Curriculum Services

Guidelines for Special Topics Courses

General Information

All subject matter areas have established a standard set of special topics courses: 198, 298, 398, 498, 598, 698.

Special topics courses can be offered for one semester only (see EM 21-027, Course Numbering Policy). They cover topics of temporal or special interest which will not be made a regular on-going part of the curriculum. Experimental courses may also be offered as special topic courses and subsequently proposed as a regular course (see Additions, Deletions, and Changes to Regular Course Offerings).

Special topics courses cannot be required in a degree, minor, or certificate program because of their temporary nature, but may be included in a list of electives for any program.

Special topics courses are initiated through standard department and college course proposal and curriculum procedures. The dean's signature on the memo of intent (PDF) indicates that the course has gone through curriculum review and is approved. Once approved at the college level, the college announces the course to the campus community using the memo of intent. See Intent Procedure to Add, Delete or Change coursesCourses not advertised before the course is offered will not be approved; any sections already scheduled will have to be cancelled. 

It is the responsibility of the college dean to respond to any reservations or suggestions received or to refer the matter to Academic Affairs for resolution. A copy of all responses, reservations, or suggestions, with an indication of how the reservation was accommodated or resolved, should be attached to the Memo of Intent before submitting paperwork to Curriculum Services 

After the two-week period for response, forward a hard copy of the memo of intent to Curriculum Services (zip 128). Attach any responses the college received and indicate how concerns were resolved. Include a copy of the course outline or syllabus. A CPCR is not required. Unless you receive a specific objection from Curriculum Services after the two-week response deadline, schedule the course for the appropriate term. Please insert a specific course title when scheduling the course. It must be inserted in the correct field (not the "notes" area) or student transcripts will not show the course title. Contact APSS for help with adding the title or if you have problems scheduling the course.

Memo of Intent

Note:Contact Curriculum Services if there are questions about the content or format of the memo.

  • Formatted Memo of Intent (PDF)  
  • Response due - Allow two weeks while classes are in session (i.e., fall semester, spring semester) for advertising.
  • Distribute/advertise by e-mail using the Intent Distribution List.
  • Subject area of e-mail - Include course number and full title after "Intent to Offer Special Topics Course . . ." 
  • Attach syllabus to e-mail.

This document is the property of Academic Affairs and maintained by Curriculum Services


Summer/Fall 2023:

For Priority Registration

March 27, 2023

Final Deadline

April 28, 2023

Intersession/Spring 2024

For Priority Registration

September 25, 2023

Final Deadline

November 28, 2023

Summer/Fall 2024:

For Priority Registration

March 25, 2024

Final Deadline

April 26, 2024