The primary function of graduate courses is to broaden the perspective and deepen the advanced knowledge students have of a particular discipline or professional field of study, or to provide students initial preparation in an advanced professional field that requires foundational knowledge and experience in a related discipline or field of study.
Graduate courses are characterized by a high level of complexity and generalization in the study of a particular subject. They are structured in a manner that allows for a variety of approaches to the subject matter, a wide range of source material, considerable student interaction, and a significant emphasis on independent study and/or research in the library, laboratory, studio, or community. They are designed to extend the knowledge and intellectual maturity of students beyond the baccalaureate level. They are intended for students who are capable of analyzing, exploring, questioning, evaluating, and synthesizing knowledge. Evaluation of student performance in graduate courses entails a variety of means and is commensurate with the level of complexity of these courses.
Graduate courses are numbered 600 and 700. Courses at the 500 level also may be taken for graduate credit. Typically, graduate courses are restricted to students who have successfully completed a bachelor's degree. They also may have one or more of the following characteristics:
- They build upon a foundation of prerequisite undergraduate courses in a single or related disciplines.
- They require intellectual maturity of students and stress independent study.
- They emphasize the use of library, studio, laboratory, community, and field-based facilities and resources in ways commensurate with the level of learning.