Special regulations for courses in specific subject areas

The following guidelines pertain to lower-division courses being evaluated for transfer credit to the University of California. These guidelines should be used in conjunction with the general criteria contained within UC’s Statement of Transfer Credit Practices:  http://admission.universityofcalifornia.edu/counselors/files/Transfer_Credit_Practice.pdf

 A course that is comparable to a lower-division course offered at one or more UC campuses is transferable. Alternately, a course may be transferable if it is appropriate for a university degree in terms of depth, scope, and rigor.

See pages on field studies, independent studies/variable topics courses and online courses for regulations regarding these courses.

Subject areas (alphabetical)

A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z


A

Administration of Criminal Justice/Criminology/Law and Society

Transferable courses:

  • Focus on criminal and/or legal theory and/or public policy, comparative study of legal systems/cultures, sociology/psychology of criminal behavior, etc.
  • Are comparable to courses found in UC departments of Criminology, Law and Society, Legal Studies and Sociology.
  • Credit allowed for one course in each of the following areas:
    • Introduction course
    • Law and society
    • Criminal justice system

Agricultural Sciences

Transferable courses:

  • Primary focus must be theoretical although some elements of an applied nature are acceptable (e.g., Application of Economic Concepts to Agro-Environmental Issues).
  • Should be comparable to:
  • Courses at UC colleges of Agriculture, Natural Resources, and/or Environmental Sciences.
  • Courses in UC departments such as Botany, Environmental Science, or Plant Science.

Prerequisites:

  • Introductory or survey courses do not require specific prerequisites.

Lab science courses:

  • Must include a lab manual.

Not transferable:

  • Courses primarily professional or technical in nature, such as those focused on the development, operation, and management of agriculture facilities, or agriculture mechanics; courses for certification.
  • No credit for introductory courses taken after more advanced-level courses in this area.

American Sign Language

Transferable courses:

  • Focus primarily on American Sign Language (lab component not required), not signed English.
  • Cover the deaf culture as well as the phonology, vocabulary, and grammar of ASL.
  • May satisfy the LOTE requirement.

Not transferable:

  • Signed English or finger-spelling courses.

Architecture

Transferable courses:

  • Emphasize architectural design and theory.
  • May include the technical, aesthetic, and cultural components of design, as well as environmental history, sustainability, behavioral sciences, resource management, and design theory.
  • Acceptable courses may include, but are not limited to: Architectural Design; Architectural Design Fundamentals; Architectural Design Studio; Architectural Graphics; Freehand Drawing; Computer-aided Design; History of World Architecture; Introduction to Architecture and Environmental Design; Introduction to Design; Introduction to Visual Representation and Drawing; and People and Environmental Design.

Not transferable:

  • Applied aspects such as building/construction technology.

Art

Transferable courses:

  • May include history, theory, and practice.
  • Stress aesthetics, concept, content, and context, in tandem with technique.
  • Integrate knowledge and appreciation, principles and concepts that unify knowledge as well as the methods of investigation that characterize specific disciplines, including topics such as color, line, dimension, and design theory.
  • Acceptable courses may include: art history; art appreciation; beginning sculpture; color photography; digital and computer art courses; drawing; history of multi-cultural art; history of photography; introduction to contemporary visual culture; mixed media; painting; printmaking, etc.

Not transferable:

  • Commercial or professional art courses (e.g., advertising; commercial photography; interior design, etc.); craft courses (e.g., calligraphy; jewelry making; weaving, etc.).

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B

Biology/Life Sciences

Transferable courses:

  • Teach fundamental concepts and principles of the biology/life sciences discipline.
  • One introductory or survey course prior to the general course series for the major or non- major is allowed.

Prerequisites:

  • Lower-division preparation courses for biological sciences majors require intermediate algebra or its equivalent (as defined under the Mathematics guidelines).
  • Not required for introductory or survey courses.

Lab science courses:

  • Generally expected to have a laboratory or field component where appropriate, although lab or fieldwork are not required for elective credit.
  • Must include a lab manual.

Not transferable:

  • Courses primarily professional or technical in nature; courses for certification.
  • No credit for introductory courses taken after more advanced-level courses in this area.

