- Course Prefix/Subject The prefix indicates the department or academic unit offering the course.
- Course Numbering System Each course offered is assigned a unique number, indicating what type of course it is and what sort of credits may be earned in the course. Courses are numbered as follows:
- 00 – 99 non-academic credit courses
- 100 – 299 lower-division undergraduate courses
- 300 – 499 upper-division undergraduate courses
- 500 – 699 graduate courses
- Course Title The official title of the course.
- Credits The unique course number of each course is followed by a sequence of three numbers that indicate the number of classroom hours per week that the course meets, the number of special hours (laboratory, studio, field) per week that the course meets, and the number of credits a student earns by completing the course. The following examples show typical uses of these additional numbers:
- (3-0-3) a 3-hour lecture class carrying 3 credits
- (3-4-5) a 3-hour lecture class with a corresponding 4-hour laboratory class, carrying 5 credits
- Note: a V is used to indicate variable credits or hours.
- Semester Offered The semester code indicates the semester(s) and/or term in which the course is offered and is expressed using letter codes F for fall semester, S for spring semester, and SU for summer term, with the full sequence of letter codes enclosed in parentheses. A comma or slash between letter codes is used to interpret combinations as illustrated in the following examples:
- ((F) fall semester only
- (S) spring semester only
- (F,S) fall and spring semester
- (F/S) fall semester, spring semester, or both
- (F,SU) fall semester and summer session only
- (S,SU) spring semester and summer session onlyIf the semester code is not indicated, then the course is offered during the fall and spring semesters and summer session (although there may be some exceptions).
- Additional Information Additional information associated with the scheduling of the course such as a notice of alternate year offering may be given in parentheses after the semester code.
- Requisites The list of requisites specifies any prerequisites and corequisites using the following abbreviations:
- PREREQ: prerequisite (condition to be met before enrollment)
- COREQ: corequisite (condition met before or during enrollment)
- PERM/INST: permission of instructor required to enroll
- PERM/CHAIR: permission of department chair required to enroll
- ADM/PROG: student must be admitted to the appropriate graduate program
- The most common prerequisite is a specific course that must be successfully completed prior to enrollment. The most common corequisite is a laboratory course that must be taken during the same semester or term as a related science course.
A graded course is any course in which the awarded grade is one of the traditional grades (A, B, C, D, or F) and a pass-fail course is any course in which the awarded grade is P (pass) or F (fail). A graduate course is any course offered with a course number between 500 and 699 inclusive; successful completion of a graduate course earns graduate credit.
Graduate courses are said to be cross-listed if they are offered by multiple academic units and have identical titles, credit codes, and content descriptions in each unit (such as COUN 546 and MHLTHSCI 565). Dual-listed courses are those offered by an academic unit at both the 400-level and 500-level with identical titles, credit codes, and content descriptions (such as GEOPH 420 and GEOPH 575).
University-Wide Graduate Courses
A university-wide graduate course represents a certain type of graduate activity with the same course number and title across all academic units. University-wide graduate courses 591 Project, 592 Portfolio, 593 Thesis, 690 Master’s Comprehensive Examination, 692 Capstone Course, and 693 Dissertation represent work done on graduate culminating activities and are therefore known as culminating activity courses; some graduate programs have culminating activity courses that are numbered differently than these university-wide courses.
553 PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION (Variable Credit). Available at special fee rate (approximately one-third of part-time fee rate). Credit is awarded for professional development only and cannot be applied to a graduate degree program by policy of the State Board of Education. Either graded or pass/fail.
580-589 SELECTED TOPICS (Variable Credit). Subjects normally offered and studied in one department can be divided into as many as 10 areas. Each area will be assigned one number of the 580-589 group. Although the topics considered in the courses in any one area may vary from semester to semester, repeated use of any one number implies that the topics continue to be selected from the same area. Either graded or pass/fail.
590 PRACTICUM/INTERNSHIP (Variable Credit). To earn graduate credit you must have a 3.00 cumulative GPA and no more than 12 credits may be applied toward a graduate degree or second undergraduate degree. Some graduate programs, however, accept only 3 internship credits. Practicum/ Internship cannot be repeated to improve a grade. Either graded or pass/fail.
Note: An undergraduate internship is an entry level employment experience related to the discipline. The graduate intern already has an undergraduate degree and is expected to perform with a higher level of responsibility, decision-making authority, and accomplishment.
591 PROJECT (Variable Credit). Execution of a substantial exercise that demonstrates the ability to successfully and independently carry out a professional activity similar to what is encountered in the professional workplace; archival of the results of the project is required according to standards approved by the Graduate College. Pass/fail only.
592 PORTFOLIO (Variable Credit). A broad-based selection of significant student work that is used to appraise student performance and professional development. A portfolio reflects the depth and breadth of a student’s educational growth since entering the graduate program. Portfolios may include, but are not limited to, classroom examinations, journals, writing samples, publishable scholarship, professional projects, annotated bibliographies, and artistic endeavors. Pass/fail only.
593 THESIS (Variable Credit). Independent research or creative activity at the master’s level resulting in a thesis that must be defended at a final oral examination and archived in the university library. The thesis must be written in clear and effective English and presented in a format that conforms to the standards of the Graduate College. Pass/fail only.
