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Curricular Definitions

Degree Definitions

Undergraduate Programs

Associate Degree

Associate of Arts Degree

An Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree is typically a two-year transfer degree that indicates the completion of a student’s lower division general education requirements and forms the foundation for baccalaureate (e.g., bachelor’s) degree programs (South Dakota Regental System minimum of 60 semester credits; exceptions to this number require Board of Regents approval per Board Policy 2:29). Up to 16 credit hours at the 300 and 400 level may be required. More than 16 credit hours at the 300 and 400 level may be required if specified by an accrediting agency.

Associate of Science Degree

An Associate of Science (A.S.) degree is a terminal degree (South Dakota Regental System minimum of 60 semester credits; exceptions to this number require Board of Regents approval per Board Policy 2.29). However, it is transferable when a specific degree articulation agreement exists between a given A.S. degree and a specific baccalaureate degree (see Board Policy 2:25:4B). Up to 16 credit hours at the 300 and 400 level may be required. More than 16 credit hours at the 300 and 400 level may be required if specified by an accrediting agency.

Associate of Applied Science Degree

An Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree is a non-transferable degree. Coursework for such degrees may be transferable to an institution only when a specific articulation agreement exists and when a student has completed and graduated with the A.A.S degree. (SDBOR Policy 2:25:4A.)

Associate Degree Programs SDState is authorized to offer:

  • Associate of Arts (A.A.)
  • Associate of Science (A.S.)

Bachelor's Degree

The bachelor’s degree is awarded to a student by a university for satisfactory completion of a prescribed course of study ranging from 120-138 credits.  It is verified by a diploma and transcript signifying a measure of achievement. The bachelor’s degree enables a student to acquire a certain amount of general learning and to also become proficient in a particular field of study or a profession. The curricular structure of a bachelor’s degree program includes a system general education core curriculum, institutional graduation requirements, support courses, major courses, and electives. More detail on the System General Education curriculum can be found in the current University Catalog.

Bachelor’s degrees SDState is authorized to offer:

  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)
  • Bachelor of General Studies (B.G.S.)
  • Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (B.L.A.)
  • Bachelor of Music Education (B.M.E.)
  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S.E.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.)

Graduate Programs

Master's Degree

In broad terms, the master’s degree indicates that the recipient has mastered a program of advanced, specialized study in a particular field. Normally, degree titles indicate one of two major categories. The first category, the Master of Arts (M.A.) and Master of Science (M.S.) degrees, provides an introduction to scholarship activities and research. These degrees often serve the needs of individuals teaching in public schools or community colleges and/or preparation for further graduate study. The second category leads to professional master’s degrees, such as the Master of Education (M.Ed.) or Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.). Although similar to the M.A. and M.S., these programs tend to emphasize professional practice.

Despite differences in titles and objectives, all master's degrees share common characteristics. The degree normally requires one to two years of full-time study (or equivalent) and the completion of a minimum of 30 semester hours of credit, depending on the plan of study. The degree is awarded upon completion of a coherent program which is designed to assure mastery of specified knowledge and skills, rather than a random accumulation of credits beyond the baccalaureate degree. The basic components of the degree may vary in emphasis, but generally include a common core in the discipline; a concentration in a subfield of study; cognate courses outside the department as a means of broadening the curriculum or to provide needed skills; an integrative experience to synthesize the program's content and/or to translate theory into practice such as seminars; practicums or internships, etc.; and a summative experience (both oral and written processes) to measure achievement and intellectual growth such as a thesis, research paper, and/or comprehensive examination.

Master’s Degrees SDState is authorized to offer:

  • Master of Architecture (M.Arch.)
  • Master of Arts (M.A.)
  • Master of Education (M.Ed.)
  • Master of Engineering (M.Eng.)
  • Master of Mass Communication (M.M.C.)
  • Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)
  • Master of Science (M.S.)

Professional Doctoral Degree

The professional doctoral degree requires two or more years of professional study past the baccalaureate degree. This degree prepares an individual for entry into the practice of a recognized profession. Examples of professional doctorates are the M.D., Pharm.D., J.D., DVM, Ed.D., Au.D., and DPT degrees.

Professional Doctoral Degrees SDSU is authorized to offer:

  • Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (D.N.P.)
Doctoral Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program prepare a student to become a scholar; that is, to discover, integrate, and apply knowledge, as well as communicate and disseminate it. A well-prepared doctoral graduate develops the ability to understand and critically evaluate the literature of the field and to apply appropriate principles and procedures to the recognition, evaluation, interpretation, and understanding of issues and problems at the frontiers of knowledge. The doctoral graduate will also have an appropriate awareness of and commitment to the ethical practices appropriate to the field.

The central purpose of scholarship is extension of knowledge.  Students in doctoral programs become scholars by choosing an area in which to specialize and a professor with whom to work. Individualized programs of study must be developed and supervisory committee members selected. When all courses are completed, the research analyzed, the dissertation written, and all examinations passed, the graduate will have acquired the knowledge and skills of a mature scholar.

Doctoral Degrees SDSU is authorized to offer:

  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Certificates

Undergraduate and Graduate Certificates

A certificate program is a sequence, pattern, or group of courses that focus upon an area of specialized knowledge or information with defined outcomes.  In the Regental system certificates typically consist of 9-12 credit hours including prerequisites.  Any exceptions must be justified. Courses may be offered through a collaborative arrangement with another Regental university (or other collaborative arrangements). Completion of a certificate appears on student transcripts.

