Special Term Courses

The Yale College Faculty has provided that, with the approval of the Committee on Honors and Academic Standing, any student may arrange with a faculty member holding a teaching appointment in the University to take a special tutorial course for credit toward the bachelor’s degree. The committee considers only proposals for courses that for one reason or another cannot be completed in a departmental tutorial course (see Tutorial Courses and Independent Research under The DUS and the Department). The courses are for one term, they must meet with regularity and frequency, and they must include some written work or the equivalent.

To ensure that the department is aware that a member of its faculty (and perhaps one of its majors) is undertaking this responsibility, and to be certain that someone familiar with the field has reviewed the course proposal, each application for a Special Term Course must be signed by the DUS of the instructor’s department. Sometimes students arrange courses with faculty members connected only with the professional schools, bringing the applications to the director of undergraduate studies. Although a signature is not required in such a case, the committee is always grateful for some indication from the DUS as to whether the course seems reasonable and justified. In the same spirit, the committee will welcome information from the DUS as to whether the Special Term Course should be graded Pass/Fail, as with most independent study courses, or with a letter grade. A short description of Special Term Courses is contained in the Special Academic Arrangements section of the Academic Regulations in the YCPS. A sample application form is available in PDF format under Appendix.