Catalog Module

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.

Credit Hour Definition

A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that reasonably approximates not less than: (1) one hour (50 minutes) of classroom or faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or (2) at least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, and other academic work leading toward the award of credit hours.

Final Examinations

Each fall and spring semester ends with a final examination period. A two-hour final examination session is scheduled for each course. Final exam dates and times are separate from regular class times and posted online to the Final Exam Schedule. Final examinations are not administered other than during final exams week. Students should plan to be available for exams through the end of each final exam period.

Instructors will determine the final examination times for January term and summer term courses.

Generic Courses

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.

Topics Courses

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.

Experiential Learning

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 (pass/fail). A maximum of eight (8) credits of experiential learning may be counted toward the 129 credits required for graduation. The regular tuition rate 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 one (1), two (2), three (3), 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 credits allotted will comply with the undergraduate credit hour policy.

# of credits Total hours*
1 42.5
2 85
3 127.5
4 170

*The total hours reflects a combination of faculty-led instruction, out-of-class work and on-site work.

Required meetings with St. Thomas faculty, the on-site supervisor and evaluation of the project will be determined by the department.

To request credit for experiential learning, students must submit a< Internship/Experiential Learning Request. 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.

476 Experiential Learning (1-4 credits)
478 Experiential Learning (zero credit)

Seminars

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.

Research

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

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.

Exchange Courses

Courses taken by undergraduate, degree-seeking St. Thomas students at Augsburg University, Hamline University, Macalester College and St. Catherine University through ACTC cross-registration are called exchange courses. These courses may be substituted for courses at the University of St. Thomas, subject to the following conditions:

  1. The course is not one specified by a specific course number in the list of core curriculum requirements; and
  2. The student has the written permission of the department chair of the major or minor if the course is in the major or minor concentration and taken to satisfy a particular requirement for that major or minor; and
  3. The student consults the University Registrar before registering for more than one course at Augsburg, Hamline, Macalester or St. Catherine University during one semester. This one course limit does not apply to students pursuing a major or minor at these schools.

For exchange courses in the fall and spring semesters, St. Thomas students register at St. Thomas. Grades for these courses are automatically recorded on the St. Thomas transcript.

For courses during the summer sessions, students register at the college offering the courses and have a transcript of the completed work sent to St. Thomas. These summer courses are considered transfer courses.

Exchange courses may be used to fulfill the senior residency requirement.

Grades for exchange courses are included in the computation of the St. Thomas GPA.

Courses taken at Augsburg, Hamline, Macalester and St. Catherine by a student before he or she matriculates at St. Thomas or while the student is not an active student at St. Thomas are treated as transfer courses.