FAQ - Graduate Sections of "Mixed" Credit 3000 or 4000-level Courses

Undergraduate Courses that are approved for Graduate Credit


FAQs for Everyone


FAQs for Everyone


Student FAQs


Faculty FAQs


Department Head FAQs


FAQs for Everyone

What are "mixed" undergraduate/graduate credit courses?

Many courses at OSU have been approved to be offered for both undergraduate and graduate credit.  A student must perform extra work as specified in the course syllabus to earn graduate credit for such a class. The instructor for any course for which graduate credit is received must be a member of the OSU Graduate Faculty.

Both students seeking undergraduate credit and those seeking graduate credit in such courses typically meet in the same classroom at the same time with the same instructor. In the absence of distinct sections to identify students enrolled for graduate credit, it is nearly impossible to determine after the fact whether or not a student did indeed perform the extra work necessary to earn graduate credit (e.g., in determining whether such courses can be used on a graduate plan of study).

Effective Fall 2010, OSU requires that “mixed” courses that are available for both undergraduate and graduate credit identify which type of credit is being offered through the use of different sections for each type of credit.

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Student FAQs

I'm an undergraduate student and I only want undergraduate credit for a course. What section do I take?

Undergraduates should enroll in any section that is not restricted to graduate level students only. Although the class may meet with a graduate credit section, you will not be required to do the extra work that is required of students who register in the section reserved for graduate students.

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I'm an undergraduate senior and I want graduate credit for a course. What section do I take?

Undergraduate seniors can request to take the course for graduate credit by filling out the "Application for Graduate Credit for Graduating Seniors" form at http://gradcollege.okstate.edu/sites/default/files/App_for_Graduate_Credit.pdf. Once approved by the Graduate College, take the signed form to the Registrar’s office to enroll in the graduate credit section of the course. This must be completed before the end of the restrictive drop/add period (the first two weeks of a 16-week semester or proportionate times for courses that are offered on a different schedule). You will be required to do the extra work that is required of students who earn graduate credit. If a graduate student section does not exist, please contact the department offering the course to inquire if they would offer a graduate section.

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I'm a graduate student and I want graduate credit for a course. What section do I take?

Graduate students should enroll in a graduate credit section of the course restricted for graduate students. If a graduate level section does not exist, please contact the department offering the course to inquire if they would offer a graduate  section. You will, of course, be required to do the extra work that is required of students who earn graduate credit.

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I'm a graduate student, but I don't need a course for my degree, and so I only want undergraduate credit for the course. What section do I take?

Graduate students seeking undergraduate credit can request to enroll in an undergraduate credit section by completing a Graduate Students Seeking Undergraduate Credit for 3000/4000 Courses form available on the Registrar's website. After obtaining signatures from the instructor and your adviser, take the completed form to the Registrar's Office to enroll in a section reserved for undergraduate students. This must be completed before the end of the restrictive drop/add period (the first two weeks of a 16-week semester or proportionate times for courses that are offered on a different schedule). While you will not be required to do the extra work that is required of students who earn graduate credit, please note that you will not be able to use this course on a graduate plan of study.

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I'm a graduate student and I took a "mixed" course for undergraduate credit some time ago. I want to use this course toward my master's degree. How do I "upgrade" to graduate credit?

You can’t. The only way to earn graduate credit for a “mixed” course is to enroll in a graduate section within the applicable drop/add deadline for the semester in question.

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I'm a student taking a "mixed" course for graduate credit. It's mid-semester and, based on the other demands on my time; it looks like I won't be able to do the extra work required for graduate credit. Can I revert to the undergraduate credit option?

No. After the drop/add deadline for the course in question, you may not change course sections, including a change from graduate credit to undergraduate credit (or vice versa).

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I'm a student taking a "mixed" course for undergraduate credit. It's mid-semester and I've decided that I want to try and do the extra work required for graduate credit. Can I "upgrade" to the graduate credit option?

No. After the drop/add deadline for the course in question, you may not change course sections, including a change from graduate credit to undergraduate credit (or vice versa).

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Faculty FAQs

Why is it important to have only graduate faculty teaching courses for graduate credit?

OSU’s accreditation relies, in part, on having courses for graduate credit taught only by individuals that are approved to teach courses for graduate credit (i.e., Members and appropriately-credentialed Affiliates of the OSU Graduate Faculty). This requirement is also specified in the Bylaws of the Graduate Faculty. Having separate sections will make adherence to this requirement more transparent to students, faculty, and outside agencies.