594 CONFERENCE OR WORKSHOP (Variable Credit). Intensive daily instruction by a recognized expert in a specialized topic over a period of time considerably shorter than a semester. Workshop credits may not transfer. Either graded or pass/fail.
595 READING AND CONFERENCE (Variable Credit). The conduct of topical research, assigned readings or literature review. The faculty advisor and the student prepare and sign an agreement describing the amount and type of work to be accomplished. Either graded or pass/fail.
596 INDEPENDENT STUDY (Variable Credit). Advanced study of a specialized topic; design and completion of a project may be included in the study. The student works with a high degree of independence to meet well-defined goals under the supervision of a member of the graduate faculty. Requires submission of a completed Application for Graduate Independent Study prior to the deadline specified in the academic calendar. An independent study cannot be substituted for a course regularly offered at Boise State, nor can independent study credits be used to improve a grade in a course the student has already taken. Either graded or pass/fail.
597 SPECIAL TOPICS [Required Modifier] (Variable Credit). Instruction on a topic that is not included in the catalog of regular graduate courses; the topic is indicated by the required modifier. Descriptions for these courses are given in the Schedule of Classes published each semester. Either graded or pass/fail.
598 SEMINAR (Variable Credit). Small group meetings for the exchange of ideas, debate of issues, or presentation of research. Format, conduct, and purpose of seminars vary widely among disciplines. Either graded or pass/fail.
686 MASTER’S PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION (Variable Credit). An early assessment of a student’s potential to complete a master’s program satisfactorily. Considerable autonomy is granted to the academic unit in the design, administration, and evaluation of the preliminary examination. Pass/fail only.
687 DOCTORAL PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION (Variable Credit). An early assessment of a student’s potential to complete a doctoral program satisfactorily. Considerable autonomy is granted to the academic unit in the design, administration, and evaluation of the preliminary examination. Pass/fail only.
688 THESIS PROPOSAL (Variable Credit). Background, objectives, scope, methods, and timeline of the thesis research. Considerable autonomy is granted to the academic unit in the design, administration, evaluation, and approval of the thesis proposal. Pass/fail only.
689 DISSERTATION PROPOSAL (Variable Credit). Background, objectives, scope, methods, and timeline of the dissertation research. Considerable autonomy is granted to the academic unit in the design, administration, and evaluation, and approval of the dissertation proposal. Pass/fail only.
690 MASTER’S COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION (Variable Credit). The culminating activity (or part of the culminating activity) for a non-thesis master’s program. Considerable autonomy is granted to the academic unit in the design, administration, and evaluation of the comprehensive examination. May be attempted only after completion of all required core courses and admission to candidacy. Other conditions may be imposed by the academic unit responsible for the program. May not be used for a master’s thesis defense. Pass/fail only.
691 DOCTORAL COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION (Variable Credit). Taken when the doctoral student is in Regular Status and has completed a significant number of course credits applicable to the degree requirements. Considerable autonomy is granted to the academic unit in the design, administration, and evaluation of the comprehensive examination. Pass/fail only.
692 CAPSTONE COURSE (Variable Credit). A final comprehensive assessment of the knowledge and skills of a master’s student in the major field of study. A culminating activity taken in the last semester of a master’s program. Either graded or pass/fail.
693 DISSERTATION (Variable Credit). Independent research at the doctoral level resulting in a dissertation that must be defended at a final oral examination and archived in the university library and with UMI. The dissertation must be written in clear and effective English and presented in a format that conforms to the standards of the Graduate College. Pass/fail only.
696 DIRECTED RESEARCH (Variable Credit). Research conducted by a graduate student under the supervision of a member of the graduate faculty. Requires the clear statement of a hypothesis or proposition, a review of the relevant literature, analysis and synthesis of data or scholarly evidence, and the inference of conclusions. The results must be stated in a report written in clear and effective English. Requires submission of an Application for Directed Research prior to the deadline specified in the academic calendar. Either graded or pass/fail.
697 SPECIAL TOPICS [Required Modifier] (Variable Credit). Instruction on a topic that is not included in the catalog of regular graduate courses; the topic is indicated by the required modifier. Descriptions for these courses are given in the Schedule of Classes published each semester. Either graded or pass/fail.
Letter GradesBoise State University uses a 4.0 grading scale. The table below lists the letter grades that instructors use to document their evaluation of your work and to document your academic status in the class. In addition, the table defines the meaning of each letter grade and specifies the number of quality points that correspond to each grade. Quality points are used to determine your grade-point average (GPA).