Academic Discipline of Study

Academic Major

An academic major or primary area of study within a degree program enables students to make an in-depth inquiry into a discipline or a professional field of study. It is organized around a specific set of goals and objectives that are accomplished through an ordered series of courses, whose connections define an internal structure and whose sequence advances levels of knowledge and understanding. A major introduces students to a discipline or field of study and related area through a foundation of theory and method. A major that focuses on a specific discipline draws its courses predominantly from one department. A major that encompasses a professional field of study or is interdisciplinary usually obtains its courses from more than one department.

The number of credit hours required for a major and its organizational structure will vary, depending on whether it aims at disciplinary or professional preparation. Variations are due to the demands of accrediting agencies, certification requirements, professional competence and expectations. Undergraduate majors require both discipline specific and support courses. In the Regental system majors typically consist of 47-89 semester credit hours with the mean at 68.5 hours. Credits required for the major are supported by the general education core and electives and together meet the total degree requirement. Majors are established by Board of Regents action.

Academic Minor

An academic minor within a degree program enables a student to make an inquiry into a secondary discipline or field of study, or to investigate a particular content theme. It too should be organized around a specific set of objectives that are achieved through a series of courses. Minors are intended to provide limited competency in the subject. Course offerings in a minor may be centered in a specific department or drawn from several departments as in the case of a topical or thematic focus. Some specific requirements are included. Regental undergraduate minors typically consist of 18 semester credit hours. Flexibility typically is achieved by offering the student a choice from among a group of courses to complete the credits. Minors are established by Board of Regents action.

Academic Specialization

A specialization is a designated plan of study, within an existing degree program. It provides a student an alternative to the primary format of the major or it may be one of several tracks within a broad major. It is specified in the institutional catalog and is designated on the transcript. Specializations are established by Board of Regents action.  Specializations are not required.

Academic Emphasis

An emphasis is a concentration within a major and is accomplished by individual student choices within a plan of study. For example, within a major on adult health the student may focus on the older adult. An emphasis is not regarded as a separate program. It may be described in the catalog, but not detailed as a specific plan of study. It is not specified on a transcript.  An emphasis is not required.

Students and instructor looking at a computer

General Education Requirements

[SDBOR Policy 2:7, SDBOR Policy 2:11, SDBOR Policy 2:26, SDBOR Academic Affairs Guidelines 8.3, SDBOR Academic Affairs Guidelines 8.4]

The General Education component of all associate and baccalaureate programs shall consist of the System General Education Requirements. Students may only select general education courses from a limited approved list to meet the System General Education Requirements. These requirements are effective for students entering Fall 2017.

System General Education Requirements Course/Credit Distribution

Associate Degrees

System General Education Requirements shall include 24 credits of course work. At least 3 credit hours shall be earned from each of 6 goals (total of 18 credits) set out in the System General Education Goals and Requirements below. Each institution shall identify 6 credit hours of additional course work from the six goals. The distribution of courses/credits will be maintained as guidelines managed by the Academic Affairs Council and approved by the Committee on Academic and Student Affairs.

SDSU has identified the following requirements to total the 24 credits of course work:

  SDBOR Requirement: 18 Credits SDSU Requirement: 6 Credits
Goal #1 3 Credits 3 Credits
Goal #2 3 Credits  
Goal #3 3 Credits 3 Credits *
Goal #4 3 Credits 3 Credits *
Goal #5 3 Credits  
Goal #6 3 Credits 3 Credits *

* Three (3) additional credits selected from approved list of courses for Goals #3, #4, or #6.

Baccalaureate Degrees

System General Education Requirements shall include 30 credits of course work. At least 3 credit hours shall be earned from each of 6 goals (total of 18 credits) set out in the System General Education Goals and Requirements below. Each institution shall identify 12 credit hours of additional course work from the six goals. The distribution of courses/credits will be maintained as guidelines managed by the Academic Affairs Council and approved by the Committee on Academic and Student Affairs. 

SDSU has identified the following requirements to total the 30 credits of course work:

  SDBOR Requirements: 18 Credits SDSU Requirements: 12 Credits
Goal #1 3 Credits 3 Credits
Goal #2 3 Credits  
Goal #3 3 Credits 3 Credits
Goal #4 3 Credits 3 Credits
Goal #5 3 Credits  
Goal #6 3 Credits 3 Credits

Approved Courses to meet System General Education Requirements

[SDBOR Academic Affairs Guidelines 8.3, SDBOR Academic Affairs Guidelines 8.4]

The limited list of courses approved to meet each of the established system goals will be maintained as guidelines managed by the Academic Affairs Council and approved by the Committee on Academic and Student Affairs. Proposed changes to the courses permitted to meet System General Education Requirements are approved by the Board of Regents each year during the December meeting. The list of courses approved to meet each of the established system goals will be closely monitored by the System General Education Committee and Academic Affairs Council to ensure course relevance, program coherence, and breadth of student choice.

