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University Bulletin

Undergraduate Degree Programs

University Course Descriptions

COURSE-NUMBERING SYSTEM

These course descriptions are arranged alphabetically. If any course cannot be located readily, refer to the index. Multiple offerings may be accommodated by the use of suffixes A, B, etc. Courses are numbered as follows:

UNDERGRADUATE COURSES (1 to 399): General courses accepted in fulfillment of requirements for the bachelor's degrees.

ADVANCED UNDERGRADUATE COURSES (400 to 499): Courses open to graduate students and to juniors and seniors and, with the special written permission of the head of the department or the chair of the program sponsoring the course, to qualified students in earlier semesters.

GRADUATE COURSES (500 to 699; 800 to 899): Courses restricted to students registered in the Graduate School, seniors with an average of at least 3.50, and other students who have been granted permission to enroll by the dean of the Graduate School. These courses are described in the Penn State Graduate Degree Programs Bulletin.

MEDICAL COURSES (700-799): Courses restricted to students registered in the College of Medicine.

LAW COURSES (900-999): Courses restricted to students registered in The Dickinson School of Law.

COMMON COURSE NUMBERS

The following course numbers for which students may register have been set up for common use by major programs, with University Senate approval, to encourage innovation and provide flexibility in designing programs, but in no case may a course be scheduled for 0 credits. Multiple offerings may be accommodated by the use of suffixes A, B, etc.

097, 197, 297, 397, 497; 098, 198, 298, 398, 498. SPECIAL TOPICS (1-9) (Formal courses given infrequently to explore, in depth, a comparatively narrow subject that may be topical or of special interest.) Several different topics may be taught in one year or semester. A specific title may be used in each instance and will be entered on the student's transcript. Multiple offerings may be accommodated by the use of suffixes A, B, etc.

099, 199, 299, 399, 499. (IL) FOREIGN STUDIES (1-12) (Courses offered in foreign countries by individual or group instruction.) A specific title may be used in each instance and will be entered on the student's transcript. Multiple offerings may be accommodated by the use of suffixes A, B, etc.

187 FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR Listed under some liberal art-related academic headings, this course has prerequisites of first-semester standing and enrollment in the College of the Liberal Arts. Multiple offerings may be accommodated by the use of suffixes A, B, etc.

294, 494. RESEARCH PROJECT COURSES (1-12) (Supervised student activities on research projects identified on an individual or small-group basis.) A specific title may be used in each instance and will be entered on the student's transcript. Multiple offerings may be accommodated by the use of suffixes A, B, etc.

295, 395, 495. INTERNSHIP (1-18) (Supervised off-campus, nongroup instruction including field experiences, practica, or internships. Written and oral critique of activity required.) A specific title may be used in each instance and will be entered on the student's transcript. Multiple offerings may be accommodated by the use of suffixes A, B, etc. Prerequisite: prior approval of proposed assignment by instructor.

296, 496. INDEPENDENT STUDIES (1-18) (Creative projects, including research and design, that are supervised on an individual basis and that fall outside the scope of formal courses.) A specific title may be used in each instance and will be entered on the student's transcript. Multiple offerings may be accommodated by the use of suffixes A, B, etc. Students may not register for these courses without prior written approval of a faculty member in the department in which the courses are listed.

GENERAL EDUCATION COURSE DESIGNATIONS

Courses that appear in this bulletin with the following designations have been approved for General Education. See http://bulletins.psu.edu/bulletins/bluebook/general_education.cfm for further information.

  • Skills Courses
  • Writing/Speaking — GWS
  • Quantification — GQ
  • Knowledge Domains Courses
  • Health and Physical Activity — GHA (formerly Health Sciences--GHS and Physical Education--GPE)
  • Natural Sciences — GN
  • Arts — GA
  • Humanities--GH
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences — GS

DESIGNATIONS FOR ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS

In addition to the General Education degree requirements, every baccalaureate degree student will also complete the United State Cultures (US) and International Cultures (IL), Writing Across the Curriculum (M, W, Y, and X), and First-Year Seminar (S, T, X, or PSU designation) requirements.

Courses that appear in this bulletin with an H, M, or T suffix following the course number are identified as honors courses. University Scholars Program students may participate in honors courses. In addition, any University Senate approved course may be offered with the honors suffix identification with the approval of the University Scholars Program. The honors identification will be entered on the student's transcript.

CREDITS AND HOURS

Credits are awarded on the semester-hour basis. According to Senate Policy 42-23, a total of at least forty hours of work planned and arranged by the University faculty is required for the average student to gain 1 credit. While the distribution of time varies from course to course, generally one-third of the time is devoted to formal instruction, such as lecture, recitation, laboratory, field trips, etc., and two-thirds of the time to outside preparation.

Credits, classroom work, and practicum work

The number of credits for each course is indicated in parentheses and can be earned with classroom, practicum, or laboratory work as designated in the Schedule of Courses, accessible through the Registrar's home page at www.psu.edu/registrar.

A typical period is fifty minutes.

A department may schedule an entire section in an undergraduate course for fewer credits than the maximum authorized. In 400-level courses, a department may schedule an individual student for fewer credits than the maximum authorized. In no case, however, may the course be scheduled for 0 credit, or may the total credits scheduled for any student exceed the maximum number authorized for the course.

Courses that may be repeated and variable credit courses

If a course may be repeated, the words "per semester" follow the number of credits--for example (3 credits per semester). These courses may be repeated indefinitely unless the credits are followed by the maximum number of credits allowed, such as (3 per semester, maximum of 12).

Courses may have variable credits, such as (1-3), (2-6), or (3-10). Here, the larger number signifies the total credits that can be accumulated for the course over an indefinite number of semesters, unless otherwise specified. For example, a course listed with (1-6) could be taken six semesters for 1 credit each semester, or two semesters for 3 credits each semester, or once for 6 credits, etc.

In some courses with variable credits, students may be permitted to accumulate more than the larger number shown. Such courses will be listed as, for example, (1-3 per semester, maximum of 12).

Any special departmental limitations are indicated by footnotes.

PREREQUISITE AND CONCURRENT COURSES

Prerequisites are approximations of the necessary prior specific or general academic knowledge, background, or semester standing required in order to succeed academically in a specific course. Concurrent courses are to be taken in the same semester. The course instructor has the right to limit the students in the course to those who have the stated prerequisites. If this limitation is exercised, it must occur before the end of the course add period.