Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Special Topics and Experimental Courses

Effective 1/2010

In addition to courses listed in the University catalog and offered regularly by departments, special courses may be offered under -94 (special topics) and -97, -98 (experimental courses)numbers.

-94 special topics courses are intended to allow departments to take advantage of special circumstances, such as hosting a visiting professor with expertise in an area not represented in a department’s regular course offerings. UH Hilo faculty may also offer a special topics course in an area of particular interest to the faculty member which is judged by the department not to be suitable for inclusion in the regular curriculum. Special topics classes require the approval of the Department and the Dean (and the Division Chair in units that have Division Chairs). A course on the same special topic may be offered only twice. If the faculty member wishes to offer the same topic a third time, the course must go through the regular review process under an appropriate course number, so that it becomes a part of the curriculum. Students may take more than one -94 course provided the content is different for each offering.

-97 (fall), -98(spring/summer) experimental courses are intended to allow a faculty member to teach a course to determine if it should be submitted to the curricular review process for inclusion in the regular curriculum. These courses must be approved by the Department and the Dean. These courses are to be offered only once using the -97 or-98 number1; successful experimental courses may be integrated into the department’s standard curriculum through the normal campus review process.

The same course content may not be offered as both a Special Topics and Experimental Course.

Faculty seeking approval for a Topics or Experimental Course should use the Experimental/Special Topics Course Proposal form. Once the form has been signed by the Dean, it should be sent to the Office of the Registrar .


Reviewed by UH Hilo Faculty Congress April 2009


  1. In cases where the unit decides to propose the course for inclusion in the regular curriculum but wishes to offer the course in the following semester (too soon for a complete campus curriculum review), the unit may offer the course one more time under the experimental number for the following semester as long as the formal regular campus curricular review process has been initiated. Review will have been initiated when the approval form has been completed and submitted to the first review body. ↩︎