System General Education Goals & Requirements

The General Education Committee will specify student learning outcomes for each of the general education goals listed in this section using appropriate faculty input. The specific student learning outcomes will be maintained as guidelines and managed by the Academic Affairs Council in consultation with the System General Education Committee and approved by the Committee on Academic and Student Affairs. The six System General Education Goals are:

Goal #1

Students will write effectively and responsibly and will understand and interpret the written expression of others.

Goal #2

Students will communicate effectively and responsibly through listening and speaking.

Goal #3

Students will understand the organization, potential, and diversity of the human community through study of the social sciences.

Goal #4

Students will understand the diversity and complexity of the human experience through the study of the arts and humanities.

Goal #5

Students will understand and apply fundamental mathematical processes and reasoning.

Goal #6

Students will understand the fundamental principles of the natural sciences and apply scientific methods of inquiry to investigate the natural world.

Assessment of System General Education

As specified in SDBOR Policy 2:11, all universities shall participate in a shared process to assess and evaluate the achievement of the goals and student learning outcomes of the System General Education Requirements. This collaborative assessment and evaluation process will use a random sample of course syllabi, student work, and system-standard rubrics or measures to evaluate performance against standards.

Level & Numbering of Courses

[SDBOR Policy 2:8]

Course Numbering at SDState

Pre-College Courses
001-099

Pre-college, remedial skills, special improvement, non-degree credit (Remedial or non-college level courses do not earn credits toward graduation. Remedial courses offered at SDSU are delivered only as self-support.)

Undergraduate Courses
100-199Freshman level
200-299Sophomore level
300-399Junior level
400-499Senior level (may be dual-listed with 500-level graduate course)
Graduate Courses
500-599Entry level graduate (may be dual listed with a 400-level undergraduate course and may include limited enrollment by undergraduates)
600-699Graduate level (undergraduate enrollment only by permission of Graduate Dean)
700-799Graduate level (graduate students only)
800-899Doctoral and post-doctoral level (doctoral and post-doctoral students only)

Undergraduate students who have completed a minimum of 90 credit hours may request to enroll in 500/600 level. Students will pay graduate tuition and the courses will be recorded on a graduate transcript. A maximum of 12 graduate credits may apply to an undergraduate degree.  SDSU Policy 2:22 Use of Graduate Credit for Undergraduate Degree Requirements designates standards concerning the use of graduate credit to fulfill undergraduate degree requirements as allowed by SDBOR Policy 2:8.

Explanation of Course Levels

Lower Division Courses

Lower division courses are numbered 100 and 200. Typically, they require no, or limited, prerequisite background in the discipline. They also may have one or more of the following characteristics:

  1. introductory courses or part of a series of basic courses in a discipline.
  2. courses that may be counted in majors, minors, electives, the system general education requirements and/or institutional graduation requirements.
  3. used at the basic level in baccalaureate programs.
  4. used in associate degree programs.

Lower division courses increase the knowledge students have of subjects with which they are already familiar, introduce them to new subjects, and/or establish a foundation for them to study a major subject in depth.

Lower division courses usually are tightly structured with the expectation that students are to receive considerable instructional guidance in the learning process. Instruction at the lower division level normally is informational and emphasizes learning skills; it usually entails the use of text materials or resources provided by the instructor or acquired through library or other resources.  The intellectual skills emphasized in lower division courses include comprehension, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and application of knowledge, but these competencies are not stressed to the same degree they are in upper division courses. Evaluation of student performance at this level typically tests information, concepts, and skills, but may include aspects identified below for upper division courses.

Upper Division Courses

Upper division courses are numbered 300 and 400.  Typically, they build on the background of the lower division. They also may have one or more of the following characteristics:

  1. built on a foundation of prerequisite lower division courses in general education, a discipline, or related field of study.
  2. may be included components of an institution’s graduation requirements.
  3. synthesize and integrate knowledge and skills from several specific areas in a discipline or from related disciplines.
  4. used primarily in bachelor’s degree programs.

Upper division courses enable students to study a major field in depth by building upon and integrating the knowledge they have gained in the lower division. However, upper division courses may also be an introduction to sub-fields in a discipline. Upper division courses are characterized by more flexible structure, which allows for a variety of approaches to the subject matter, a wide range of course material, and an emphasis on independent study and/or research in the laboratory, library, studio, or community. Students are expected to accept increasing responsibility for their own learning both inside and outside the classroom. Upper division courses typically emphasize comprehension, analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and application of knowledge. Evaluation of student performance at this level stresses such outcomes as comprehension and understanding of concepts, the ability to solve problems, and to integrate knowledge.

Graduate Courses

Graduate courses are numbered 500, 600, 700, and 800. Typically, graduate courses are restricted to students who have successfully completed a bachelor's degree. Graduate students:

  1. typically build upon a foundation of undergraduate courses in a single or related discipline.
  2. exhibit intellectual maturity and ability to study and work independently.
  3. efficiently use the library, studio, laboratory, community, and/or field-based facilities in ways commensurate with the level of learning.

Graduate courses broaden the perspective and deepen the knowledge within a particular discipline or professional field of study, or provide initial preparation in a professional field that requires foundational knowledge and experience.

Graduate courses are often containing complex ideas and concepts and structured with a variety of learning activities, covering a wide range of source material, require substantial student interaction, and a significant emphasis on independent study and/or research.  Evaluation of student performance in graduate courses entails a variety of means and is commensurate with the level of complexity of these courses.