Biotechnology

Transferable courses:

  • Explore the conjunction between engineering and life sciences.
  • Topics may include: microbial, agricultural and medical biotechnology; biofuels; cloning; bioremediation; DNA fingerprinting; forensics; information technology and nanotechnology.
  • Acceptable courses have included: Biotechnology and Society; Introduction to Biotechnology; Survey of Biotechnology, etc.

Not transferable:

  • Courses that are solely practical, applied, and functional.

Business

Transferable courses:

  • One introductory business course that focuses on the role of business as it relates to the greater society and includes topics on ethics, labor, finance marketing, etc., is allowed for transfer credit.
  • One course in Business Law is allowed for transfer credit.
  • Up to one year in Principles of Accounting – Managerial and Financial courses are allowed for transfer credit.
  • Calculus and some computer systems courses offered through a business department are transferable, if the majority of the content is math- or computer-oriented and not business- oriented.
  • Acceptable courses include: Business and Society; Business Law; Principles of Business; Financial Accounting; Introduction to Business; Managerial Accounting; Mathematical Analysis for Business – Calculus, etc.

Prerequisites:

  • UC-transferable math courses, including calculus (whether offered through a business or any other department), require a prerequisite of intermediate algebra or its equivalent. Equivalent courses should cover the content and mathematical practices of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCCSM).

Not transferable:

  • Courses that focus primarily on the applied, functional and/or practical aspects of business.

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C

Chemistry

Transferable courses:

  • Cover basic principles of chemistry.
  • One introductory or survey course prior to the general course series for the major or non- major is allowed.

Prerequisites:

  • Lower-division preparation courses for chemistry majors require intermediate algebra or its equivalent (as defined under the Mathematics guidelines).
  • Must include a lab manual.

Not transferable:

  • Courses primarily professional or technical in nature; courses for certification, such as Chemical Safety or Chemical Hygiene Officers.
  • No credit for introductory courses taken after more advanced-level courses in this area.

College Success

Transferable courses:

  • Focus on theories of succeeding in college and/or the workplace.
  • Acceptable topics include critical thinking, perceptions of the value of a college degree, university history/policies, student culture, communication, health and wellness, diversity, educational and career planning, campus resources, or student responsibility for education.
  • Required text: community college catalog.
  • Up to 3 semester units maximum.

Not transferable:

  • Personal career development courses (e.g., resumé writing, interviewing skills, or courses that cover applied skills).

Computer Science/ Computer Information Systems

Transferable courses:

  • Should cover topics such as introductory theory of the computer, its organization and logic, or development of a high-level programming language.
  • Credit may be granted for one course in computer literacy. Examples of topics that might be covered in such a course include: history of the computer; social, cultural, or economic impact of computers; and future of computers.
  • Acceptable courses have included: C++ for Programmers; Computers and the Internet in Society; Computer Literacy; Foundations of Computer Programming; Fundamentals of Logic Design; Great Ideas in Computer Architecture; Introduction to Information Systems; Object- Oriented Programming; Problem Solving with Computers; Python Programming; Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs, etc.

Not transferable:

  • Courses in technical training, data processing and desktop publishing; or courses that are primarily business-oriented
  • Courses focused solely on how to use applications such as MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint.
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D

Dance

Transferable courses:

  • Theory, history, and performance; choreography; dance pedagogy; dance technique or notation courses offered in any department (e.g., dance; humanities; kinesiology; physical education, etc.).
  • Acceptable courses may include: ballet; contact improvisation; contemporary or modern dance; fundamentals of choreography; hip hop; history and appreciation of world dance; history of theater and dance; jazz dance, etc.

Not transferable:

  • Pilates, aerobics and water ballet are not transferable as dance courses; however, they are transferable as physical education (P.E.) or kinesiology courses and therefore limited to the P.E. maximum credit of 4 semester/6 quarter units.

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E

Education

Transferable courses:

  • Academic and theoretical in nature; courses that focus on theories of learning and/or elaborations of disciplinary understanding (e.g., thinking mathematically).
  • Focus on education within the context of history, politics, culture, law, public policy, and/or its effect on the individual and society.
  • Courses focused on human development within an educational context, such as early childhood education, or child development in education.
  • Courses combining introductory teaching information, state standards for the teaching professional, and K-12 content standards, as well as field experience in a school setting are acceptable.
  • One introductory education course is allowed for transfer credit.
Not transferable:
  • Courses focused primarily on the professional or applied aspects of education with little or no connection to relevant theory or research methodology.

