Texas Tech University


[Moderate revision–posted 1/2/24 (replaces 9/30/19 edition)]
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Operating Policy and Procedure

OP 34.11: Combined Undergraduate/Graduate Courses

DATE: January 2, 2024

PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to set forth the basic criteria involved in combining undergraduate and graduate courses.

REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in August of odd-numbered years by the Vice Provost for Academic Innovation and Student Success and the Dean of the Graduate School with substantive revisions presented to the Provost and Senior Vice President (PSVP) by September 15.


1.  Offering graduate courses or sections taught simultaneously (same faculty, same station) with undergraduate sections may be allowed where there are clearly established criteria and where the practice is closely monitored to ensure quality instruction at both levels.

There are two kinds of circumstances for which combined courses are appropriate:

a.    If there are similar courses at both levels, but student interest or demand is such that either ten undergraduate or five graduate students are unlikely to enroll in separate courses; and

b.    If there are courses at both levels whose content is such that it is most feasible to teach both levels of students in a single setting, even when there would be sufficient numbers for the classes to meet minimum enrollment at both levels.

2.  Accordingly, such combined courses may be scheduled subject to the following criteria:

a.    The basic content of the courses is the same;

b.    The offering department deems it academically sound to combine undergraduate and graduate students in the course;

c.    The combined undergraduate-graduate enrollment of the section totals at least ten students or contains at least five graduate students. The rule that prohibits the offering of small sections while another section of the same course is offered continues to apply;

d.    Graduate course requirements must demonstrate advanced content and higher rigor as compared to the undergraduate course requirements with significant differences in expectations between the two courses, and the instructor of record must have graduate faculty status or have been granted a teaching waiver by the Graduate School prior to registration of graduate students in the course; and

e.    Grading criteria for each level are clearly established and made known to students at the beginning of the course, with the differences between the undergraduate and graduate versions being clearly visible in the syllabi.

3.  This policy includes only upper-division undergraduate courses. First-year and sophomore-level courses may not be used in the proposed combinations.

4.  It is anticipated that this mechanism will be used in a small number of classes in which such combination will lead to more effective use of student and faculty time. The use of such courses will be subject to review by the academic dean, the Graduate Dean, and the PSVP. Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and other accreditation standards apply and are considered as part of the approval process.

Operating Policies & Procedures