Philosophy - PHIL


The information below lists courses approved in this subject area effective Spring 2015. Not all courses will necessarily be offered these terms. Please consult the Schedule of Classes for a listing of courses offered for a specific term.

500-level courses require graduate standing.

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100 Introduction to Philosophy
3 hours. A survey of traditional problems concerning the existence and nature of God, freedom, justification, morality, etc. Readings from historical or contemporary philosophers. Individual and Society course.

101 Critical Thinking
3 hours. A practical course designed to improve a student's reasoning skills. Emphasis is on developing skill at evaluating, formulating and presenting arguments. Individual and Society course.

102 Introductory Logic
3 hours. Sentential logic: representation of English using truth-functional connectives, decision methods, natural deduction techniques. Introduction to predicate logic: representation of English using quantifiers. Natural World - No Lab course.

103 Introduction to Ethics
3 hours. Surveys attempts to answer central questions of ethics: What acts are right? What things are good? How do we know this? Individual and Society course.

104 Introduction to Political Philosophy
3 hours. An introductory survey of topics in political philosophy that bear on U.S. society. Readings will usually be drawn from both classical and contemporary sources. Individual and Society, and US Society course.

105 Science and Philosophy
3 hours. An exploration of central philosophical (and/or religious) issues as they arise in the sciences. Readings include both scientific (e.g. physics or biology) and philosophical works, and may be drawn from various periods. Natural World - No Lab course.

106 What Is Religion?
3 hours. Examination of issues concerning religion, including varying views of the purposes that religions serve, differences between religions, and arguments for the existence of God. Same as RELS 106. Individual and Society course.

107 What is Art?
3 hours. Introduction to the fundamental problems in understanding art; the historical background; the concept of the aesthetic; theories of art; intentionalistic criticism; metaphor; symbolism; expression; theories of evaluation. Creative Arts course.

110 Philosophy of Love and Sex
3 hours. A philosophical inquiry into traditional and contemporary views about love and sex. Individual and Society course.

112 Morality and the Law
3 hours. What must the law do if it is to protect our rights (such as free speech, privacy, equal treatment)? Why believe we have rights? Individual and Society course.

115 Death
3 hours. Philosophical examination of our attitudes towards death. Our attitudes towards mortality and immortality; definitions of death; treating others as persons; our attitudes towards life, quality of life issues, suicide, rights of the dying. Individual and Society course.

116 Medical Ethics
3 hours. Moral issues as they arise in medical contexts, including such topics as abortion, euthanasia, paternalism, allocation of medical resources, and psychiatric issues.

120 Introduction to Ancient Philosophy
3 hours. Introduction to issues and methods of philosophy through engagement with classic Greek and Roman texts (read in translation). Same as CL 120. Individual and Society, and Past course.

122 Philosophy of Consciousness
3 hours. A philosophical investigation into the nature and importance of consciousness as discussed in a variety of sources in philosophy, literature, and psychology.

184 The Basics of Neuroscience
1 hours. Introduction to the scientific study of the brain and behavior. Overview of neuroscience as an integrative discipline. Same as BIOS 184 and PSCH 184. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading only.

201 Theory of Knowledge
3 hours. Basic issues concerning knowledge of the external world, other minds, scientific laws, and necessary truths. Prerequisite(s): One course in philosophy.

202 Philosophy of Psychology
3 hours. Theories and methods of scientific psychology: modes of explaining the structure of theories, the nature of mental states; implications of commonsense conceptions of the mind. Prerequisite(s): One course in philosophy; or junior or senior standing in the physical, biological, or social sciences; or consent of the instructor.

203 Metaphysics
3 hours. Philosophical issues concerning free will, causation, action, mind and body, identity over time, God, universals and particulars. Emphasis varies from term to term. Prerequisite(s): One course in philosophy or consent of the instructor.