Cross-listed Courses

Cross-listed courses differ in course prefix and are identical in every other aspect. Cross-listed courses have the same number, title, description, credit hours, prerequisite(s), co-requisite(s), CIP code, etc.

Electrical engineering student working on a project in the lab.

Multi-Numbered & Dual-Listed Courses

In this approach, a given body of content is available in separately approved courses at two different levels. It is assumed that each of those courses is needed, one for each level of curriculum. However, in the context of curriculum and resource management, the institution may make the decision to teach those two courses simultaneously by one faculty member. Different levels of expectations would be stated for the students. Separate course syllabi outlining these different expectations or a segment of the common syllabi that clarifies these differences would be made available and on file. Multiple numbered courses must be properly approved, documented, and monitored for quality and maintenance of standards. Two types of multiple numbered courses are acceptable. Undergraduate studio and ensemble courses may be multiple numbered (100, 200, 300, 400), and senior and entry level graduate courses may be dual numbered (400-500). Multiple numbered courses do not have to be used on a campus, but, should they be used, initiation is accomplished by approval of the appropriate course proposals and would follow these guidelines.

Common Course Guidelines within Regental System

[SDBOR Academic Affairs Guidelines 1.11]

The Regental system’s catalog of courses serves as the foundation of a commitment to provide students the opportunity to use courses offered by any Regental institution to fulfill degree requirements. Faculty members from the separate institutions have agreed that this catalog includes a set of common courses that are considered equivalent, regardless of the institution that offers instruction. This permits students to successfully complete a common course and have it recognized as meeting any requirement that includes that course at any Regental institution. This commitment removes the uncertainty that exists when students attempt to transfer completed coursework between Regental institutions. The Academic Affairs Council (AAC) maintains these common courses using the guidelines outlined in Academic Affairs Guidelines 1.11.

Faculty member and student working in engineering lab.

A common course is a course offered by one Regental institution that has essentially the same content (subjects/breadth) and level of instruction (depth) as a course offered by at least one other Regental university. Common courses shall have common CIP codes, prefixes, course numbers, course titles, course descriptions, and prerequisite requirements; common courses are equated (considered the same course for degree completion) in the Student Information System (SIS). Common courses also include courses cross-listed with a common course and 500-level courses dual-listed with a common course. Courses approved as meeting system general education requirements are not necessarily considered common courses. Common courses are not necessarily offered at all Regental universities.

  • Common courses shall have common CIP codes, prefixes, course numbers, course titles, course descriptions, and prerequisite requirements; common courses are equated (considered the same course for degree completion) in the Student Information System (SIS).
  • Common courses at the 100 and 200 level shall have the same number of credit hours.
  • Common courses at the 300 and 400 level shall have the same number of credit hours with a few exceptions that must be within +/- 1 credit.
  • Common courses shall use the same course number for courses that have both a lecture and a laboratory. An “L” in the course number identifies laboratories (i.e., 101-101L). This applies to both composite courses (students must register for the lecture and the lab concurrently) and courses for which the student may register for the lecture and the laboratory in separate terms. Laboratory courses for which there are no parallel lectures courses do not need the “L” identifier.
  • Common lecture/laboratory courses at the 100/200 level will have the same total number of credit hours. The number of credit hours attached to the lecture and the lab may vary between universities as long as the total number of credit hours is the same. Each university determines faculty workload associated with laboratory courses.
  • Approval of deviations from the common course format occurs on a case-by-case basis.
  • Unique courses shall not have the same course number and/or title as other courses considered either common or unique. A course may be unique due to differences in level of instruction, accreditation standards, or level of the degree program.
  • The prefix need not reflect the name of the department offering the course.
  • Not all universities need to offer a course for the course to be a common course.
  • Common course numbering shall adhere to common course numbering guidelines.
  • Universities are not required to offer all of the courses associated with a common course’s prerequisites.
  • Any changes to a common course must be approved the Executive Director of the Board of Regents.
x9x Common Course Descriptions

The following middle digit 9 course-numbering scheme is used in the South Dakota public university system.  These courses may have multiple sections.  A section’s title may or may not reflect the material covered in that section.  See the academic department for section information, e.g., description, prerequisites such as instructor or department consent, GPA required, junior or senior standing, etc. 

