Flexibility II: Selected Topics and Special Topics Reading Courses (898, 899s)

Eligible academic units may elect to approve their own Special Topics Courses [898.3, 899.6]. The GSR 204 will be sent by the instructor to the head of the department or dean of the undergraduate college for approval. Some units may choose to have the Graduate Chair or Graduate Committee be responsible for approval of Special Topics courses. A copy of the first page of the GSR 204 forms will be submitted to CGSR for notification purposes only, and so that CGSR can contact the Office of the Registrar to open the course for registration.

It is suggested that the departmental deadline for approval of Special Topics courses be a week or so ahead of the registration deadlines to allow sufficient time for the class to be put online before the last day for registration. Late registration is possible but the student will be charged a fee.

The approval process takes into account the following:

  • Course objectives should be stated clearly.
  • A weekly course outline should be included.
  • The professor must be a member of the CGSR faculty. Exceptions to this requirement can be requested by sending a memo to the Associate Dean outlining the reasons why the instructor should be approved along with a copy of the proposed instructor’s current CV.
  • Description of the activities for evaluation and the percentage of total mark for each activity must be provided.
  • If the Special Topics course is based on an undergraduate course, activities must be added that make it graduate in nature. Guidelines can be accessed on the CGSR website (Undergraduate Component of Graduate Courses and Double-Numbered Courses form).

A particular Special Topics course can be taught only twice; after that the instructor should submit the course to the committees of CGSR as a regular course using the form GSR 400.1.

Departments are required to keep documentation for their Special Topics courses on file. The files must be available for review upon request by the CGSR Dean, Associate Dean, or the Director of Programs. Copies of original and unmarked written assignments should be kept on file for appeal purposes. The University Council and CGSR guidelines on Appeals and Academic Integrity must be followed.