Engineering

Transferable courses:

  • Require strong theoretical component, but may include some application.
  • Credit may be granted for one course consisting of an introduction to the engineering profession and one course consisting of an introduction to engineering CAD.
  • Acceptable courses have included: Circuit Theory; Elements of Materials Science; Engineering Design and Analysis; Engineering Mechanics: Dynamics; Circuits, Devices, and Systems; Engineering Problem Solving; Introduction to Microelectronic Circuits; Principles of Materials Science and Engineering; Properties of Materials, etc.

Prerequisites:

  • Surveying courses require minimum prerequisite of trigonometry.
  • Most other engineering courses, including Circuits, Statics, and Properties of Materials, must have a prerequisite of calculus and calculus-based physics.
  • Examples of engineering courses that do not have calculus and calculus-based physics as prerequisites include: Introduction to Engineering; Introduction to Programming; Issues in Engineering; Engineering Graphics in Design; and Creativity and Entrepreneurship for Engineers. 

Not transferable:

  • Skills-oriented courses such as manufacturing technology or practical mappings.

English As A Second Language (ESL)

Transferable courses:

  • Only the highest levels of ESL, which prepare students for transferable English composition.
  • Must require progression to essay writing.
  • Maximum credit allowed: 8 semester/12 quarter units for courses that emphasize writing.

Not transferable:

  • Courses that focus exclusively on listening, reading comprehension, or speaking (conversational) skills.

English Composition 

Transferable courses:

  • Require extensive practice in writing (minimum 6,000 words).
  • Require a substantial amount of reading of significant literature.
  • Must include a writing handbook or evidence of similar writing pedagogy.

Prerequisites:

  • A course or an examination comparable to the UC Entry Level Writing Requirement.

Not transferable:

  • Remedial work in English, which is defined as work primarily focused on topics in spelling, punctuation, and grammar; and in the basic structures of sentences, paragraphs, and short essays.

English Literature 

Transferable courses:

  • Must include a representative reading list.
  • Children’s literature courses are acceptable as a genre but not as a teaching/selection guide for teachers/parents.

English/Writing

Transferable courses:

  • Topics may include fundamentals, history, or media studies, but must focus on writing.
  • May not meet the English Composition requirement for eligibility (UC-E).
  • Also called: Writing, Creative Writing, Script Writing, News Writing, etc.

Prerequisites:

  • Minimum prerequisite of a transferable English composition course, or the eligibility to enroll in a transferable English composition course.

Not transferable:

  • Commercially oriented writing courses.

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F

Field Studies

H

Health Education/Public Health

Transferable courses:

  • Courses focused on understanding human health and disease through the study, development, and application of knowledge that prevents disease, protects the public from harm, and promotes health throughout society.
  • Key topics covered in such courses may include: community, environmental, general, personal, or public health; maternal and child health; health policy and management; health sciences; health and social behavior; human development; biostatistics/epidemiology; infectious diseases and immunity; nutrition; population genetics.
  • Relevant coursework may be equivalent to courses offered in UC departments or schools, such as Physical Education, Public Health, Social and Administrative Health Science, Sociology, etc.
  • Credit is allowed for one course in each of the following three areas:
    • Health Education
    • First Aid
    • Life Saving

Not transferable:

  • Primarily professional or technical courses with little or no connection to relevant theory or research methodology.
  • Courses in which the student is a recipient of physical health therapy, or instruction is aimed at personal health improvement.