NumberCourse TitleDescription
x90SeminarA highly focused and topical course. The format includes student presentations and discussions of reports based on literature, practices, problems, and research. A seminar may occur over electronic media such as the Internet and are at the upper division or graduate levels. Enrollment is generally limited to fewer than 20 students.
Instructional Method Type: E
x91Independent StudyIncludes Directed Study, Problems, Readings, Directed Readings, Special Problems, and Special Projects. Students complete individualized plans of study including significant one-on-one student/teacher involvement. The faculty member and students negotiate the details of the study plans. Enrollments are usually three or fewer students. Meetings depend upon the requirements of the topic.
Instructional Method Type: I
x92TopicsIncludes Current Topics, Advanced Topics, and Special Topics. A course devoted to a particular issue in a specified field. Course content is not wholly included in the regular curriculum. Guest artists’ experts may serve as instructors. Enrollments are usually 10 or fewer students with significant one-on-one student/teacher involvement.
Instructional Method Type: X
x93WorkshopSpecial, intense sessions in specific topic areas. Approximately 45 hours of work are required for each hour of credit. Workshops may vary in time range but typically use a compressed time-period for delivery. They may include lectures, conferences, committee work, and group activity.
Instructional Method Type: W
x94InternshipApplied, monitored, and supervised, field-based learning experience for which the student may (or may not) receive payment. Students gain practical experience; they follow a negotiated and or directed plan of study. Instructors provide a higher level of supervision than provided by instructors in Field Experience courses.
Instructional Method Type: S
x95PracticumApplied, monitored, and supervised, field-based learning experience for which the student may (or may not) receive payment. Students gain practical experience; they follow a negotiated and or directed plan of study. Instructors provide a higher level of supervision than provided by instructors in Field Experience courses.
Instructional Method Type: S
x96Field ExperienceApplied, monitored, and supervised, field-based learning experience for which the student may (or may not) receive payment. Students gain practical experience; they follow a negotiated and or directed plan of study established between the student, instructor and field experience supervisor. Due to the presence of a field experience supervisor, the instructor provides a lower level of supervision in these courses than is the case with an Internship or Practicum course.
Instructional Method Type: S
x97Cooperative EducationApplied, monitored, and supervised, field-based learning experience for which the student may (or may not) receive payment. Students gain practical experience; they follow a negotiated and or directed plan of study established between the student, instructor and field experience supervisor. Due to the presence of a field experience supervisor, the instructor provides a lower level of supervision in these courses than is the case with an Internship or Practicum course.
Instructional Method Type: S
498Undergraduate Research/Scholarship(Includes Senior Project and Capstone Experience): Independent research problems/projects or scholarship activities. The faculty member and student negotiate the plan of study. Contact between the faculty and student may be extensive and intensive. Does not include theoretical research courses.
Instructional Method Type: J
788Master's Research Problems/ProjectsIndependent research problems/projects that lead to a research or design paper but not to a thesis. The faculty member and candidate negotiate the plan of study. Contact between the faculty member and candidate may be extensive and intensive. Does not include theoretical research courses.
Instructional Method Type: J
789Master's Research Problems/Projects SustainingA zero credit hour instructional method type used to track students who are not currently working with faculty on thesis or doctoral activities. Universities may require students to register under this instructional method type to remain active degree candidates.
Instructional Method Type: U
798/898S/898DThesis/DissertationA formal treatise presenting the results of study submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the applicable degree. The process requires extensive and intensive one-on-one interaction between the candidate and a faculty member with more limited interaction between and among the candidate and other members of the committee.
Instructional Method Type: T
799/899S/899D*Thesis Sustaining / Dissertation SustainingA zero to one credit hour instructional method type used to track students who are not currently working with faculty on thesis or research activities. Universities may require students to register under this instructional method type to remain active degree candidates.
Instructional Method Type: U

*As appropriate, an S or D should be appended to a course number to distinguish between courses for specialist or doctoral degree seekers.

Students working with children.

Credit Hour Definition

[SDBOR Policy 2:32]

The credit hour is a unit by which an institution measures its course work. The credit hour value for a course is determined primarily by the amount of time, the intensity of the educational experience, and the amount of outside preparation required by the student. For example, a lecture course with readings or other out-of-class preparation would result in one credit for each class hour scheduled per week for a semester while a laboratory experience with little out-of-class preparation may equal one credit for three hours scheduled per week of a semester.

The following are generally accepted standards:

  1. At least fifteen (15) contact hours of recitation, lecture, discussion, seminar, or similar experience, as well as a minimum of thirty (30) hours of student homework is required for each credit hour;
  2. Laboratory courses with few outside requirements require a minimum of forty-five (45) contact hours for each credit hour;
  3. Laboratory courses with moderate out-of-class preparation require a minimum of thirty (30) contact hours for each credit hour;
  4. Studio courses must involve at least thirty (30) contact hours and at least fifteen (15) hours of homework for each credit hour;
  5. Internships/practica/field experiences must require a minimum of forty-five (45) clock hours of work for each credit hour;
  6. Music instruction and specialized types of music performance offerings must conform to the requirement for accreditation of the National Association of Schools of Music;
  7. Workshops must involve a minimum of forty-five (45) hours for each credit hour, including a minimum of fifteen (15) contact hours, with the balance of the requirement completed as students fulfill related assignments; and
  8. Credit hours for courses delivered using online (distance), hybrid, and other nontraditional modes are assigned based on competencies or learning outcomes that are acquired through coursework and are equivalent to those of students in a traditional classroom setting. As a general rule, an equivalent of forty-five (45) hours of work by a typical student is required for each credit hour.
Student checking airplane before flying.

Program Fee Guidelines

[SDBOR Policy 5:5:2, SDBOR Policy 5:5:4, SDBOR Academic Affairs Guidelines 3.1]

SDBOR Policy 5:5:4 Tuition & Fees authorizes universities to assess certain fees and retain the revenue for the specified uses. The Board of Regents must approve all such fees at their annual March/April meeting. The Board of Regents modified the approach for establishing program fees at their April 2015 meeting. The modification included a) the elimination of lab fees to provide greater consistency across courses; and b) alignment of program fees across institutions based on common prefix codes. Proposals for program fees are submitted independently of curriculum proposals.

