Course Information

Contact Hours

UAA academic policy has established the following minimum contact times. Most lecture/discussion courses require a minimum of 750 minutes of contact time and a minimum of 1,500 minutes of course-related work completed outside the classroom to award 1 credit. Some courses require more than 750 minutes of contact time and more than 1,500 minutes of course-related work completed outside the classroom.

One contact hour is defined as 50 minutes of contact time per week in a 15-week semester.

Courses may not be offered for more than 1 credit each week.

One continuing education unit (CEU) may be granted for satisfactory completion of 10 contact hours of classroom instruction or for 20 contact hours of laboratory or clinical instruction.

Alternative learning modes are subject to the instructional objectives and outcomes of comparable, traditionally taught courses, but contact hour standards may differ.

Contact hours are expressed in the course descriptions of individual courses by the expression of “x+y” where the x equals the course’s lecture contact hours per week and the y equals the course’s lab contact hours per week. Contact hours are calculated based on a 15-week semester. All courses must meet for 15x + 15y contact hours regardless of the number of weeks in which the course is offered.

Course Numbering System

Each course offered by the university is defined by the subject designator, a campus designator, and a three-digit course number. The subject designator commonly abbreviates the name of the discipline or department (for example, COMM for Communication). In general, the first numeral of the three-digit course number indicates the year in which the course is ordinarily taken. For example, COMM A111 is ordinarily taken by first-year students and COMM A305 is taken by third-year students.

Advances in course level (lower, upper and graduate) correlate with sophistication of academic work. It should be noted that some students find introductory courses more demanding than advanced, specialized courses. In such courses, a more comprehensive approach and the first exposure to new ways of thinking may be harder for some individuals than covering a smaller, more familiar area in much greater detail.

The following definitions describe the types of courses that can be expected at each level:

Noncredit Courses

A001–A049: Noncredit courses. Offered as career development, continuing education or community interest instruction. Not applicable to any degree or certificate requirements (even by petition). They have no regular tuition but do have other special fees.

AC001–AC049: Continuing education unit (CEU) courses. CEUs are awarded upon completion of a course of study that is intended for career development or personal enrichment. CEU courses may not be used in degree or certificate programs or be converted to academic credit (even by petition). The number of CEUs awarded is related to the amount of time required to master the material presented, with one CEU typically awarded for 10 hours of active participation in a directed learning environment with an instructor available, or for 20 hours of laboratory or experiential learning where the student’s investigation and discovery is largely independent. The number of CEUs awarded is determined by the chief academic officer (dean or director) of the offering unit. Fractional CEUs may be awarded.

Preparatory/Developmental Courses

A050–A099: Courses with these numbers provide basic or supplemental preparation for introductory college courses. They are not applicable to certificates or associate, baccalaureate or graduate degrees, even by petition.

Academic Credit Courses

Courses with the following numbers count toward undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates as described below. Each course includes a component for evaluation of student performance. Student effort is indicated by credit hours. One credit hour represents three hours of student work per week for a 15-week semester (e.g., one class-hour of lecture and two hours of study or three class-hours of laboratory) for a minimum of 750 minutes of total student engagement, which may include examination periods. Equivalencies to this standard may be approved by the chief academic officer of the university or community college.

The numbering sequence signifies increasing sophistication in a student’s ability to extract, summarize, evaluate and apply relevant class material. Students are expected to demonstrate learning skills commensurate with the ­appropriate course level and to meet prerequisites for all courses as listed within the course ­descriptions. Academic credit courses are numbered as follows:

Lower-Division Courses

Lower-division courses are usually taken by freshmen and sophomores.

A100–A199: Freshman-level, lower-division courses. Introduce a field of knowledge and/or develop basic skills. These are usually foundation or survey courses. Applicable to certificates, associate degrees and baccalaureate degrees in accordance with certificate and degree requirements.

A200–A299: Sophomore-level, lower-division courses provide more depth than 100-level courses and/or build upon 100-level courses. These courses may connect foundation or survey courses with advanced work in a given field, require previous college experiences or develop advanced skills. Applicable to certificates, associate degrees and baccalaureate degrees.

Upper-Division Courses

Upper-division courses are usually taken by juniors and seniors. Upper-division courses require a background in the discipline recognized through course prerequisites, junior or senior standing, or competency requirements. These courses demand well-developed writing skills, research capabilities and/or mastery of tools and methods of the ­discipline.