204 Introduction to the Philosophy of Science
3 hours. The nature of scientific observation, explanation, and theories; confirmation of laws and theories; the relation between the physical and social sciences. Prerequisite(s): One course in philosophy; or junior or senior standing in the physical, biological, or social sciences; or consent of the instructor.

206 Introduction to the Philosophy of Language
3 hours. Philosophical issues concerning meaning, the relationship between language and thought, how language is to be distinguished from other forms of communication, and how truth relates to meaning. 3 hours. Prerequisite(s): PHIL 102 or PHIL 210.

210 Symbolic Logic
3 hours. Representation of English sentences using quantifiers and identity; quantificational natural deduction; interpretations. Optional topics include naive set theory; axiomatic systems; theory of descriptions; metatheory. Prerequisite(s): PHIL 102. Recommended background: Grade of B or better in PHIL 102. Natural World - No Lab course.

211 Inductive Logic and Decision Making
3 hours. How to gamble and make other decisions rationally. The role of probability, decision rules, and statistics in real-life contexts. Prerequisite(s): PHIL 102 or PHIL 210.

220 Ancient Philosophy I: Plato and His Predecessors
3 hours. Introduction to Plato and his predecessors in the ancient period. Same as CL 220. It is recommended that PHIL 220/CL 220 and PHIL 221/CL 221 be taken as a sequence in successive terms. Prerequisite(s): One course in philosophy or consent of the instructor.

221 Ancient Philosophy II: Aristotle and His Successors
3 hours. Introduction to Aristotle and his successors in the ancient period. Same as CL 221. It is recommended that PHIL 220/CL 220 and PHIL 221/CL 221 be taken as a sequence in successive terms. Prerequisite(s): One course in philosophy or consent of the instructor.

223 History of Modern Philosophy I: Descartes and His Successors
3 hours. Introduction to Descartes and some of his successors in the early modern period. It is recommended that PHIL 223 and PHIL 224 be taken as a sequence in successive terms. Prerequisite(s): One course in philosophy or consent of the instructor.

224 History of Modern Philosophy II: Kant and His Predecessors
3 hours. Introduction to Kant and some of his predecessors in the early modern period. It is recommended that PHIL 223 and PHIL 224 be taken as a sequence in successive terms. Prerequisite(s): One course in philosophy or consent of the instructor.

225 Nineteenth Century Philosophy
3 hours. A survey course of the works of major nineteenth century philosophers such as: Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, and Schopenhauer. Prerequisite(s): One course in Philosophy or consent of the instructor. Individual and Society course.

226 Twentieth-Century Analytic Philosophy
3 hours. Historical introduction to the major issues and figures of twentieth-century philosophy in the analytic tradition. Readings from Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Quine, and others. Prerequisite(s): PHIL 102 or PHIL 210 or consent of the instructor.

227 Continental Philosophy I: Phenomenology and Existentialism
3 hours. Existential themes in dramas and fiction as well as selections from the works of such thinkers as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Camus and Sartre. Prerequisite(s): Junior standing or consent of the instructor.

230 Topics in Ethics and Political Philosophy
3 hours. Survey of major topics in ethical theory and political philosophy. Emphasis varies. 3 hours. May be repeated if topics vary. Students may register in more than one section per term. Prerequisite(s): One course in philosophy or consent of the instructor. Recommended background: PHIL 103 or PHIL 109 or PHIL 112 or PHIL 116.

232 Sex Roles: Moral and Political Issues
3 hours. Philosophical inquiry into controversies surrounding the changing roles of men and women. Same as GWS 232.

234 Philosophy and Film
3 hours. A philosophical examination of film, dealing with aesthetic issues, or moral and political issues, or both. Screening accompanies discussion. Prerequisite(s): One course in philosophy or consent of the instructor.

240 Philosophy and Revelation: Jewish and Christian Perspectives
3 hours. Introduction to philosophical ways of addressing the claim that a book (the Bible, the Quran) comes from God. Texts by Immanuel Kant, Moses Mendelssohn, and Soren Kierkegaard, among others. Previously listed as PHIL 141. Same as RELS 240 and JST 240. Prerequisite(s): Two courses in philosophy or consent of the instructor. Individual and Society, and World Cultures course.