View of students hands working in a lab.

CIP Codes

[SDBOR Academic Affairs Guidelines 2:16]

The Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) Codes are a nationally developed taxonomy of educational programs and their subdivisions. The CIP is a classification of program terms and descriptions reflecting the manner in which institutional instructional program data are organized, collected and reported. The U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) developed the system in 1980 and updated it in 1990 and 2000.

The Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) is intended to establish standard terminology in order to improve communication and standardize record-keeping. Among the intended users of the CIP system, besides the federal government, are state governments, local governments, educational institutions, education research organizations, accrediting agencies, professional associations, and individual researchers. Specifically, the CIP codes are designed to:

  1. Assist in collecting, reporting and interpreting data about instructional programs;
  2. Aid those responsible for designing data collection instruments;
  3. Indirectly assist in educational planning, resource allocation and review via standardized data categories;
  4. Aid those responsible for responding to data requests; and
  5. Serve as a tool to assist those who compile, verify and analyze instructional program data.
Students outside looking at plants in food production lab.

CIP codes are assigned to departments/schools, faculty, programs, majors, minors, specializations, and courses. New program and course request forms require a CIP code when being submitted for SDBOR approval Whenever possible, the institution attempts to match the program, major, minor, and course CIP. The Academic Affairs Office works with the department and college to identify the CIP Code. The description of the major or course as published in the catalog is the basis for the selection and assignment of a CIP code.

Instructional Methods

[SDBOR Policy 5:17:4, SDBOR Academic Affairs Guidelines 5.4, SDBOR Academic Affairs Guidelines 5:7]

The following is a listing of the Instructional Methods table. The purpose of this table is to provide the basis for a systematic, qualitative, identification and labeling of all courses taught at public higher education institutions in South Dakota. To these ends it is essential that the elements of this listing be both mutually exclusive and exhaustive.

Assignment

Upon creation of a new course, each university authorized to teach identifies the most fitting instructional method; alternately stated, there must be a single instructional method per course per university.

Identification of the appropriate instructional method should be aligned with reality; the instructional method of choice should truthfully and accurately reflect actual teaching methods. It should not hinge upon anticipated enrollment.

Co-requisite scenarios (instances in which students must concurrently register for two – or more – courses): each component is assigned the most applicable instructional method; choices need not be identical. In instances of linked courses, instructional methods both should be indicated. For example, the instructional method for the lecture section would be “R” and the instructional method for the laboratory section would be “L”.

A specific course retains its predetermined instructional method within a term and from term to term. To officially change an instructional method, the institution submits a revised course request during the regular curriculum review process. Changes to instructional method must be submitted via Revised Course Requests; they are subject to approval by the system Vice-President of Academic Affairs and the Academic Affairs Council (AAC). Effective term must be a future – not current - term.

Independent Study

If a few students need a specific named and numbered course to maintain plans of study and low enrollment causes cancellation of the course, a university may offer the course content to the students via independent study (i.e., Instructional Method I: special problems, directed study, mentored study, special projects). If the university uses the independent study approach, the student reregisters in the subject matter for an independent study upon the cancellation of the specific course. This alternative can occur only when three or fewer students need the subject matter of the canceled course for their plans of study. While campus workload policies vary, independent study courses do not appear in the workload report or the small section report.

Curriculum Management & Small Section Limitations

Curriculum management applies to all instructional methods. The instructional methods indicated by an “*” in the table are those monitored under Board Policy 5:17:4, “Small Section Limitation.” The instructional methods designated in Policy 5:17:4 are those course types expected to have sizeable enrollment. The instructional methods excluded from Board Policy 5:17:4 are those that by nature of instructional methodology deal with fewer numbers of students (e.g., clinical laboratories, internships, independent study, etc.).

SDBOR Policy 5:17:4 states: No selected instructional method undergraduate (100, 200, 300 or 400 level course) and dual listed undergraduate/graduate section with fewer than 10 students, entry-level graduate (500 or 600 level courses) section with fewer than 7 students, and upper-level graduate (700 or 800 level courses) sections with fewer than 4 students may be offered. Any exceptions to this policy must be authorized by the institutional President and justified to the Board each semester.

Under no circumstances shall the annual exception limit be more than three percent of all state support selected instructional method sections for South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota and more than four percent of all state support selected instructional method sections for Black Hills State University, Dakota State University and Northern State University. The exception limit is determined annually based on Fall and Spring term offerings.

Selected instructional methods include: Discussion/Recitation; Seminar; Large Ensemble; Laboratory and Alternate Laboratory; Physical Education Activity; and Lecture Courses. Collaborative courses with a selected instructional method code that result from a shared program agreement among Regental institutions shall be excluded. Unselected instructional methods include: Studio; Small Group; Small Group Ensemble; Competency-based, Self-paced Study; Clinical Laboratory; Clinical Experience; Independent Study; Design/Research; Private Instruction; Restricted PE Activity; Tracking; Internship/Practicum; Thesis; Thesis/Research Sustaining and Workshop.

Instructional Method Codes
CodeTypeDescription
AStudio

Course content compels significant one-to-one student/instructor interaction; the course is very hands-on with extensive student engagement.

This instructional method is intended for fine arts courses that fit with criteria specified in bullet #1; possible content areas include ceramics, painting, dancing, etc.