History 

Transferable courses:

  • Emphasize the development of critical and historical thinking through various class assignments, e.g., out-of-class assignments, papers, independent or collaborative research.
  • Should include elements of the following in course outline of record (in Course Objectives or elsewhere in the outline):
    • Chronological reasoning (sequence, cause and effect, periodization)
    • Evaluation of evidence (differentiating between primary and secondary sources; assessing reliability, intended audience, author’s biases/perspectives; identifying context of production, etc.)
    • Identifying argument/interpretation
    • Use of appropriate evidence in support of an argument
    • Integration, interpretation, and analysis of primary sources
  • Must include reading beyond the textbook, including sources such as: scholarly articles, popular research-based articles, monographs, popular non-fiction, primary sources, etc.
  • Should include a selection of the following analytical writing assignments: research papers, book reviews, essays, short writing assignments (1-paragraph to 2-page responses to specific prompts), short research assignments utilizing primary sources.
  • Recommended format for the course outline of record is to group course content into sections rather than a list of dates and locations.

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I

Independent Study

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L

Languages other than English

Transferable courses:

  • In general, may be in any language defined as having syntax, grammar, reading, listening, speaking and writing that is different from the English language; must provide instruction in the written and oral language, as well as the history and cultural traditions of the country associated with the language studied.
  • Acceptable LOTE courses have included: American Sign Language (no speaking/listening), Arabic, Chinese, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Latin (no speaking), Portuguese, Spanish, Vietnamese, LOTE courses for native speakers, etc.
  • Beginning-level courses typically cover the content of a standard college-level, beginning- level textbook or its equivalent. Such courses also address the following criteria:
    • Language: Teach a basic working vocabulary, as well as an understanding of the grammatical structure of the language, in both oral and written presentational modes within familiar contexts (e.g., family life, friends, health, college life, sports and leisure activities, shopping, transportation, cinema and media). Include regular assessments such as quizzes, midterms/exams, oral reports and presentations, short essays, etc.
    • Contextualization and Culture: Create appropriate contextualized learning with regard to introducing culturally authentic norms, values, and beliefs, such as exposure to important artifacts that reflect the sociological and psychological underpinnings of the second language culture (e.g., art work, architecture, crafts, literature), etc.
    • Skills for the 21st Century: Connect classroom learning to external resources (e.g.,second language websites, social media, etc.), as much as possible.
  • Intermediate-level courses typically cover the content of a standard college-level, intermediate-level textbook or its equivalent. Such courses also address the following criteria:
    • Language: Build upon the beginning-level grammatical foundation and teach new, more complex structures to elicit oral and written responses that are more extensive in length and depth, and encourage more complicated self-expression using the linguistic elements of the second language. Include regular assessments such as language-focused exercises, communicative activities, quizzes, midterms/exams, oral reports and presentations, short essays, etc.
    • Contextualization and Culture: Create appropriate contextualized learning (building upon criteria for beginning-level courses) and continue the exploration of the cultures/communities where the second language is spoken. Include opportunities to practice oral and writing skills, such as through exposure to authentic literary texts, etc.
  • Skills for the 21st Century: Connect classroom learning to appropriately complex external resources (e.g., second language websites, social media, blogs, video chats with native speakers, etc.) as much as possible.
  • LOTE courses and IGETC
    • Courses equivalent to two years of high school study are identified by a footnote on the UC TCA and satisfy IGETC Area 6A.
    • Courses beyond the proficiency level also satisfy IGETC Area 6A.
    • Conversation courses with appropriate prerequisites (see prerequisite guidelines below) may be transferable, but are not appropriate for IGETC.

Prerequisites:

  • Conversation courses must have a prerequisite of a course equivalent to the third year of high school study, or one year of college-level coursework in the language.

Not transferable:

  • Courses covering primarily business- or travel-oriented content.
  • Courses designed with little opportunity for instructor feedback, regular assessment, or practice of oral and written presentation skills; courses including activities that are inappropriate for the targeted level of the course (i.e., generally too low a level).
  • Courses taught in English only.