Letter Grade Meaning Quality Points per Credit Hour Used to Calculate GPA? A+ Distinguished work 4 Yes A Distinguished work 4 Yes A- Distinguished work 3.7 Yes B+ Superior work 3.3 Yes B Superior work 3 Yes B- Superior work 2.7 Yes C+ Average work 2.3 Yes C Average work 2 Yes C- Average work 1.7 Yes D+ Below-average work 1.3 Yes D Below-average work 1 Yes D- Below-average work 0.7 Yes F Failure 0 Yes P Pass: satisfactory work equivalent to C or higher; credits earned 0 No I Incomplete (see Incompletes below) 0
(until changed to a letter grade)
No W Student withrdrew from the course 0 No AUD Course was taken under audit status 0 No UAU Unsatisfactory Audit: did not meet requirements set by instructor 0 No IP In-Progress; used for dissertation, portfolio, project, and thesis work in progress* 0
(until changed to a letter grade)
No CW Student completely withdrew from all classes that semester 0 No *Note: if a student voluntarily leaves a graduate program in good standing, any IP grades accumulated will be changed to a grade of W.
For each student, Boise State University calculates and documents three types of grade-point averages (GPA):
- cumulative GPA
- semester (term) GPA
- Boise State University GPA
Each of the three types of GPA is calculated with the same formula: total quality points you have earned divided by the total number of GPA units you have attempted, as shown in Figure 1.
In calculating your cumulative GPA, Boise State University uses courses you have taken at the university in your current “career” and all courses you have transferred from other post-secondary institutions—but only if you received a final letter grade (A+ through F) in those transferred courses. During any semester you can be enrolled in one of two possible careers — undergraduate or graduate.
In calculating semester GPA, the formula uses only the quality points earned and GPA credits attempted that semester. For Boise State University GPA, the formula uses only quality points earned and GPA credits attempted at Boise State University in your current career.
All GPA calculations exclude credits for:
- pass/fail courses in which you received a final grade of P; note: a grade of F will impact your GPA
- courses that you registered for, but later dropped from your schedule, even though the course may appear on your transcript with a final grade of W or CW
- courses you took under audit status (AUD or UAU)
courses in which you received the grade of I, for incomplete; or IP, for in-progress; (until the I or IP is changed to a letter grade)
Instructors can enter a grade of I—for incomplete—if both of the following conditions are present:
- Your work has been satisfactory up to the last three weeks of the semester.
- Extenuating circumstances make it impossible for you to complete the course before the end of the semester.
In order to receive an incomplete in a graduate course, you and your instructor must agree to a contract stipulating the work you must do and the time in which it must be completed for you to receive a grade in the class. The terms of this contract are viewable on myBoiseState under Your Student Center To Do List. By the end of this specified time, the instructor must submit a grade.
If no grade other than incomplete has been assigned one year after the original incomplete, the grade of F will automatically be assigned. The grade of F may not be changed without the approval of the University Academic Appeals Committee. A grade of incomplete is excluded from GPA calculations until you receive a final grade in the course. You cannot graduate with a grade of I (incomplete) on your record.
You may not remove the incomplete from your transcript by re-enrolling in the class during another semester. A grade of incomplete is excluded from GPA calculations until you receive a final grade in the course.
- Courses repeated prior to Fall 1995 use a grade replacement policy. Only the most recent grade was used in calculating the cumulative GPA.
- Courses repeated Fall 1995 through Summer 2001 used a grade averaging policy. Courses repeated will be averaged, using both grades in the calculation of the GPA.
- Beginning Fall 2001 and on, courses repeated will use a grade replacement policy. Only the most recent grade will be used in calculation of the cumulative GPA.
Repetition to Improve a Grade
A graduate student who has completed a graduate course for credit may attempt to repeat that course to improve the grade, but only once and only with the written approval of the graduate program coordinator using the Request to Repeat a Graduate Course form. Certain graduate courses cannot be repeated to improve a grade, including 590 Practicum/Internship, 591 Project, 592 Portfolio, 593 Thesis, 686 Master’s Preliminary Examination, 687 Doctoral Preliminary Examination, 690 Master’s Comprehensive Examination, 691 Doctoral Comprehensive Examination, and 693 Dissertation. If an attempt to repeat a course to improve a grade results in a grade of W or CW, an additional attempt is not permitted unless extenuating circumstances can be documented that are clearly beyond the control of the student. For regulations governing repetition of undergraduate courses please refer to the undergraduate catalog.
A course that has been completed more than once in an attempt to improve a grade can be listed only once on the Application for Admission to Candidacy form (for a degree program) or the Proposed Plan of Study for a Graduate Certificate form (for a certificate program); the listed semester and grade must be for the most recent completion for credit. All course registrations on record beyond published drop dates for each semester or session appear on the student transcript and GPA computations are carried out according to Boise State University Policy Manual, BSU Policy# 2200. In order to conform with previous policies of the Graduate College on course repetition to improve a grade, a graduate student may not repeat a Boise State course to improve a grade of F if the course was initially completed prior to the start of the Fall 2003 semester.
Repetition for Credit
The university-wide graduate course numbers and some departmental courses (such as MUS 563 Major Instrument Pedagogy I and MUS 564 Major Instrument Pedagogy II) are associated either with specifically defined efforts by an individual student or with content characteristics that can change from semester to semester. These courses and others like them may be repeated for credit and listed multiple times by a graduate student on his or her Application for Admission to Candidacy form (for a degree program) or Proposed Plan of Study for a Graduate Certificate (for a certificate program) form subject to all approvals and limitations of the graduate program and the Graduate College.