Paired Courses Policy (Superseded)

Reference Number: S90-126
Senate Approval Date: Monday, January 01, 1990




At its meeting of March 20, 1990, the Academic Senate approved the following policy on paired courses. A background and history of the policy is attached.

It is the policy of San Francisco State University to permit individual departments of degree program areas of the institution to develop advanced undergraduate and graduate level courses with virtually identical subject matter and to offer them in a paired arrangement with a single instructor and a common meeting schedule. The mechanism of pairing graduate and advanced undergraduate courses is a means of facilitating both graduate and undergraduate programs in circumstances where limited resources otherwise would require that the quality of one program be sacrificed to maintain the quality of the other.

In order to ensure the integrity of the degree major and the individual courses that may be used to meet graduation requirements, approval to offer courses in a paired arrangement will be subject to the following conditions:


The advanced undergraduate (i.e., upper division) and graduate courses that are paired must cover virtually identical subject matter. The words used in the titles and descriptions of the two courses must reflect this close similarity of subject matter.


Paired offerings must be arranged through the use of regular courses which are published in the Bulletin, and the course descriptions must indicate that the courses are paired. The descriptions must specify that if one of the paired courses is completed for credit, the other one may not be taken for credit at a subsequent time.


Courses to be paired must be offered within the same department. Paired courses may not at the same time be cross-listed.


Thesis, creative work, internship, special project, topic, directed reading, research and special study classes may not be used as part of a paired arrangement.


Only courses enrolling junior, senior and graduate level students may be paired. If a student takes one of the paired courses as an undergraduate and needs the paired course for a graduate degree, the department graduate coordinator shall specify an alternative on the GAP.


Departments which use the paired course arrangement must offer non-paired graduate level courses with sufficient variety and frequency that students should not have to rely on paired courses for the majority of their graduate approved program course work. In no circumstances should students be expected, or be permitted, to complete a graduate degree program with less than half of the units being completed in courses for graduate students only.


Only faculty eligible to teach in the graduate program, as defined in the Bulletin, may teach paired courses. Faculty teaching paired courses will receive Weighted Teaching Unit (WTU) credit appropriate to the unit value of one of the pair.


If the total enrollment of the pair of courses meets minimal enrollment criteria for at least one of the courses of the pair, the pair shall be considered to have met minimal enrollment requirements.


To maintain the quality of instruction, total enrollment in paired courses may not exceed the maximum enrollment permitted for the graduate level component of the pair.


The Class Schedule should make clear, by means of footnotes, that both courses of a pair of courses meet at the same time and location, and with the same instructor, but that the two courses have differential requirements reflecting the different course levels.


Course proposals must be submitted and approved separately for each of the courses in the proposed pairs. The course proposals must address the following:



Both course proposal forms must specify that the courses will be paired and that credit may not be earned in the other course of the pair at a later time;



In order to assist everyone in identifying courses that are paired, departments are expected to assign to paired courses numbers that have the same last two digits;



Justification for the pairing must be attached to each of the proposals;



While course descriptions and course syllabi for any pair of courses should be virtually identical, specification of the requirements for the graduate course must address explicitly the expectations for graduate students to include how independent critical judgment is to be developed and evaluated and how students will present the results of their research and critical analysis in an original form. The syllabi must clearly delineate the additional requirements for graduate students that might include significant research papers, oral presentations of research, and/or the demonstration of more sophisticated laboratory or studio skills than those required of students in the undergraduate course.


All proposals for the pairing of courses, as well as any exceptions to the provisions of this policy, shall be reviewed by the Graduate Council. As with all courses to ensure that the above-stated conditions are satisfied and that in all instances of the use of paired courses preserve or enhance the quality of both graduate and undergraduate programs of the University.