Cross-level Listing of Undergraduate/Graduate Courses

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University Policy Number 3002


Responsible Office:

Policy Procedure:

  • N/A

Related Law & Policy:

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This policy applies to all credit-bearing courses.


Although normally undergraduate and graduate courses are separate and wholly distinct from each other, there are circumstances in which academic units may wish to teach certain courses together.  This policy provides explicit guidelines for offering cross-level listed courses and distinguishes these offerings from ordinary cross-listings.

In general, undergraduate and graduate cross-level listings should be avoided as much as possible; prerequisites should be made explicit to the extent possible using existing courses. When graduate/undergraduate classes are cross-level listed they should reflect the following guidelines:

A.  Specific, unique expectations are provided for each course.

Graduate expectations must be commensurate with the level of the graduate course listed.  The central expectation for graduate students is that they will do not only more work, but more advanced work than undergraduate students.

  • Course expectations may be differentiated through assessment measures such as exams, written assignments, computational exercises, etc.
  • Graduate expectations may include more advanced learning through additional, more sophisticated reading, research projects, course facilitation or experiential activities.

B.    Prerequisites should be appropriate for both courses.  Required knowledge should be the same or comparable for both courses, or more significant for the graduate course.

  • A graduate course could require the same prerequisite as an undergraduate course, or, depending on the circumstances, a prerequisite might be required for only one level (e.g., either undergraduate or graduate).   A graduate student, by virtue of having been admitted to a specific graduate program, may meet the prerequisite requirement automatically and be eligible to enroll.
  • Use of the “permission of the instructor” restriction would allow for individual instructor discretion regarding a student’s preparation for the course content and may facilitate the verification of prerequisite knowledge and efficient enrollment.

C.  Courses should be close in number designations.

Undergraduate and graduate cross-listing should occur within the context of general expectations about both cross-listing and course numbering.  Only upper-level undergraduate courses (3xx and 4xx) and lower level-graduate courses (5xx and 6xx) may be cross-level listed.

  • A 700-level graduate course should not be cross-level listed with a 300-level undergraduate course.
  • Exceptions to this guideline may be made for special cases such as colloquia, special seminars, individual research projects, etc.  If courses are listed in this manner, the instructor or department must provide additional justification and receive dean’s approval

D.  Course titles must be related, but do not have to be identical.

E.   Courses not eligible for cross-level listing.  Courses not approved for cross-level listing may not be co-located in the same classroom and taught together.  They must be taught separately.


Cross-listing refers to the practice of offering one course under two or more subject codes and course numbers, e.g.  HIST 393/ FAVS 399 – U.S. Documentaries of China.  Students may enroll through either course number and take the same course.

Cross-level listing refers to offering two courses, one undergraduate and one graduate, in the same time and place, with the same instructor.  However, for cross-level listing, only the classroom experience is shared; the graduate course is expected to have separate and distinct content that is more advanced than the undergraduate course.


Deans and directors of college-level units are responsible for ensuring that departments within their units comply with this policy.  Deans and directors of college level units are also responsible for approving exceptions to this policy.

The Office of the Provost is responsible for ensuring that this information will be distributed to departments and scheduling officers in the scheduling instructions provided by the Office of the Registrar.


The substance of this policy was recommended for approval by the Academic Policies Committee Task Force on Undergraduate/Graduate Cross-listing, by the Faculty Senate on March 3, 2010 and by the Graduate Council on April 21, 2010.


Deans and directors of college-level units are expected to ensure that their units remain in compliance with this policy.  If necessary, the Provost may address non-compliance through performance reviews or other measures as appropriate.


August 15, 2010


This policy will be reviewed annually by the Office of the Provost and revised as necessary.


Maurice W. Scherrens
Senior Vice President

Peter N. Stearns

Date approved: August 25, 2010