Courses

Most undergraduate courses at St. Thomas are 4-credit courses, although some departments also offer 0-credit or 2-credit courses. Each course is assigned a subject-area code consisting of four letters, which designates the department or discipline, followed by a three-digit number. For example, ENGL 121 is the English course numbered 121. 

Courses with numbers having either 1 or 2 as the first digit are lower-division courses, and those having 3 or 4 as the first digit are upper-division courses. 

First-year students may not register for courses numbered 300 or above unless they meet required prerequisites or have permission from the department chair. 

Under certain circumstances, undergraduate students are allowed to register for graduate-level courses (courses numbered 500 or above). These courses must be recommended by the student's department, and registration requires signatures of the instructor, department chair/program director, and dean. Undergraduate students registering for a graduate-level course should use the paper add/drop form. Most graduate courses are 3 credits. Undergraduate students are charged the undergraduate per-credit rate for graduate courses. 

The number of class meetings for a course varies with the nature of the course. Class Finder indicates the days and times each class meets. 

Some courses – including topics, experiential learning, seminars, research, and individual study – are offered under the same numbers in all or most academic departments. Additional information on these courses can be found in department course listings.

The subject matter of the course will vary from year to year but will not duplicate existing courses. Descriptions of these courses are available in Class Finder.

295, 296 Topics (2 credits)

The even number is normally used by the department. The odd number is used if the course has been approved to fulfill a core curriculum requirement.

297, 298 Topics (4 credits)

The even number is normally used by the department. The odd number is used if the course has been approved to fulfill a core curriculum requirement.

487, 488 Topics (2 credits)

The even number is normally used by the department. The odd number is used if the course has been approved to fulfill a core curriculum requirement.

489, 490 Topics (4 credits)

The even number is normally used by the department. The odd number is used if the course has been approved to fulfill a core curriculum requirement.

The university will grant credit for experiential learning to a registered student if the student’s proposal for the work receives prior approval of the department involved and the relevant dean, and the student successfully completes the experience agreed upon. Students requesting credit for experiential learning usually will have attained junior or senior status. The most common type of experiential learning is an internship.

Credit granted in this way is graded on an S/R basis. A maximum of 8 credits of experiential learning may be counted toward the 132 credits required for graduation. The regular tuition for the number of credits is charged.

Prior to the occurrence of the experience for which credit is being sought, a student makes a formal request for two (2) credits or four (4) credits. This request includes:

  • A detailed description of the experience for which credit is sought and a statement of its academic significance and validity in the student’s program;
  • An indication of any supplementary academic requirements to be fulfilled: papers, reports, etc.;
  • The name of the person at the University of St. Thomas who will approve the proposal, maintain periodic contact with the off-campus supervisor and student, and corroborate the evaluation of the experience;
  • An outline of the evaluation procedures to be used.

The minimum number of hours of on-site work (usually 100 hours for two credits; 200 hours for four credits), meetings with St. Thomas faculty, meetings with the on-site supervisor, and evaluation of the project will be determined by the department.

Forms for requesting credit for experiential learning are available here<https://one.stthomas.edu/sites/its/student-data-registrars-office/SitePage/42384/student-forms>. Departments may require additional forms. Forms must be signed by the supervising faculty member, the chair of the department, and the relevant dean before being submitted to the Office of Student Data and Registrar at the time of registration.

When, in the view of the department, supervision and evaluation of the experience are provided chiefly by a person at the University of St. Thomas, the student should seek credit by means of individual study.

475, 476 Experiential Learning (2 credits)

The even number is normally used by the department. The odd number is used if the course has been approved to fulfill a core curriculum requirement.

477, 478 Experiential Learning (4 credits)

The even number is normally used by the department. The odd number is used if the course has been approved to fulfill a core curriculum requirement.

Seminars are offered in a number of departments. With the exception of honors seminars in the Aquinas Scholars program (courses with an HONR prefix), regular tuition is charged.

483, 484 Seminar (2 credits)

The even number is normally used by the department. The odd number is used if the course has been approved to fulfill a core curriculum requirement.

485, 486 Seminar (4 credits)

The even number is normally used by the department. The odd number is used if the course has been approved to fulfill a core curriculum requirement. 

Some departments offer the opportunity to do research in the discipline. Students interested in pursuing credit for research should discuss their plans with the appropriate faculty member. When the project has been determined, the student and faculty member should complete the Independent Study Form. The research contract must be approved by the supervising faculty member, the chair of the department, and the relevant dean and then submitted to the Office of Student Data and Registrar during the registration period. Regular tuition is charged.

Research involving human subjects may not begin prior to review and approval by the Institutional Review Board (IRB). Student researchers are advised to consult with their faculty advisor and secure the needed forms and other information from the IRB website early in the research-planning process.

269 Research (2 or 4 credits)

This research course can be either a 2- or 4-credit course depending on the department and the topic.

389 Research (2 or 4 credits)

This research course can be either a 2- or 4-credit course depending on the department and the topic.

491 Research (2 or 4 credits)

This research course can be either a 2- or 4-credit course depending on the department and the topic.

Individual study refers to a type of learning contract in which a registered student and/or faculty member have the responsibility for defining, organizing, and evaluating a special project of limited scope (limited in content and in the time designated for its completion). Individual study provides an opportunity for students (usually at junior or senior status) to receive one-on-one instruction and guidance, while pursuing a subject of special interest. This work is completed independently under the faculty member’s personal direction.

Individual study may be pursued for either two (2) or four (4) credits. Determination of the amount of credit awarded is at the discretion of the department but should reflect an academic rigor commensurate with a regularly-offered course for the same amount of credit.

Students interested in pursuing individual study should discuss their plans with the appropriate faculty member. When the project has been determined, the student and faculty member should complete the Independent Study Form. The individual study contract must be approved by the supervising faculty member, the chair of the department, and the relevant dean and then submitted to the Office of Student Data and Registrar during the registration period. Regular tuition is charged.

The grading for individual study may be standard (A,B,C, etc.) or Pass/Fail (S/R). This selection and an explanation must be indicated on the individual study contract when it is presented to the Office of Student Data and Registrar. (If the course is in the major field, grading must be on the standard system.)

243 Individual Study (2 or 4 credits)

This individual study can be either a 2- or 4-credit course depending on the department and the topic.

393 Individual Study (2 or 4 credits)

This individual study can be either a 2- or 4-credit course depending on the department and the topic.

495 Individual Study (2 or 4 credits)

This individual study can be either a 2- or 4-credit course depending on the department and the topic.