Graduate Course Listing Policy

Graduate Course Listing Policy


Office of Academic Affairs, School for Graduate Studies


School for Graduate Studies


Graduate Studies



Effective Date:


Implementation History:

June 27, 2017


Graduate course listing, course catalog

Background Information:

Empire State University provides a catalog of courses available to students, which may be made available in more than one mode of study and in more than one location on a term-by-term basis.  Empire State University is committed to the principles that: 

  • effective learning derives from purposes and needs important to the individual 
  • learning occurs in varied ways and places 
  • styles of learning may differ significantly from person to person and from one setting to another. 

The faculty of Empire State University have significant responsibility for the development and implementation of the university's academic program.  The exercise of this responsibility is a collaborative endeavor.  Proposals for new courses should emanate from thoughtful consideration of student interest, curricular fit, programmatic requirements, faculty expertise, strategic planning, and the university's mission and core values.  

In order to address the evolving curricular demands of our students, the university's unique mission, and the larger demands of the State University of New York, it is important that the university have a clear policy regarding additions to, revisions of, and deletions from the university's official course catalog, or portions thereof.


This policy exists to clearly establish the principles and procedures that govern the listing and delisting of a course/study in the University Catalog.


The following definition(s) provide a precise understanding of terms that are key components of a course/study listing in the Catalog. Terms not herein defined are assumed to retain their conventional meanings. 

Responsible Academic Unit: the relevant unit, or other enduring faculty group designated for a particular program or field of study, that assumes responsibility for shepherding the course through the proposal process; maintaining the currency of the course’s catalog description; coordinating the development of online versions of the course; and initiating the delisting of a course from the catalog.


Each catalog course listing, existing and proposed (including revisions), includes the following information: 

  • Course title 
  • Course level/Course number
    • The proposal will designate the level in accordance with the course numbering taxonomy; the office of the registrar assigns numbers that are published in the catalog.
    • Offerings with the same title, but different levels, need to be submitted as separate and distinct courses.
  • Number of credits 
    • Each course listing carries only one credit value as opposed to a range of credits; courses with more than one credit value have separate, distinctive listings for each.
  • Course description
  • 3-4 Learning high level outcomes 
  • Prerequisites and or co-requisites (if applicable) 
  • The proposed academic unit which assumes primary responsibility for the course.     

The Office of the Registrar may request additional information to facilitate searching, sorting and filtering of course offerings and generally support ease of use.  

Each course listed in the university catalog must be associated with a responsible academic unit.  The responsible academic unit will recommend to the Office of the Registrar the primary subject code or prefix assigned to the course in the university catalog.   

Designation of a responsible academic unit is only for the purposes of maintaining an accurate catalog.  This designation shall not be used in any way to determine or prioritize teaching assignments nor to establish any claims regarding academic expertise or unit “ownership” of a course.   

A course listing is incomplete if at least one of the above components is missing.  Incomplete course listings are ineligible for entry into the Catalog. 

Catalog course listing information shall be re-stated verbatim in learning contracts designed for respective courses. 

Repetition of Individualized Studies 

Individualized studies that are offered three (3) or more times effectively become de facto courses and, therefore, must be submitted as new course proposals prior to being offered again.   

Repetition of Special Topics Courses 

On a term-by-term basis, faculty may request that a special topics course that is not listed in the catalog be included in the forthcoming term guide.  These may be nonrecurring or experimental offerings.   Special topics courses that are offered three (3) or more times effectively become de facto courses and, therefore, must be submitted as new course proposals prior to being offered again.   

Proposing New Courses for Listing in the University Catalog or Revisions to Courses in the Catalog 

Each recognized academic unit at the university shall, according to its own established procedures, provide for a review of proposed courses or substantive course revisions.  Proposals for new or revised courses shall include the following: 

  1. A public announcement of a proposed course or course revision, including preliminary description and learning outcomes, in an appropriate graduate venue.  
  2. An opportunity for substantive review by academic unit faculty. 
  3. Direct notification to the Office of the Registrar, the relevant dean, all associate deans (and designees) of the academic unit in which the course will be listed or sponsored.                                            
  4. A mechanism for indicating formal approval of the course proposal by the faculty of the responsible academic unit. 

Approval from the responsible academic unit will constitute a final decision and will be recorded in the minutes of that unit.   

Upon approval, the course information and notification of responsible academic unit approval will be transmitted to the relevant academic administrator and to the Office of the Registrar so that the course can be assigned a number and entered into the university’s records.  

Individual academic units may establish additional review criteria as appropriate to their academic disciplines.   

Course proposals submitted as part of a proposal for a new or revised academic program are subject to the policy governing new program proposals.  New courses included in such proposals are considered approved when the program proposal is approved by the relevant faculty body for the program proposal.  The proper course information must be provided before the course can be listed.   

Prerequisites and Co-Requisites 

Many SUNY Empire students are adults with expertise in the fields they have come to study and their needs do not always conform to the scaffolding of course work.  However, some courses presume that a student possesses a body of prior knowledge or certain level of academic literacy or numeracy.  Prerequisites and/or co-requisites are therefore used judiciously. ? 

When prerequisites and/or co-requisites are used at Empire State University, their purposes are: 

  • to support the development of viable educational pathways for individual students  
  • to identify and help students understand the background knowledge and/or skill needed to succeed in a course 
  • to meet the requirements of professional licensing or similar regulatory bodies   

Where specific background knowledge is needed for student success in a course, students demonstrate that knowledge in one of two ways: 

  • Through successful completion of courses that have been designated as prerequisites or concurrent enrollment in courses that are designate as co-requisites. 
  • Through commensurate prior learning regardless of where it was acquired or whether it was formally documented. 

Delisting of Courses 

Courses may be delisted from the catalog when they become outdated, obsolete, or fail to generate student enrollment.  Courses listed in the catalog that have not generated student enrollments for two consecutive academic years should be considered for delisting.  The Office of the Registrar is responsible for identifying such courses and for notifying the Dean, Associate Dean and designees of the appropriate academic unit.                         

The academic unit responsible for the course should formally initiate and review proposals for delisting courses.  If the academic unit determines that the course should be delisted, a course delisting form, including a summary of the reasons for retiring the course, must be generated.  

The course delisting form is sent to the dean, associate dean and/or designee for the academic unit. The dean, associate dean and/or designee will forward the course delisting form to the Office of the Registrar.

Applicable Legislation and Regulations

Official Compilation of Codes, Rules and Regulations of the State of New York; Title 8. Education Department; Chapter II. Regulations of the Commissioner; Subchapter A. Higher and Professional Education; Part 50. General and Part 52.1 Registration of postsecondary curricula. &originationContext=documenttoc&transitionType=CategoryPageItem&contextData=%28sc.Default%29 &bhcp=1

Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices

Learning Contract Policy (under revision)

Breadth of Degree Programs and SUNY General Education Requirement Policy (under revision)

New Academic Program Development Policy (under development) 

Individualized Study (under development)