Undergraduate and Graduate Dual-Listed Courses

Definition:This policy governs the mechanism for offering undergraduate and graduate courses as dual-listed courses (also known as paired or co-listed courses).
Authority:The president of the university.
Scope:Allows individual degree programs to offer upper-division (300 or 400-level) undergraduate majors courses (except upper division general education courses) with graduate (500- or 600-level) courses having similar course content in a dual-listed arrangement with a single instructor and a common meeting schedule.
Responsible Division:Academic Affairs
Approval Date:05/02/2011
Implementation Date:05/02/2011
Originally Implemented:05/02/2011
Signature Page/PDF:View Signatures for Undergraduate and Graduate Dual-Listed Courses Policy


California State University San Marcos allows individual degree programs to offer upper-division (300 or 400-level) undergraduate majors courses (no upper division general education courses) with graduate (500- or 600-level) courses having similar course content in a dual-listed arrangement with a single instructor and a common meeting schedule.  The dual-listing of upper-division undergraduate majors courses with appropriate graduate-level courses is a means of facilitating course offerings in circumstances where limited resources would prohibit the offering of courses in the same subject area in undergraduate and graduate programs concurrently.  Moreover, opening one course to both advanced undergraduates and graduate students would enrich the quality of the course and programs for both undergraduate and graduate students.  Dual-listing of courses is necessary in order to provide sufficient offerings within some graduate program areas.  This policy addresses the need to ensure the quality and rigor of dual-listed courses.


In order to ensure the integrity of the degree programs and the individual courses that may be used to meet graduation requirements, approval to offer courses in a dual-listed arrangement is subject to the following conditions.

A.  The upper-division undergraduate majors courses and graduate courses that are dual-listed must cover similar course content. The titles and descriptions of the two courses must reflect the similarity of the subject matter.  The course must meet in the same classroom at the same time and have the same instructor.

B.  Dual-listed course pairings normally consist of one 400 level and one 500 level course.  Exceptions to 400 and 500 level pairing should be rare and occur only under extreme circumstances. A strong rationale must accompany proposals, and only the following pairing exceptions will be considered:

1. 400 and 600 level

2. 300 and 500 level

C.  Submissions of combinations other than those described above shall not be considered.

D. Dual-listed offerings must be arranged through the use of regular courses which are published in the university Catalog or supplement, and the course descriptions must indicate that the courses can be dual-listed. The descriptions must specify that if one of the dual-listed courses is completed for credit, the other one may not be taken for credit at a subsequent time, unless approved by petition to the graduate program coordinator.

E. Courses to be dual-listed must be offered within the same department or equivalent academic unit. Dual-listed courses may not be cross-listed at the same time.

F. Thesis, creative work, internship, special project, topic, directed reading, research and independent study classes may not be used as part of a dual-listed arrangement.

G. Only courses enrolling junior, senior, and graduate level students may be dual-listed. If an undergraduate student completes a dual-listed course as an undergraduate and needs the dual-listed course for a graduate degree, the graduate coordinator shall specify an alternative.

H. California Code of Regulations Title 5. Education s 40510 states that "Not less than one-half of the units required for the degree shall be in courses organized primarily for graduate students." Dual-listed courses are not considered to be courses organized primarily for graduate students.  Individual graduate programs may elect to establish more restrictive requirements.

I. If the total enrollment of the dual-listed courses meets minimal enrollment expectations for at least one of the courses of the pair, the dual-listed courses shall be considered to have met minimal enrollment.

J. To maintain the quality of instruction, total enrollment in dual-listed courses may not exceed the maximum enrollment permitted for the graduate level component of the pair.  Higher enrollment may be approved by the department chair or equivalent.

K. The Class Schedule should make clear, by means of class notes that dual-listed courses meet at the same time and location, and with the same instructor, but that the two courses have different requirements reflecting the different course levels.

L. Course proposals must be submitted and approved separately for each of the courses in the proposed pairs through the campus curricular review process. The course proposals must address the following:

1. Both course proposal forms must specify that the courses may be dual-listed and that credit may not be earned in the other course of the pair at a later time (except by approval of the graduate program coordinator);

2. Justification for the dual-listing must be attached to each of the proposals;

3. While course descriptions and course syllabi for dual-listed courses should be similar, specification of the requirements for the graduate course must clearly delineate greater expectations for and the additional requirements of graduate students, appropriate to the field of study.  At the time of the review of the dual-listing, syllabi for both courses complete with course descriptions, course readings and activities, and Student Learning Outcomes (SLO) will be submitted to all curriculum committees as support for the dual-listing. Examples of greater expectations may include that graduate students show development of independent critical judgment and evaluation of course material, and that graduate students present the evidence of their original critical analysis. Examples of additional assignments might include significant research papers, oral presentations of research on course assignments, and/or the demonstration of more sophisticated laboratory or studio skills than those required of students in the undergraduate course.

4.  Proposals for dual-listing of courses can be submitted at the same time as the proposals for review of the courses as new courses.  Approval of the courses is not contingent upon approval of the dual-listing; however, dual-listing is contingent upon the approval of the courses.  Proposals for dual-listing of courses can be submitted for already-existing courses if accompanied by a complete syllabus for both courses.


All proposals for the dual-listing of courses, as well as any exceptions to the provisions of this policy, shall be reviewed through the campus curricular review process. As with all courses, the curricular review process will ensure that the above-stated conditions are satisfied and that the use of dual-listed courses preserves or enhances the quality of both graduate and undergraduate programs of the University.

In light of the special status of dual-listed courses, it is expected that the review of these courses will be especially thorough.