A “special topics” course is defined as any course offered for credit in which the subject matter or content may vary within specific sections across terms as indicated by that course’s title and description in course inventory. Most special topics courses can be repeated by students for additional credit provided that the course sections attempted cover varying material. Section titles may differ from the course catalog title only in cases which involve special topics courses in order to reflect the content being offered in those sections.

Special topics courses should be used on a temporary basis to address specific issues within a field of study that do not currently align with existing approved courses, or to evaluate demand for a new course or area of study. By their nature, these courses should not be included as required courses for any degree program, but can be used as program electives where appropriate. Special topics courses should not be used to repeatedly offer the same content within sections over multiple terms as a means to avoid proposing a dedicated course through the approval process. Departments are strongly encouraged to submit new course proposals for such topics which will be taught on a recurring basis.