A300–A399: Junior-level, upper-division courses build upon previous coursework and require familiarity with the concepts, methods and vocabulary of a discipline. They are applicable to baccalaureate degrees and may be ­applicable to associate degrees in accordance with degree requirements. These courses are not applicable to graduate degree requirements.

A400–A499: Senior-level, upper-division courses require the ability to analyze, synthesize, compare and contrast, research, create, innovate, develop, elaborate, transform, and/or apply course material to solving complex problems, and generally require a substantial background of study in lower-level courses.

These courses are applicable to baccalaureate degrees in accordance with degree requirements. These courses may be applied to graduate requirements for some master’s degrees with prior approval of the student’s graduate study committee. However, a student may not apply a course to both a baccalaureate and a master’s degree.

Transfer Courses

A1_–A4_: UAA awards credit in all General Education Requirement (GER) areas for courses that do not match specific course descriptions but meet the learning outcomes of each area’s definition, e.g., A1W fulfills the 100-level Written Communication Skills GER. The last letter(s) on a transfer course number (A#_) identifies the GER category it fulfills.

FFine Arts
HHumanities
ICIntegrative Capstone
NNatural Sciences Lecture only
NLNatural Sciences Lab only
NSNatural Sciences Lecture/Lab
OOral Communication Skills
QQuantitative Skills
SSocial Sciences
WWritten Communication Skills
YFine Arts and/or Humanities
ZSocial Sciences or Humanities

Courses transferred in that do not have a direct equivalency and do not meet the general education learning outcomes for a specific GER area are assigned as departmental electives with indication of level and subject, e.g. WRTG A2 Departmental Elective.

Graduate-Level Courses

A600–A699: Graduate-level courses require a background in the discipline and an ability to contribute to written and oral discourse on advanced topics in the field at a level beyond that required by a bachelor’s degree.

These courses demand rigorous analysis, synthesis and research skills, and require the ability to read, interpret and evaluate primary literature in the field. Students analyze raw data, evaluate models used in research and draw independent conclusions. Preparation includes demonstrated accomplishment in a specific course or discipline, or completion of a significant and related program of study. Student activities are often self-directed and aimed not only at the formation of supportable conclusions but also at a clear understanding of the process used in those formations.

These courses are applicable to post-baccalaureate and graduate certificates, and master’s and doctoral degrees in accordance with degree requirements. With prior approval of the major department, they may be used to meet degree or graduation requirements for some baccalaureate degrees, but a student may not apply a course to both a baccalaureate and a graduate degree.

Professional Development Courses

A500–A599: Courses with these numbers are designed to provide continuing education for professionals at a post-baccalaureate level. These courses are not applicable to university degree or certificate program requirements, are not interchangeable with credit courses, and may not be delivered simultaneously (stacked) with academic credit courses of similar content (even by petition).

These courses may be graded pass/no pass or, if the course includes an evaluation component, letter grading. The measurement of student effort is indicated by professional development credits. Each professional development credit awarded requires at least 12.5 hours of student engagement in a directed-learning environment under the supervision of a qualified instructor. These courses are provided on a self-support basis.

Course Number Second and Third Digits

The following second and third digits of course numbers are used for specific types of academic courses:

-90selected topics
-92seminars and workshops
-93special topics courses, to be offered only once
-94trial (experimental) courses intended to become permanent
-95internships, practica, community-based learning or cooperative education
-97independent studies
-98individual research courses
-99thesis courses

Prerequisites

Students are expected to meet prerequisites for all courses. Prerequisites are listed with the course description and indicate the preparation and/or background necessary to undertake academic study. Unless otherwise noted, a passing grade (A, B, C, D, CR or P) is required in order to satisfy the prerequisite. If a student has not met the necessary prerequisites, the student may request permission from the instructor of the course to enroll in the class. It is the responsibility of the department to enter the appropriate override codes that will allow the student to register. A faculty member may withdraw students who enroll without prerequisites or faculty permission.

Corequisites

Corequisites are courses that must be taken concurrently. Students are responsible for enrolling in and attending all corequisite courses in the same semester. Corequisites are listed in the individual course descriptions. A faculty member may withdraw students for not enrolling in the appropriate corequisite(s).