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I'm a graduate advisor. My student enrolled in the undergraduate-credit section of a "mixed" course. Can s/he use this course on a Plan of Study for a graduate degree?

No. Only courses offered for graduate credit may be used toward a graduate degree.

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I'm a graduate faculty member and the instructor of a "mixed" course. Why is it important for me to know which students are enrolled in which section?

The enrollment in the two sections clarifies which students are assigned the extra work required to obtain graduate credit.

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I'm a graduate faculty member and the instructor of a "mixed" course. Should I indicate in my syllabus the different responsibilities and expectations of student seeking undergraduate and graduate credit?

Absolutely. It is important for students to understand the responsibilities and expectations associated with each level of credit in “mixed” courses.

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I'm the instructor of a "mixed" course. How many class rolls will I get?

Two. One for the students in the “undergraduate” section and one for students in the “graduate” section. It is important that you make it clear, as soon as possible in the term in which section, with its associated requirements, each student is enrolled. Any discrepancies should be addressed by students dropping the inappropriate section and adding the appropriate one before the end of the restrictive drop/add period (the first two weeks of a 16-week semester or proportionate times for courses that are offered on a different schedule).

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What precautions are in place to prevent students from enrolling in the "wrong" section of a "mixed" course?

To reduce enrollment errors, enrollment by students in the “wrong” section of a “mixed” course will be restricted unless proper permission is given. A student with an open undergraduate matriculation will be allowed to enroll in undergraduate credit sections; and students with an open graduate matriculation will be allowed to enroll in graduate sections. However, if an undergraduate student wishes to receive graduate credit (by Academic Regulation 4.7), he or she will be allowed to enroll in the graduate section provided he or she submits the proper paperwork to the Registrar's office within the appropriate deadlines (see http://gradcollege.okstate.edu/sites/default/files/App_for_Graduate_Credit.pdf) In rare cases, a graduate student will be able to request undergraduate credit and enroll in the undergraduate section, using a "Graduate Students Seeking Undergraduate Credit for 3000/4000 Courses" form obtained from the Registrar's website, with the understanding that graduate credit cannot be given for that course later.

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Department Head FAQs

Does our department have to submit a great deal of paperwork, such as course action forms, to establish these new sections?

No, the creation of sections does not require the same approval process as a new course. Provided that the course is approved for both graduate and undergraduate level credit, creation of these separate sections can be handled at the departmental level through the class scheduling procedure.

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OK, so what does need to be done to establish the new graduate sections?

The person responsible for establishing the department’s course schedule (usually the department head) should request a new graduate section for each 3000-level and 4000-level course for which the department intends to offer graduate credit. This should be requested via the standard method for requesting a new class section during the class schedule drafting process. The two sections will meet at the same time and at the same location.

The department must verify that graduate credit is approved for the undergraduate course prior to requesting a  graduate section. Departments may determine which courses have been approved for graduate credit by reviewing the course catalog. 

As with other multi-section lectures, the department is responsible for ensuring that the total enrollment for both sections remains at or below the fire code capacity for the classroom. When making the decision whether to cancel a section because of low enrollment, the department will need to take into consideration the combined enrollment of the graduate section and the corresponding undergraduate section.

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How do I know whether I need to assign a graduate faculty member for a "mixed" course?

In making instructor assignments, the enrollment in the various sections determines whether or not a graduate faculty member is required to teach the section. If the graduate section has any students enrolled in it, that section must be taught by a graduate faculty Member or appropriately-credentialed Affiliate; if no graduate faculty Member or Affiliate is available, then the graduate section may not be offered. If a course has been assigned to a graduate faculty Member or Affiliate and the graduate section proves to be empty, the department head may close the graduate section and assign the remaining undergraduate section to an individual who is not a member of the graduate faculty.

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Neither of the two sections has enough students in it to justify offering the section, but combined they do. Can I offer the course?

The two sections are strongly “coupled.” They meet at the same time and the same place, usually with the same instructor. You should consider the combined enrollment in deciding whether or not the class “makes.” For the same reason, the combined enrollment in the two sections must be no greater than the capacity of the classroom in which the course is offered, and this must be considered in assigning the number of slots for each section.

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My department has companion courses available for undergraduate and graduate credit listed as 4000-level/5000-level. Will we be required to change these course listings?

No, if the existing scheme for these courses is working well, no change is required.

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