Topics Course Guidelines


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

The Topics Course Guidelines are 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.

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.   are typically repeatable with different sub topics under the same “parent” topic.

2.  Topics Course Guidelines

     a.  A "child” topics course can be offered a maximum of 6 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:This rule applies even when the course title has been slightly modified but 
          remains in the same/similar area.
     b.  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 previous
          semesters (Topics Course Form).
     c.  Each college will determine its own internal review process; Topics Course Proposal forms must
          include the department chair’s signature and the college dean’s signature prior to submission to the
          Scheduling Office.
     d.  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
     e.   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.
     f.  Topics Courses cannot be used regularly as a required course in a degree, minor or certificate program
          due to their temporary nature.
     g.  Topics Courses may be offered as elective choices or as additional requirements for any program.
     h.  Topic Courses are repeatable only if approved by the academic unit.
     i.   Topic Course classes scheduled during prime time hours are subject to being bumped from 
          classrooms to allow assignment of high-demand or GE classes.

  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

     Course Requisites:
          Each Child Course should have the same prerequisites/co-requisites as the parent course does.