Proposed Guidelines for University Academic Levels

Curriculum April 27, 2023

When starting a new academic program, it’s important for the curriculum design to ensure that classes are divided into appropriate levels and use materials and assignments that best match the focus of each level. For the beginning student, for example, textbooks will be the primary source of information, while at higher levels original sources from journals will be most useful. The following guidelines are intended to help structure an academic discipline from the beginning of the undergraduate level through the end of graduate studies.

LevelPurposePrimary ReadingsSecondary ReadingsAssignments
100Discipline surveyTextbookHandoutsWeekly quizzes
WebsitesInternet searchesChapter summaries
NewspapersOutline/summaryClass discussions
MagazinesLibrary useInternet searches
Style manualsBibliography
EncyclopediasTopic outlines
200Topic ExpansionTextbookHandoutsBiweekly quizzes
Brief articlesWebsitesPowerPoint talks
Training filmsThematic analysisInterviews
Computer programsObservations
Displaying dataGraphing
Library searches
Annotated bibliographies
Correct use of quotations
300Selected SubjectsTextbookJournalsUnit exams
Additional textsEdited text chaptersBrief projects
Academic web searchCritical reviewsOral reports (15 minutes)
Book reportsTranslationsTerm papers (5-10 pages)
Author interviewsData collection
Lab manualsLab reports
Guided qualitative/quantitative analysis
Poster presentation
400Capstone CoursesJournals TextbookResearch papers
Literature reviewsEthical standardsResearch projects
Literature searchData collectionData analysis
Original essaysResearch protocolsCumulative exams
Oral debates
Dramatic readings
Term papers (15-20 pages)
Brief practica
Senior project
500Core SubjectsJournalsTextbooksResearch proposals
Critical reviewsRelated booksResearch projects
Method handbooksEthical standardsOral debates
Foreign language readingsForeign language dictionariesLiterature reviews
Literature reviewsComprehensive exams
Data collectionConference poster presentations
600SeminarAcademic journalsTopic booksResearch proposals
Edited textbooksInterlibrary loansResearch projects
Theses/dissertationsReviewer critiquesJournal submissions
Literature reviewsConference submissions
Conference workshops
Supervised practica
700SymposiaAcademic journalsLiterature reviews
Library researchExtensive internship
Archival researchThesis preparation
Statistical analysesExternal review
Original dataConference submissions
Journal submissions
Oral defense

By dividing classes by level and matching the materials and assignments to the level, we can ensure that the classes work together to give our students the knowledge and skills they need when they finish our programs.


John Connors

PhD, R Psych is Chair and Professor of Psychology at Burman University, Canada, where he has taught for over 25 years. Academic training was at Rutgers University and Western Michigan University. He teaches a wide range of courses from Intro to Psych for 1st-year students to History & Systems of Psychology as a capstone course for majors. He is a member of both CPA and APA and a Registered Psychologist in Alberta.

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