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M

Mathematics

Transferable courses:

  • Employ topics of advanced algebra as found in courses such as college algebra, pre-calculus, calculus, linear algebra, discrete mathematics, analytic geometry, or elementary functions.
  • Further build upon the foundational mathematical concepts, principles, and practices aligned with the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM).
  • College Algebra and Pre-Calculus
    • A student may receive credit for either college algebra or pre-calculus with a limitation of 5 semester/7.5 quarter units for the combination of courses or any portion completed.
    • A pre-calculus course, with intermediate algebra as a prerequisite, containing topics from advanced algebra, elementary functions (logarithmic, exponential, and trigonometric), and analytic geometry, is not considered remedial.
  • Math for Liberal Arts
    • Should be on the same level as courses in college algebra, pre-calculus, finite math, and statistics, although without as much detail and in a manner more appropriate to students who will not use these topics in their major field of study.
    • Example: exponential and logarithmic functions should be just as rigorous as that of a college algebra or pre-calculus course but focused on real-world applications.
  • Math for Teacher Education
    • Credit is allowed for one year (2 semesters/3 quarters) in Elementary Math for Teacher Education.
    • Math for Teacher Education does not satisfy the requirement in Mathematic Concepts and Quantitative Reasoning (UC-M).
Prerequisites:
  • Requires intermediate algebra or its equivalent. Equivalent courses should cover the content and mathematical practices of the CCCSM.
  • UCOP checks for but does not evaluate the prerequisite in TCA submissions.
Not transferable:
  • Remedial work in mathematics, defined as work in topics from arithmetic, beginning and intermediate algebra, high school geometry, or trigonometry if taught as a separate course.
  • Courses covering special topics, such as courses on financial mathematics or consumer mathematics.

Music

Transferable courses:

  • Theory, history, and performance.
  • Acceptable courses may include: guitar; keyboard; elementary voice; fundamentals of music; history of music; composition; introduction to musical literature; jazz band; musicianship; music theory; musics of the world; orchestra; structures of music; voice; woodwind technique, etc.
  • UC does not limit credit for the number of appropriate music courses a student may transfer.

Prerequisites:

  • Electronic music courses should have prerequisites or include music theory and/or music history.

Not transferable:

  • Courses that focus primarily on the commercial aspect of music.

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N

Natural Sciences/Physical Sciences

Transferable courses:

  • Teach fundamental concepts and principles, including how these were derived, and how they are applied

Prerequisites:

  • Not required for introductory or survey courses

Lab science courses:

  • Must include a lab manual

Not transferable:

  • Courses primarily professional or technical in nature; courses for certification
  • No credit for introductory courses taken after more advanced-level courses in this area.

Nutritional Sciences

Transferable courses:

  • Emphasize nutrition as a science; may include topics such as properties of nutrients and foods; the effects of nutrition on health, including global problems of food and nutrition.

Prerequisites:

  • Introductory or survey courses do not require specific prerequisites.

Lab science courses:

  • Must include a lab manual.

Not transferable:

  • Courses primarily professional or technical in nature; courses for certification.
  • No credit for introductory courses taken after more advanced-level courses in this area.

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O

Online courses

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P

Physical Education

Transferable courses:

  • May fall into two categories: 1) Activities; 2) Theory / Academic / Scholarly.
  • Credit for PE activity courses is limited to 4 semesters/6 quarter units.
  • Credit for Theory courses is limited to 8 semester units/12 quarter units.
  • Textbooks are not required for PE courses.

Not transferable:

  • Courses that are primarily vocational such as: Aerobic Instructor Training; Personal Trainer Certification; or Fire Academy Protection Preparation; etc.

Physics

Transferable courses:

  • Major courses in this area should teach fundamental concepts and principles, including how these were derived, and how they are applied.
  • One introductory or survey course prior to the general course series for the major or non- major is allowed.

Prerequisites:

  • Physics for physicists and engineers must have a prerequisite of calculus.
  • Physics for biologists must have a prerequisite of intermediate algebra with trigonometry, or calculus.
  • Physics for liberal arts students must have a prerequisite of intermediate algebra or its equivalent (as defined under the Mathematics guidelines).

Lab science courses:

  • Must include a lab manual.

Not transferable:

  • Courses primarily professional or technical in nature; courses for certification.
  • Integrated science courses that take a broad survey approach to physics and other science disciplines; such courses may be transferable for Natural Sciences/Physical Sciences general education credit.
  • No credit for introductory courses taken after more advanced-level courses in this area.

Psychology

Transferable courses:

  • Teach fundamental concepts and principles of the psychology/psychological sciences discipline, with a focus on research, theory, analysis, and application.

Prerequisites:

  • Introductory or survey courses do not require specific prerequisites.

