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Concurrent Offering of Graduate and Non-graduate Courses

Graduate Council prohibits the simultaneous offering of graduate courses (500- and 800-level) and non-graduate courses (i.e., undergraduate, medical education, or law) courses in the same classroom. Special exceptions may be considered by the Dean of the Graduate School.

Reason for the Policy

Graduate Council raised concern that the offering of courses concurrently to graduate students and to undergraduate, medical, or law students may not meet the pedagogical and academic needs of either. For example, in the case of concurrent undergraduate and graduate courses, the course is often taught at either an undergraduate level (thus not challenging graduate students) or at a graduate level (thus overwhelming and confusing undergraduates). Council wishes to ensure that graduate students receive a graduate-level experience in 500- and 800-level courses taken. Procedures already are in place for undergraduates to take 500- and 800-level courses, as are procedures for graduate students to take a limited number of 400-level courses to apply to their degree program; additionally, graduate students are not prohibited from registering for independent study (596 or 896) in order to take 400-level coursework with additional requirements imposed for graduate credit. Graduate students also may register, with permission from the respective professional school, for 700- and 900-level courses.

Requesting an Exemption

Graduate programs that wish to offer graduate (500- or 800-level) classes simultaneously in the same room with any other class at the 400 level or higher must obtain an exemption to this policy from the Dean of the Graduate School. In certain circumstances, the Dean of the Graduate School will approve requests for exemptions to this policy for 500- or 800-level graduate courses to be offered concurrently with either 400-, 700-, or 900-level courses, if the graduate program can document that there are strong pedagogical reasons for leaving these classes together, and that the elements of graduate education will be retained for the graduate students in the class. Under no circumstances will exemptions be granted for concurrent offering of any undergraduate course below the 400 level with a graduate-level course.

Requests for exceptions should be submitted to the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School and must provide the following:

  • justification for offering classes concurrently, including why the need cannot be met by having graduate students register for independent study (596 or 896) in order to take non-graduate coursework with additional requirements imposed for graduate credit
  • documentation of methods for ensuring graduate-level experience for graduate students
  • documentation of separate opportunities for graduate students to interact, if applicable
  • documentation of differential assignments and evaluation methods for non-graduate and graduate students


Approved by Graduate Council, April 19, 2000
Revised by Graduate Council, October 19, 2011
Revised by Graduate Council, November 14, 2012

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