Types of Graduate Courses

All courses numbered in the 500's or 600's are graduate level. Courses numbered 499 or lower are undergraduate level and cannot be used to fulfill requirements in any graduate program. The Department of Fisheries and Wildlife offers a number of Corvallis, Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC) and Ecampus courses at the graduate level. A full list of courses (FW Course List) and when they are offered is available on the FW Curricula and Course Offerings webpage. Other graduate level courses can be found in the OSU Catalog; only the current term offerings and one future term are accurately scheduled in the catalog.

The Graduate School has several policies about the types of graduate-level courses that can be used on a graduate program of study. Students need to review the following policies below prior to drafting their program of study. Failure to follow these rules will usually result in an extension (possibly unfunded) of the student's program.

Blanket-numbered Courses

Blanket-numbered courses have a middle digit of zero. Doctoral students may use up to 15 blanket credits on their program of study; Master's students can use up to nine blanket credits on their program of study. Thesis credits (503 or 603) cover the thesis research and writing and are exempt from these totals. A student may register for thesis credit each term and should use these credits to meet their contractual registration requirements when their enrollment in didactic coursework does not provide enough credit to do so. Courses that are included in the blanket-numbered course totals include the following:

  • Research (501 or 601) credits can be taken when a student conducts research that is not included in any part of the thesis or dissertation.
  • Reading and Conference (505 or 605) and Projects (506 or 606) are used for special work not conducted under a formal course number.
  • Seminar (507 or 607) is used both for departmental seminars and for special group work not given in a formal course.
  • Workshop (508 or 608) is usually a special, short-term course covering a variety of topics.
  • Practicum (509) is used for courses whose emphasis is the application of academic theory to the work environment.

No more than three credits of blanket-numbered courses in each field of study may be used in the MAIS program; thesis credits or research paper credits are exempt from this limitation.

Slash Courses 4XX/5XX, Repeating

No more than 50% of courses used on a graduate program of study may be the 500-level component of a dual-listed course (otherwise referred to as 'slash' courses). Courses bearing dual-listed numbers (400/500) must provide graduate-level learning outcomes for students enrolled for 500-level credit. In most cases this distinction includes emphasis on developing skills in analysis, synthesis, and/or evaluation for the 500-level credit. Slash courses can be identified by checking the Class Notes area of the OSU Catalog for the following message: Does not meet Graduate School's stand-alone requirement.

Repeating 4XX/5XX Courses

A graduate student who has taken a 4XX course may not include the corresponding 5XX course on his or her graduate program. If a graduate student inadvertently enrolls in a the 4XX section of a course, they should see the FW graduate program coordinator for assistance with correcting their registration as soon as the error is noted.

Stand-alone Courses

All 6XX and any 5XX course that are not dual-listed with a 4XX component are considered stand-alone courses. Stand-alone courses should make up at least 50% of any graduate program. Thesis credits and other blanket courses are typically stand-alone and can be counted towards the 50% requirement.

Ecampus Courses

Ecampus courses follow the same definitions for blanket, stand-alone, slash and thesis credits but are billed on a different fee structure than on-campus courses. When graduate students include ecampus courses in their registration, additional costs associated with these courses will be charged to the Department if the student is supported on a GTA, or to the grant funding the student if they are supported on a GRA. If supported as a GRA, students should check with their Principle Investigator (usually their Major Professor) to see if the grant can support the extra cost of an ecampus course.


Grading

Grade Requirement

A grade-point average of 3.00 (a B average) is required: 1) for all courses taken as a degree-seeking graduate student, and 2) for all courses included on the graduate program of study. Grades below C (2.00) cannot be used on a graduate program of study. Students must hold a grade-point average of 3.00 in order to complete their final oral or written exam. Enforced graduate-level prerequisite courses must be completed with a minimum grade of C.

Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory Grades

Graduate students may elect to take undergraduate courses on the S/U basis except those courses required for the removal of deficiencies. Graduate courses may also be taken on an S/U basis as long as the student does not intend to use them on their graduate program of study. All other provisions of S/U grading apply to graduate students.

A grade of S (satisfactory) shall be equivalent to grades A, A–, B+, B, B–, C+, C, and C–. A grade of U (unsatisfactory) shall be equivalent to grades D+, D, D–, or F.

Grades of S or U shall have no grade-point equivalents; hence such grades shall not be included in the computation of grade-point averages. The credit of courses in which an S grade is obtained shall be counted toward graduation. Credits shall not be awarded for U grades.

Election of S/U grading for a course shall be known only to the student and the academic advisor. Instructors shall enter on grade forms the traditional letter grade (A–F) earned. Automatic conversion to S grades and to U grades will be made in the Registrar’s Office. Grades of I, or W may be assigned wherever appropriate.