Guidelines for Designing and Evaluation Graduate Courses at IUPUI
When considering new courses, emphasis is placed on the items called for in the proposal form: course description, justification, relation to existing courses, overlap with other courses, course outline, and reading list. Matters such as the nature, depth, and scope of the materials treated in each proposal are carefully studied. Although no one would argue that a given student suddenly acquires superior wisdom in the transition from senior undergraduate to first-year graduate, it is true—in general—that only the more highly qualified students are admitted to graduate programs. Graduate-level courses should be more demanding, sophisticated, and rigorous than undergraduates ones. A proper graduate course will emphasize theoretical, conceptual, methodological (as contrasted with technical), or systematic treatments of material, rather than factual date per se. It should deal directly with the research content of the field and with the discipline’s research methodologies.
In proposing a new course, please consider the following questions in a memo accompanying the Course Request form:
- What is the rationale for this course? What factors led to its development? What changes occurred in the market demand or in the knowledge base of the field?
- What role does this course play in the overall curriculum of the program? Given the fact that no one unit can cover all aspects of a particular discipline, which one has the unit chosen to address? How does the proposed course meet those objectives?
- What makes this a graduate course? What is the level of knowledge required for admission? This is sometimes a more difficult question to answer for
and some of the social sciences than for the natural sciences, since knowledge of given topics in the former fields is harder to define. It is obvious that
logical and progressive steps in the study of mathematics or chemistry, for example, but it is more difficult to specify what those steps should be in, say, the
literature or history. Each discipline should, however, be able to describe and defend the characteristics of graduate study for its area. The proposal should
specifically how the proposed course would meet these criteria. Two components of the course proposal are helpful in determining the level of instruction
proposed for a
- prerequisites in terms of specific courses, of number of cumulated hours in the field, or of class standing, and
- the course syllabus, including a complete list of readings and other assignments.