BCompetency-based/Self-paced Study

Each enrolled student advances at his/her preferred rate.

Successful mastery of content is based on achievement of competencies as opposed to completion of assignments.

Student progression through course content is often assisted by technology.

Individual or group tutorials may be provided to supplement individual learning.

CClinical Laboratory

Learning takes place in a clinical laboratory, an operation which conducts diagnostic tests performed on samples taken on/from the human body.

These clinical laboratories may be free-standing or situated within hospitals or medical clinics.

Faculty members are heavily involved; they maintain direct and close supervision of students.

Enrollment is limited; it varies from 1 to 9 students.

D*Discussion/Recitation

Communication between the faculty member and students is two-way; all are participants who actively share experiences, ideas, viewpoints, and feedback.

Student involvement is strong; it entails conversation, dialogue, and/or debate.

Enrollment maximum is typically 35 students.

E*Seminar

A highly focused and topical course with strong, direct faculty-student interaction.

The course features significant emphasis on student exploration of scholarly literature; research; and professional challenges, problems, and practices.

This instructional method is exclusive to graduate and upper level undergraduate (300, 400) course work.

The enrollment maximum is typically 20 students.

FSmall Group

Because of known and ongoing constraints, section size is extremely limited; such constraints are physical in nature; they tie to limited numbers of work stations, specimens, crucial pieces of equipment, etc.

Section size is restricted to 9 or fewer students; because of inflexible physical constraints, teaching 10 or more is impossible.

GClinical Experience

This course entails provision of direct patient care in a clinic-based setting.

Through observation and treatment of patients, students focus on developing specific skill sets designed to improve health (physical and/or mental).

Oversight and instruction are provided by a faculty member and/or approved site supervisor.

Enrollments are small (1 to 9) due to the inherent nature of this experience.

H*Music Ensemble, Large

Intended for large groups, either instrumental or vocal in nature; examples include band, orchestra, and choir.

Enrollments vary (10 or greater students) with regularly scheduled instructional meetings and/or faculty-led practices.

Performers can register for a credit bearing or non-credit bearing experience; however, those who are enrolled for 0 credits must also register for other courses which are credit bearing.

IIndependent Study

The format is individualized; content is tailored to the student(s) and particular situation.

Enrollment varies; typically, however, section size is small (1 to 5 students).

For each section, a suitable plan of study and meeting schedule are negotiated and established.

JDesign/Research

This course focuses on designing and conducting research; a viable and appropriate plan is developed as a collaborative effort between faculty member and student.

Interaction between faculty member and student researcher is both extensive and intensive.

This instructional method is not intended for either research methods courses (which are grounded in theory) or graduate thesis/dissertation courses.

L*Laboratory

Course instruction takes place in a specialized physical setting – that is, the laboratory.

The laboratory component complements the lecture; instruction promotes hands-on application of concepts presented during lectures.

Enrollment maximum varies, but typically does not exceed 25.

MPrivate Instruction

This course centers on personalized training; two common examples include music performance and flight instruction.

Course content is consistent with prescribed learning outcomes; it is not negotiable.

NMusic Ensemble, Small

Intended for small groups, either instrumental or vocal in nature.

The course involves regularly scheduled instructional meetings and/or faculty-led practices.

Enrollments vary between 3 and 9 students (trio, quartet, quintet, etc).

P*Physical Education Activity

This course is devoted to participation in/performance of a physical activity; faculty instruction includes proper form and technique.

The enrollment maximum varies, depending on factors such as nature of the particular sport, availability of venue and equipment, and safety considerations.

R*Lecture

Content is largely rooted in facts, principles, ideas, and theory.

Communication is primarily one-way; the faculty member formally relays information, while students listen.

Classes can be sizable; enrollment maximums – which widely vary – depend on course level, discipline, and university preference.

SInternship/Practicum

This field-based learning experience is monitored and supervised; examples include discipline-specific field work, student teaching, and cooperative education.

Students acquire relevant, real-world experience; each follows a prearranged plan of study.

Such experience may or may not be associated with payment of wages.

Enrollment is variable; it depends on factors such as availability of placements, requisite level of supervision, etc.

TThesis

A formal treatise presenting the results of study, which is submitted in partial fulfillment of the student’s degree requirements.

The faculty thesis director is a strong presence; he/she provides considerable mentoring, guiding, and directing. Members of the thesis committee engage in more limited – but still important - interaction with the student.

Should the student not complete all thesis requirements in the current term, a transitional grade (see BOR 2:10) must be assigned.

UThesis/Research Sustaining

This 0-credit course is used to track students who are actively conducting graduate research, but not registered for credit-bearing course work during the current term.

Enrollment allows graduate programs to retain active status.

Caution is strongly advised; administrative oversight is imperative.

VTravel Study

Intended for a travel experience that is structured, academic, and university-sponsored with clearly established, onsite faculty leadership.

Faculty member guides students through a progression of cohesive, theme-based learning environments; shares contextual information, motivates guided inquiry, and facilitates debriefing.

Interactive instruction heavily relies on engagement of students with comparison of information and observations as well as sharing of insights and reactions.

WWorkshop

A very intense, rigorous academic experience, focusing on a specific, narrowly tailored topic of current interest and professional relevance.