Lab science courses:

  • Generally expected to have a laboratory or field component where appropriate, although lab or fieldwork are not required for elective credit.
  • Lab science courses must include a lab manual.

Not transferable:

  • Primarily professional or technical courses.
  • Courses in which the student is a recipient of therapy, or instruction is aimed at personal improvement.
  • Courses focused on the health aspects of psychology (e.g., stress management, relationship management).
  • No credit for introductory courses taken after more advanced-level courses in this area.

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R

Religion/Religious Studies

Transferable courses:

  • Focus on religion in an objective and scholarly manner.
  • Study of religion at its broadest and in terms of its core values.
  • Explore and analyze the written and oral traditions of the world’s religions.
  • Compare and interpret the beliefs and practices of various religious traditions to understand the world in which those traditions emerged.
  • Examine how religion has shaped human behavior within cultures in matters such as family life, ethics, sexual roles and relations, relations between individuals and society, and artistic expression.
  • Explore religion as a force within social and political life, and an important aspect of governance within modern states.
  • Acceptable courses may include: World Religions; Introduction to Religious Studies; Philosophy of Religion; Religion and Society; Myth, Ritual, and Symbolism, etc.

Not transferable:

  • Courses that approach religion from a dogmatic, sectarian point of view meant to indoctrinate or convert.

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S

Social Sciences 

Transferable courses:

  • Academic in content, focusing on research, theory, and analysis.
  • Topics covered are integrated into the larger academic context of the course and do not simply consist of a list of isolated topics.
  • Methods of assessment include a final exam or paper counting for a substantial part of the student’s grade.

Statistics/Probability

Transferable courses:

  • Contain conceptual and computational skills in descriptive and basic inferential statistical methods; probability as it is relevant to statistical inference; and concepts useful in building statistical literacy (such as correlation is not causation, the difference between statistical significance and practical importance, common sources of bias in surveys and experiments, and appropriate interpretation of statistical results).
  • May be in a business, economics, mathematics, social science, or science department.
  • A second course in statistics may be acceptable if content is sequential and not duplicative.
  • Statway
    • This year-long course sequence for non-STEM majors combines introductory college- level statistics with pre-college mathematical content as the foundation to the statistical topics.
    • Students must complete both Statway courses.
    • Maximum credit limitation: 4 semester/6 quarter units.

Prerequisites/co-requisites:

  • Prerequisites/co-requisite courses should be consistent with CCCSM math standards and teach the skills and knowledge without which the student is highly unlikely to succeed in college-level statistics. These skills and knowledge cut across the CCCSM math standards and include:
    • Working with numerical information: ordering decimals, order of operations, operations with fractions and percentages, converting fractions to decimals and percentages, representing numbers, intervals, and inequalities on the number line.
    • Algebra: evaluating expressions with the use of technology that involve arithmetic with signed numbers, square roots, squaring, exponents, factorials, and summation notation. Solving simple linear equations in one variable.
    • Modeling: for linear models, interpret slope and intercept, graph a line and points, make predictions, and calculate vertical deviation of a point from the line.
    • Geometry: given the area under a curve or histogram, approximate areas of specified regions; extract information from graphs and tables.
    • UCOP checks for but does not evaluate the prerequisite in TCA submissions.

Not transferable:

  • Courses lacking conceptual or computational skills in basic inferential statistical methods, probability as it relates to statistical inference, or attention to statistical literacy.

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T

Theater Arts

Transferable courses:

  • Theory, performance, and production.
  • May include topics such as acting technique; costume design and makeup; directing; history; filmmaking; lighting design and stage electrics; performance; production/stagecraft; scenic design and stage properties; scriptwriting; sound design and technology; theory, etc.
  • Acceptable courses may include: acting history and practice; acting fundamentals; appreciation of modern theatre; costume design; design fundamentals for dance and theater; introduction to performance; introduction to theater; stage makeup; movement for the stage; play analysis; scenic design; scene study and characterization; stage lighting design; theater production; technical aspects of dramatic production, etc.
  • Scripts are accepted in lieu of textbooks for courses in performance.

Not transferable:

  • Practical courses in broadcasting, such as radio/TV or other commercially-oriented courses.

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V

Variable Topics Courses 

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Revised as of June 2015.