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Charleston Southern University > Graduate Council - Charleston Southern University

Graduate Council

Graduate Curricular Approval Process

The Graduate Approval Process of Charleston Southern University works as follows: The original of all graduate curricular requests (signed by the required personnel, such as the chair, director, dean, and registrar) must be submitted by the second Thursday of each month to the Registrar, and one copy should be sent to the council's administrative recorder. The recorder will immediately post the materials electronically for the Council. The Graduate Council meets the third Thursday of each month to deliberate upon and approve curricular changes and requests by the various graduate programs.

The following forms should be used for all curricular requests at the graduate level:

  • Request for New Graduate Courses
  • Request for New Graduate Program
  • Request to Delete a Graduate Course
  • Request to Delete a Graduate Program
  • Request for Graduate Course Revision
  • Request for Graduate Program Revisions

The appropriate form must be completed for each request; for some requests (such as requesting a New Graduate Program) the submitting chair, dean, or director should also attach other necessary forms such as those for new courses and impact studies. Submissions should also include appropriate evidence indicating that the program or course is graduate level in terms of academic rigor and work required. Note that many curricular requests may require SACSCOC approval or notification.  Note that in these cases no Curricular Changes are final (even after being approved by the Graduate and VPAA) until SACSCOC has approved the changes. See the CSU Substantive Change Policy R-64.


Technology or Library Impact Statements

When the addition of a new course or new program (or revisions to previously existing ones) will have an impact on either Information Technology Services (for example, a course will always be taught in a computer lab, or extensive amounts of computer resources will be required) or the Library (for example, a course might require the acquisition of an extensive series of texts and films, or a database), the Chair or Dean is required to notify the head of Information Technology Services and the Director of the Library as part of the curricular process. This notification and the response to the department from Information Technology Services &/or the Director of the Library should be submitted with the curriculum request to the Graduate Council.


Guidelines for Development of New Programs

Length of Programs: The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools' Commission on Colleges (SACS COC) requires that a master's degree require a minimum of 30 semester credit hours (Core Requirement 2.7.1). At the same time, the overall length of the program must be "appropriate for each of the institution's educational programs" (Federal Requirement 4.4). Therefore, all Graduate Courses of Study at Charleston Southern University must require a minimum of 30 graduate semester credit hours.  42 semester credit hours for a program should be considered the upper limit; any program requiring more than 42 hours for a master's level degree should submit evidence justifying the increased requirement.


Curriculum Design and Expectations by Academic Class

As noted in SACSCOC Comprehensive Standard 3.6.1, "post-baccalaureate professional degree programs" and master's programs are "progressively more advanced in academic content than undergraduate programs."  These differences should be distinct and made clear in Graduate Curriculum submissions and particularly in those submissions for cross-registered graduate/undergraduate courses.

Note: Graduate Courses which are 500 level are generally offered in support of the master's degree programs and are introductory graduate courses or graduate level fundamental courses in the discipline.  These may be designated as prerequisites to upper level graduate courses or be foundational in content.

There are two types of Graduate Courses that have 500-level numbering.

The first type includes courses that are generally offered in support of the master's degree programs and are introductory graduate courses or graduate level fundamental courses in the discipline. These may be designated as prerequisites to upper level graduate courses or be foundational in content.

The second type includes cross-listed courses. Cross-listed courses are courses in which both graduate and undergraduate students attend the same class but receive credit under different course numbers.  Cross-listed courses may serve as electives in a graduate program. Syllabi for cross-listed courses will clearly specify how the nature (quality and/or quantity) of the work expected of students and the criteria for evaluation of the work produced is commensurate with degree level. The nature of the requirements for cross-listed classes may vary by quality and/or quantity. The quality of work may be differentiated by requiring graduate students to engage with material that is more challenging, such as requiring reading of original works of scholarship rather than secondary presentations of scholarly work (textbooks). The quality of work may also include requiring graduate students to assume a leadership role in the course, such as mentoring undergraduate students, serving as discussion leaders, or setting standards for class participation. The quality of work products may be differentiated by level as well.

Graduate-level assignments require a greater degree of analysis, synthesis, or evaluation of knowledge and/or be result of greater independence than undergraduate-level assignments. The quantity of work may be differentiated across levels by requiring additional assignments, projects, or examinations at the graduate level compared to the undergraduate level.

Graduate Courses offered at the 600 level or higher are core content courses for the masters degree in the field of study.  These require intensive study, research, and analysis of content. These courses usually require an in-depth knowledge of the discipline that is further developed through classroom, independent work, or collaborative models of learning.