Each credit hour requires approximately 45 hours of student work.

Workshops may vary in time range but typically use a compressed time-period for delivery. They may include lectures, conferences, committee work, and group activity.

The workshop is typically used in graduate level instruction; use of the workshop at the undergraduate level is approved on rare, limited basis with appropriate justification.

No more than 3 graduate credit hours in any graduate program can be a workshop (see Board Policy 2:8).

XExperiential Learning

This course entails discovery learning in a specified area or discipline; through dedicated participation, students derive personal understanding and attach particular meaning to acquired experiences.

Focus is placed on the learning process itself, not preconceived learning outcomes; the contrast to traditional instruction presents a defining element of this method.

Learning is inductive, student-centric, and activity-oriented. Throughout, participants critically assess the experience, draw useful conclusions, and anticipate application of such knowledge to future situations. The assigned faculty member assumes a role of mentor/coach.

Geared toward participation-based experiences such as service learning and job shadowing.

* Selected method subject to 10/7/4 rule.

Course Delivery Methods

[SDBOR Academic Affairs Guidelines 5.5]

    Guidelines
    1. Each course section will be assigned a single delivery method code that indicates the primary method by which instruction is delivered to the student. Assignment of the delivery method code will not be changed after the university billing date.
    2. The primary delivery method is the one by which more than half of the instruction is delivered.
    3. Department heads/directors will be responsible for specifying the code for each section.
    4. In order to facilitate DDN enrollment reporting, any course section that uses DDN as one of its delivery methods must use the appropriate DDN code even if less than half of the instruction is provided via the DDN. For example, an on-campus course that is also sent out to receive sites via the DDN must use the 025 DDN Host/Send Site code.
    5. If a course has one group of students receiving instruction primarily through one type of delivery method and another group of students receiving instruction primarily through another type of delivery method, separate courses sections must be created. For example, one section for students primarily receiving instruction face to face and another section for students primarily receiving instruction over the Internet.
    Delivery Method Codes
    Method CodeDescription

    001 - Face to Face Term Based Instruction

    Instruction is primarily delivered in a face-to-face setting with both instructor and student together in the same place at the same time. Courses meet for 15 (50 min sessions for each credit).

    Includes courses that use other delivery methods to support or supplement face-to-face instruction.

    015 - Internet Asynchronous - Term Based

    Web based instruction is primarily delivered on-line by email, listservs, or internet web sites.

    Offered in a pre-determined period of time (Fall, Spring, Summer) that begins and ends within that period.

    At least 75% of the instruction and interaction occurs via electronic communication or equivalent mechanisms with the faculty and students physically separated from each other.

    018 - Internet Synchronous

    Same requirements as method 015, and includes a required synchronous activity with the synchronous times scheduled and made known to students prior to the date the course starts.

    019 - Internet Asynchronous - Non-Term Based

    Web based instruction is primarily delivered on-line by email, listservs, or internet web sites on a self-paced, non-semester specific format.

    Offered in various lengths of time that begin or end outside the Fall, Spring, or Summer Terms.

    At least 75% of the instruction and interaction occurs via electronic communication or equivalent mechanisms with the faculty and students physically separated from each other.

    This course lacks "instructor-initiated regular and substantial interaction" and feedback between the instructor and the student and interaction between the instructor and student is primarily initiated by the student. The course is therefore considered to be a "correspondence" course according to the Federal Definition for Correspondence Education, regardless of the mode of delivery.  Delivery of this form of online course may require prior HLC approval, particularly if 50% or more of the courses in a program are delivered by this method.

    020 - DDN Receive Site

    Instruction received via the state’s two-way video and two-way audio system (Dakota Digital Network).

    025 - DDN Host/Send Site

    Instruction transmitted over the state’s two-way video and two-way audio system (Dakota Digital Network).

    Includes those on-campus sections in which the instructor and some of the students are physically present in the same room.

    027 - Technical Institute, Non-Term Based

    Use for general education sections offered face to face by the universities at the technical institute and on the technical institute academic calendar.

    028 - Face to Face Non-Term Based Instruction

    Instruction is primarily delivered in a face-to-face setting with both instructor and student together in the same place at the same time.

    Includes courses that use other delivery methods to support or supplement face-to-face instruction.

    029 - Technical Institute, Term Based Instruction

    Use for general education sections offered face-to-face by the universities at the technical institute and on the technical institute academic calendar.

    030 - Blended/Hybrid

    Instruction blends online and face-to-face delivery. Course has reduced contact time and some, but less than 75% of the course content is delivered online.

    031 - Emporium

    An on-campus course scheduled in a learning resource center featuring online materials and on-demand personalized assistance. These courses may offer some mini-lectures but traditional scheduled class lectures are eliminated.

    098 - Other

    Courses where an instructor (from within or external to the system) is not assigned sole responsibility for tracking a student’s participation (if applicable) and grading. Face-to-face instruction may not occur.

    Could include courses such as program sustaining, orientation, tracking, exchange, internships, practica, field experience, or consortial program courses.

    099 – Emerging Technologies

    A category created to accommodate new and developing technologies for instructional delivery that occur infrequently or are considered to be experimental in nature at the time of delivery.

    Once a new method has been deemed “established” and viable, it can be assigned a different category number.