UAS Course Definitions

Academic Credit

All courses, including special topics courses, offered for academic credit must meet minimum standard course and lecture approval requirements. One credit represents satisfactory completion of 750 minutes of lecture or 1,500 minutes of supervised laboratory, or 2,250 minutes of supervised or unsupervised laboratory, whichever is appropriate to the course objectives. Course numbers for academic credit are 050-499 (undergraduate) and 600-699 (graduate). Academic credit is applicable toward academic programs, with the exception of 050-099, which is considered pre-college level, and 500-599, which is professional development credit.

A credit hour is defined as “An amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that reasonably approximates not less than:

  1. One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester or trimester hour of credit, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other academic activities as established by the institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, and other academic work leading to the award of credit hours.”


Internships are experience-based courses that involve placing students in an organization under the supervision of both a qualified professional in the agency and a faculty member from the discipline.

Internships require satisfactory completion of a minimum of four hours per week for each credit (0+0+4) for which students are registered for the duration of the semester. To apply for an internship, students must be admitted to a University program. Students must also demonstrate educational preparation for the internship and the connection between the internship and their educational goals. A maximum of 9 hours can apply to an associate’s degree; 12 credit hours to a bachelor’s degree. Internships are available at the 200, 300, and 400 levels only. Departments may have additional requirements for internships.

Individual Research

Research requires satisfactory completion of a minimum of four hours per week (0+0+4) per credit for the duration of the semester, or at least 50 clock hours per credit.


Practica are supervised practical applications of a previously studied theory conducted under the supervision of a qualified professional in cooperation with a faculty member.

Practica courses require satisfactory completion of a minimum of four hours of supervised experience per week for each credit (0+0+4) for which students are registered for the duration of the semester. These courses are generally at off-campus settings where students are under the direct supervision of agency personnel. A maximum of 9 credit hours can apply to an associate’s degree; 12 credit hours to a bachelor’s degree. Practica are available at the 200, 300, and 400 levels only.

Independent Study

Independent study courses are those in which the course content, learning activities, and evaluative criteria are developed primarily by the student with guidance and concurrence from a faculty sponsor. Final approval for enrolling in independent study must be gained from a faculty sponsor and the head of the appropriate academic unit. Independent study courses with a course number ending in 97 and are offered at the 200, 300, 400, and 600 levels only. No more than 12 credits earned in independent study may be applied to an undergraduate baccalaureate degree, no more than 6 credits to an associate degree, and no more than 3 credits to an undergraduate certificate. Independent studies will not duplicate catalog courses. If the independent study is designed to be conducted over more than one semester, approval must be gained at the time the dean or campus director approves the course. Approval to enroll is accomplished with a Special Course Contract Form, which is submitted with registration form. Independent study courses count towards fully accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates.

Directed Study

A directed study course is identical to a catalog course with regard to title, objectives, content, and evaluative criteria. A directed study is not normally approved during the semester in which the course is regularly offered. Such courses shall bear the regular course title and number on the permanent record with the designation Directed Study (DS).

Practical Training Courses 

Practical training courses provide experiential learning opportunities for UAS students and include a range of options, including internships, practica, field study, clinicals, and other on-the-job training and guided learning opportunities. They are regular curricular offerings with individual course descriptions, student learning outcomes and course outlines that are controlled and managed by the university. These courses are led and supervised by assigned faculty who meet and/or interact with registered students on a weekly basis at scheduled or arranged times. Each practical training course includes components for evaluation of student performance defined by the institution. Student effort is indicated by credit hours similar to other academic credit courses offered by the university. The terms of each practical training course are approved through the university’s formal curricular process and are consistent with the number of credit hours and grading system associated with the course number and subject under which each course is offered. Practical training courses count toward accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees and certificates.


Seminars are regularly scheduled meetings of students for the purpose of discussion and reports on special topics and are conducted under the guidance of a faculty member. Seminars require a minimum of 750 minutes of scheduled classroom time for each credit earned (1+0).

Stacked Courses

Occasionally two or more courses are scheduled in the same classroom at the same time. These are referred to as “stacked courses.” Catalog descriptions of these courses include the statement “May be stacked.” The semester class schedule will indicate if a class is being offered in stacked format and will list which course(s) are being stacked.

Special Topics

Special Topics Courses, with course numbers ending in 93, are credit courses designed to pilot test course content or to provide a specialty content areas on a one-time basis. Special topics courses must meet the same standard as academic credit courses in every way.


Occasionally it is appropriate to designate a course as being in more than one discipline. The content of the cross-listed course is the same but students may select the designator appropriate to their major. Students will be able to switch to the other subject only during the published drop/add and withdrawal dates of the semester taken.

Professional Development Courses

Course numbers of 500–599 are designed to provide continuing education for various professional groups and cannot be applied to degree programs. Such courses are post–baccalaureate in nature but are not applicable to degree requirements. Courses may be graded Pass/No pass or, if the course includes an evaluation component, by letter grading. The measurement of student effort is indicated by professional development credits. Each professional development credit awarded requires at least 12.5 hours of student engagement in a directed learning environment under the supervision of a qualified instructor. These courses are provided on a self-support basis.

Continuing Education Unit (CEU)

The CEU is a nationally recognized unit of credit granted for participation in educational experiences under responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instruction that has a ten-contact-hour-per-credit ratio. CEUs are not convertible to degree credit. Course numbers for continuing education courses are between 001–049.

Non–Credit Course

A course offering for which no credit is awarded by the institution.

E-Learning Instruction

UAS e-Learning classes count towards residency credits at UAS. E-Learning course coverage is equivalent and student outcomes comparable to the same course delivered on campus. The faculty groups and administration of campuses delivering e-Learning classes will periodically review the scope and method of e-Learning technologies.


Students are responsible for checking to make sure that prerequisites have been met. Prerequisites are listed in individual course descriptions in this catalog. If a student has not taken the necessary prerequisites but feels confident of performing the coursework, he or she may request permission from the instructor of the course to enroll in the class.

Course Numbering System

Course numbers indicate the level of academic preparation required as well as the year of study. The following course numbers show the categories to which they apply:

001-049 Noncredit courses or CEU
050-099 Pre-college level or remedial courses; associate and baccalaureate degree credit not allowed.
100-199 Undergraduate courses normally taken in the first year.
200-299 Undergraduate courses normally taken in the second year.

As a general guideline upper-division courses require at least junior standing or equivalent experience in addition to any stated prerequisites. Students are expected to have adequate preparation and background to complete courses at this level.

300-399 Undergraduate courses normally taken in the third year.
400-499 Undergraduate courses normally taken in the fourth year.
500-599 Professional Development courses (these do not appear in this catalog and do not carry academic credit that can be applied to a certificate or degree).

Graduate standing, admission, or equivalent is required for graduate-level courses in addition to any stated prerequisites.

600-699 Graduate courses. Not open to undergraduate students except by special permission.

Special or Reserved Numbers

-75 Current Issues
-91 Internships
-92 Seminar
-93 Special topics courses intended to be offered only during one academic year
-94 Practica
-97 Independent study
-98 Individual research
-99 Thesis

Courses with any of the special numbers may be repeated for credit provided the course content differs each time the student registers for the course.

Course Classifications

The following classifications of courses meet category requirements as follows:


Library Science

Mathematics and Logic


Natural Sciences

Environmental Sciences
Environmental Studies
Natural Science
Physical Anthropology
Physical Geography
Physical Sciences

Social Sciences

Alaska Native Studies
Behavioral Health Sciences
Political Science

 History courses may be counted as meeting either humanities or social science requirements but not both.