Repeatable Courses

Some courses, such as special topics, may be taken more than once for additional credit. Only courses explicitly noted as repeatable for additional credit in the course description qualify for this option.

Retaking Courses

Any course for which a student has received a transcripted grade may be retaken at the student’s discretion if the course is available and if permitted by the program offering the course. The student’s transcript will reflect all grades earned by the student in each semester in which the course is taken. Only the last chronological grade and credit(s) earned are applied toward graduation requirements, prerequisite fulfillment and the cumulative UAA grade point average (GPA). Courses for which a student has already received a passing grade may not be eligible for financial aid.

The credit/no-credit grading option cannot be selected when courses are being retaken for GPA improvement. Students may not retake a course through credit-by-examination, correspondence or through work at another college or university for the purpose of raising their GPA at UAA.

To determine eligibility for graduation with honors, all credits and grades from retaken courses are included in GPA calculations.

Registration Restrictions

In addition to prerequisites, registration restrictions are conditions a student must meet before enrolling in a course. Examples include, but are not limited to, admission ­requirements, special approval, level requirements, and special licenses or credentials.

Special Notes

In addition to prerequisites and registration restrictions, special notes may describe other qualities and expectations about the course that may impact student success. Special notes include, but are not limited to, additional information about the academic environment, degree planning or repeatability options.

Special Courses

Directed Study

A directed study course is a permanent catalog course delivered on an individual basis when the course is not offered that semester. A directed study requires the approval of the department concerned and final approval by the dean/director.

The policies are as follows:

  • Retroactive registration is not permitted.
  • Directed Study Forms incorrectly completed will not be processed.
  • Courses scheduled for less than a full semester may not be offered for more than 1 credit each week.
  • For fall and spring semesters, the deadline for directed study registration is the end of the ninth week.
  • For the summer semester, the deadline for directed study registration is the end of the seventh week of the 10-week session.
  • There can be no change in the basic content of the course. In particular, this means the number, level, prefix, description, title, grading policy (A-F, P/NP), credits and course content cannot differ from the permanent course.
  • Only regular (tenure track or term) faculty are allowed to supervise or to be the instructor of record for directed study courses. The dean or director may function as instructor of record when no regular faculty is available to fulfill that function. The responsibilities of the instructor of record are to:
    1. Approve the course of study
    2. Approve the credentials of other faculty involved
    3. See that the material is presented in full and in a timely manner
    4. Evaluate student’s progress in achieving student outcomes
    5. Generate course grade and see that the grades are turned in to the Office of the Registrar
    6. Assume responsibility for academic issues that arise in the course
  • The faculty member teaching the course must have taught the permanent course or a related course prior to teaching a directed study.
  • The initiation of directed studies must come from the faculty in the discipline and must be approved by the dean or director.
  • Once the directed study course has been approved, the student will be automatically registered for the course unless holds exist on the student account.
  • Student must be an admitted certificate/degree-seeking student.

Independent Study

An independent study course consists of topics or problems chosen by the student with the approval of the department concerned, supervision of an instructor and final approval by the dean/director. These courses are not duplications of and must differ significantly from any catalog course. The independent study provides the opportunity for students who have completed most of the required courses in their program to study topics that are not offered.

The policies are as follows:

  • Retroactive registration is not permitted.
  • Independent study courses cannot be used to fulfill GERs. This policy is not petitionable.
  • Independent Study Forms incorrectly completed will not be processed.
  • Courses scheduled for less than a full semester may not be offered for more than 1 credit each week.
  • For fall and spring semesters, the deadline for independent study registration is the end of the ninth week.
  • For the summer semester, the deadline for independent study registration is the end of the seventh week of the 10-week session.
  • Only regular or term faculty are allowed to be the instructor of record for the independent study courses. The dean or director may function as instructor of record when no regular or term faculty are available to fulfill that function. The responsibilities of the instructor of record are to:
    1. Approve the course of study
    2. Approve the credentials of other faculty involved
    3. See that the material is presented in full and in a timely manner
    4. Evaluate student’s progress in achieving student outcomes
    5. Generate course grade and see that the grades are turned in to the Office of the Registrar
    6. Assume responsibility for academic issues that arise in the course
  • The initiation of independent study courses must come from faculty in the discipline and must be approved by the dean or director.
  • Once the independent study course has been approved, the student will be automatically registered for the course unless holds exist on the student account.
  • Student must be an admitted certificate/degree-seeking student.

