A course is a unit of teaching that typically lasts one academic term, is led by one or more instructors (teachers or professors), and has a fixed roster of students. It usually describes an individual subject taken. Students may receive a grade and academic credit after completion of the course. Students are expected to do various kinds of work for a course:
- Attending course sessions.
- Reading and studying course readings assigned in the course syllabus.
- Discussing material they have read.
- Writing short and long papers based on assigned reading and their own library research.
- Completing homework or problem sets.
- Completing laboratory exercises.
- Taking quizzes and examinations.
The exact work required depends on the discipline, the course, and the particular instructor. Grades are generally determined by all of these kinds of work, not only the final examination.
Elective and required courses
An elective course is one chosen by a student from a number of optional subjects or courses in a curriculum, as opposed to a required course which the student must take. While required courses (sometimes called "core courses" or "general education courses") are deemed essential for an academic degree, elective courses tend to be more specialized. Elective courses usually have fewer students than the required courses.
Typically, universities require students to achieve both breadth of knowledge across disciplines and depth of knowledge in a particular chosen subject area, known as a major. Thus, students of the arts or humanities are required to take some science courses, and vice-versa. Normally, students are free to choose their particular electives from among a wide range of courses offered by their university, as long as the students possess the prerequisite knowledge to understand the subject matter being taught. An English major, for example, might also study one or two years of chemistry, biology or physics as well as mathematics and a foreign language.
District 49 Courses