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Selected Topics Courses ("470s")

Selected topics courses are academic credit-bearing courses in the Cal Poly catalog that provide a generic course vehicle to offer special topics on an "as needed basis."

The most common occasional courses, 270, 470, 471, 570, 571, are available to all academic programs, and have the same generic course description.

The specific title appears in the Class Schedule and on the students' transcripts.

Selected topics courses must be taught following the generic catalog description, that is, all 470 courses must be taught in the lecture mode with regular grading. If a lecture/lab mode is desired, both 470 and 471 courses must be proposed.

270 Selected Topics Course

Directed group study of selected topics for lower division students. The Schedule of Classes will list title selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 lectures. Prerequisite: Open to undergraduate students and consent of instructor.

470, 570 Selected Topics Course

Directed group study of occasional topics as needed for advanced students. Specific titles taught for 1 or 2 quarters only. Open to undergraduate and graduate students. Class Schedule will list specific title selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 lectures. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

471, 571 Selected Advanced Laboratory

Directed group laboratory study of occasional topics for advanced students. Specific titles taught for 1 or 2 quarters only. Open to undergraduate and graduate students. Class Schedule will list specific title selected. Total credit limited to 8 units. 1 to 4 laboratories. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

Titles offered under 270, 470, 471, 570, 571 numbers are for teaching topics which:

  • are to be offered for one or two terms (selected topics to be offered more than two terms should be proposed as regular courses for the Catalog),
  • are worthy of academic credit, and
  • are designed for group study and so would not be appropriate for individual study.

Generally, courses offered under 470 and 471 numbers are not used as a substitution for courses specifically identified in a student's curriculum. In order to substitute a course numbered 470 and 471 for a course specifically identified in a student's curriculum, a "Blanket Curriculum Substitution" form must be completed.

Courses offered under 270, 470, 471, 570, 571 numbers are not intended for General Education.

A department proposing a selected topics course must make sure that:

  • such a course is clearly within the subject area of its own department, or
  • the written opinion of departments which may have a major interest in the subject area has been obtained, or
  • substantive reason(s) for pursuing the course over objections can be offered.

Proposal and Review Process

  • Complete a Selected Topics Course Proposal form (Word doc).
  • Forward the proposal to the department head/chair, who then forwards the proposal to the college dean. The college may require review by the college curriculum committee chair.
  • College dean forwards the proposal to the Office of the Registrar for the on-line catalog and class scheduling.

Due Date

  • Topics approved at least one month prior to the start of registration for a term can become valid that term.

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