Course Approval

All courses offered by a site must be approved by FSU’s Graduate Education Council, which includes graduate faculty members, administrators, and one student graduate representative. This body reviews all graduate course and program proposals.  For a course to run, the council must approve it 30 days prior to the first day of class. The council makes its decision based on the academic quality, rigor, and contact hours as indicated in the course syllabus submission to ensure that the course meets the high standards of a graduate-level education at FSU.  Graduate Education Council Meeting Schedule AY 2019/2020

One graduate credit is awarded for a minimum of 15 contact hours of instruction.  A contact hour is defined as 50 minutes. For each contact hour of instruction, it is expected that students complete two hours of outside course work. A maximum number of three-credits will be awarded: 

15 – 29 contact hours of instruction = 1 graduate credit

30 – 44 contact hours of instruction = 2 graduate credits

45 + contact hours of instruction = 3 graduate credits

To be considered, syllabi submissions need to contain all of the items below. We have provided detailed Course Syllabus Guidelines which provides examples of each of the areas below to help facilitate the process.

Please note: Syllabi that do not contain all of the following will cause the entire proposal to be rejected.  Please use the syllabus checklist to review your proposal before submitting. 


In accordance with Federal guidelines for online courses: “An institution that is offering asynchronous online courses would need to determine the amount of student work expected in each online course in order to achieve the course objectives, and to assign a credit hour based on at least an equivalent amount of work as represented in the definition of credit hour.”