Crosslisted Courses

A course that contains content related to two or more disciplines may be offered under the prefixes that identify those disciplines. These courses are termed "crosslisted." Students may enroll in the course under the discipline or prefix of their choice. Catalog descriptions of these courses include the phrase “Crosslisted with.” The class information on UAOnline indicates if a class is being offered in crosslisted format.

Stacked Courses

Two or more courses from the same discipline (prefix) covering common course content, but at different course levels, may be taught together. These courses are stacked, and students may register for the course level that meets their objectives and for which they meet the prerequisites. Students enrolled in stacked courses either meet at the same time and location or receive instruction by the same delivery mode. Expectations for student performance and achievement reflect course level. Catalog descriptions of these courses include the phrase “May be stacked with.” The class information on UAOnline indicates whether a class is being offered in stacked format.

Internships

An internship is a student work experience in which the employer or agency is the student’s immediate supervisor, is active in planning the expected outcomes and is involved in the evaluation of the student’s achievements. A faculty member must act as instructor and approve the work activities, the student learning outcomes and the evaluation method. The instructor reviews all of the final documents upon completion of the assignment and assigns the final grade.

Internships require that the student completes a minimum of 45 hours of work with the employer for each credit earned. Final course grades are generally based on hours worked, outcomes achieved, employer and instructor ratings of work performance, and evaluation of required journals or reports. Registration deadlines follow independent study and directed study dates.

Depending on the type of internship, internships may be arranged either through the student’s academic program or the following offices:

Practicum

A practicum is a student work experience for which the academic department establishes the objectives and outcomes. The instructor facilitates, monitors and evaluates student accomplishments, and assigns the final grade. Registration deadlines follow independent study and directed study dates.

Practicum Requirements and General Information

Many academic programs require completion of a practicum, clinical assignment or other field placement. Before applying to such programs, students should familiarize themselves with the requirements for such placements, which may include infectious disease testing, drug testing, criminal background checks or other qualifications. Students are responsible for ensuring that there are no legal or other impediments to their acceptance into a placement.

Criminal History

Placements in facilities with programs administered by the state of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services are subject to background checks under state law and regulation. Criminal background checks may also be required for placements in other facilities.

Health and Safety

Placements may require documentation of immunity to infectious diseases. The circumstances in which a student with an infectious disease, or who otherwise poses a significant risk to the health and safety of others, may participate in a placement will be determined on a case-by-case basis. A student who poses a significant risk to the health and safety of others that cannot be eliminated by a reasonable modification of policies, practices or procedures, or by the provision of auxiliary aids or services, will be excluded from participation.

The program descriptions in this catalog may contain more detailed requirements for specific programs. Students should always check on requirements for practicum, clinical or other field placements for the programs in which they intend to enroll.

Thesis and Individual Research Courses

Thesis and individual research courses are designed between faculty members and students to allow students the chance to pursue special individual topic interests. Registration deadlines follow independent study and directed study dates.

Interdisciplinary/Multidisciplinary Courses

Courses that explore the broader meaning and significance of concepts, principles or research techniques common to several disciplines are called interdisciplinary. Courses that examine a common topic or problem by drawing upon the perspectives of many disciplines are called multidisciplinary.

Flexible Format Courses

Certain courses are offered in flexible formats. They include:

Self-Paced

These courses offer an alternative to the traditional lecture classes and are especially suited to motivated, self-directed learners. Self-paced courses allow students to work in a low-anxiety, supportive environment. They include the following:

  • Group study
  • Tutorial study
  • Scheduled lectures
  • Diverse learning aids such as video, audio, computer and library resources.
Open Entry/Open Exit

These courses permit students to enter and exit any time during the semester. Students generally work at their own pace to complete the required course content.

Variable Credit

These courses may be taken for a variable number of credits with prior approval of the faculty member. Workload and tuition depend on the number of credits selected.

Short

Short courses offer the content of a full semester course in a shorter time frame.

Mini

Mini courses are offered for fewer than three credits and usually in a shorter time frame than a full semester.

Age Limit of Credits

There is no university-wide undergraduate policy on the age limit of credits. However, to guarantee currency of course content, some departments and degree programs require courses to have been completed within a specified period of time. Contact specific departments for more information.