What you need to know

Departments typically use the term “special subject” for classes or pilots that will be taught only once; for new subjects introduced outside the normal catalog review cycle, most commonly to accommodate new or visiting faculty; for experiments in alternate methods of teaching an established subject, without affecting the availability of the established version; and for classes in which the topics change frequently. Committee approval is not required for special subjects.

Particular catalog numbers are designated for special subjects, indicated by the letter "S" as the first character after the decimal point. Numbers are recycled, so departments need only create as many as necessary to correspond to offerings, by type, in a particular term. Departments are responsible for maintaining an archive of the topics taught under their special subject numbers each term.

Some key points to remember:

  • A specific special subject may only be offered twice. After that, it must either be dropped or added to the curriculum with a permanent subject number.
  • Special subjects do not carry GIR credit and cannot be included as part of a degree program or minor.
  • Special subjects may not be used to create a joint listing with a permanent subject.
  • A special subject may have a meets-with or equivalent relationship with a permanent subject with the express approval by the appropriate faculty committee. 
  • Special subjects are scheduled through our Subject Classroom Planning application.

What you need to do