Special Topics and Cross-Listing

Special Topics Courses

Executive Order 1037 has eliminated repeatability from courses unless the students grade is C- or below (undergraduate). Some departments have a need for some types of courses to be repeatable as content or focus changes or to increase students skills (typically music, art, and other performance based courses).

To address the need for repeating some courses, departments should set up courses to be topic based. Topics-based courses usually have titles such as “Special Topics in…” or “Topics in…” When a department proposes topic-based courses they submit a series of topics to be used in scheduling; the scheduled topic then appears on the student’s transcript. Topics are only approved if there is a specific syllabus submitted for each topic via a minor curriculum change request. Approved topics are then entered into CMS and available for scheduling. Refer to our step by step guide on how-to schedule topics.


Cross-listings are rarely approved, and must have a justification as to why the course must be cross-listed. The justification must include a compelling reason, such as accreditation or professional requirements, or if the course is truly team taught.

A cross-listed course was originally conceived to be one wherein separate sections would be taught by instructors in different departments. Instead of cross-listing a course, it is possible for one section simply to be listed in two or more departments.

Course Notes

  • Cross-listed courses must have the same course number as the home department.
  • The home department controls dependent listings, i.e., a home department may at its discretion discontinue the cross-listing without concurrence of the dependent department(s).
  • Dependent department should be consulted before a proposal to modify an existing course form is filed to discontinue the cross-listing.
  • A dependent department's listing of the course in the University Academic Catalog is identical to that of the home department's except for the prefix and reference to the home department in the course description.

Scheduling Notes

  • The course appears in the Schedule of courses under the prefix of each cross-listed department and on the student's transcript with the prefix of the department under which the student registered.
  • The course number, title, section number, units, type, days, hours, building, room, and instructor are identical under all listings.
  • A Request for FTES Distribution of Cross-Listed Courses form must be completed to distribute the enrollment of cross-listed courses. The information is sent from Academic Scheduling to the College Analysts at the beginning of each semester.
  • Departments should contact their College Analysts for submission deadlines. Refer to the Academic Scheduling page for information on how to schedule a cross-listed course.