241 Philosophy of Religion
3 hours. Philosophical inquiry into the grounds of faith and belief, the nature of religious and mystical experience, and the existence and nature of God. Same as RELS 241. Prerequisite(s): One course in philosophy or consent of the instructor.

299 Seminar
3 hours. Selected topics. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 hours. Students may register in more than one section per term. Prerequisite(s): One course in philosophy or consent of the instructor.

300 Fundmentals of Philsophical Discourse
3 hours. An intensive course for philosophy majors aimed at introducing and developing skill in philosophical writing and oral presentation. Previously listed as PHIL 400. Prerequisite(s): Major in philosophy; and junior standing or above or approval of the department.

310 Aristotle and the Arabs
3 hours. Traces the major topics of ancient Greek philosophy, especially those of Aristotle, and their transformation into the philosophy developed in the Arabic classical period. Same as ARAB 310 and CL 310. Prerequisite(s): CL 221 or PHIL 221 or RELS 230.

390 Senior Thesis in Philosophy
3 hours. Students will work individually with a member of the faculty on a topic chosen by the student and approved by the faculty. Prerequisite(s): Open only to seniors; Consent of the instructor and department.

399 Independent Study
2 TO 6 hours. Independent study, under the supervision of a staff member, of a topic not covered in the regular curriculum. Offered at the request of the student and only at the discretion of the staff members concerned. May be repeated. Students may register in more than one section per term. Prerequisite(s): Consent of the instructor.

401 Theory of Knowledge
3 OR 4 hours. Survey and analysis of key topics in epistemology, such as skepticism, the nature of propositional knowledge, justification, perception, memory, induction, other minds, naturalistic epistemology. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): PHIL 201 or consent of the instructor.

402 Topics in Philosophy of Mind
3 OR 4 hours. Survey and analysis of one or more topics in philosophy of mind, such as the mind-body problem, philosophy of psychology, perception and sensation, intentional content, consciousness, and mental causation. 3 undergraduate hours; 4 graduate hours. May be repeated if topics vary, with consent of the instructor. Students may register in more than one section per term. Prerequisite(s): PHIL 202. Recommended background: PHIL 102 or PHIL 210.

403 Metaphysics
3 OR 4 hours. Intensive treatment of one or more topics, such as free will, personal identity, causation, existence, substance and attribute, the nature of the mind. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): PHIL 203 or PHIL 226 or PHIL 426 or consent of the instructor.

404 Philosophy of Science
3 OR 4 hours. Selected works on the aims and methods of science; the status of scientific theories, natural laws and theoretical entities; the nature of scientific explanation. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): PHIL 102 or PHIL 210, and one 200-level course in philosophy; or consent of the instructor.

406 Philosophy of Language
3 OR 4 hours. Intensive treatment of one or more topics, such as meaning and reference, communication, the structure of language, language and thought, and the relation of language to reality. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): PHIL 102 or one 200- or 400-level logic course or PHIL 226 or consent of the instructor.

410 Introduction to Formal Logic
3 OR 4 hours. Review of predicate logic and of introductory set theory. The concept of a formal system. Notions of completeness and soundness. Introduction to Godel's first incompleteness theorem. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): PHIL 210 or consent of the instructor.

416 Metalogic I
3 OR 4 hours. Metatheory for sentence and predicate logic. Completeness and compactness theorems and their applications. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Students who have taken MATH 430 may not register for this course. Should be taken in sequence with PHIL 417. Prerequisite(s): PHIL 210 or consent of the instructor.

417 Metalogic II
3 OR 4 hours. Effective computability and recursive functions. Peano arithmetic. Arithmetization of syntax. Incompleteness and undecidability: Godel's and Church's theorems. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): PHIL 416 or consent of the instructor.

420 Plato
3 OR 4 hours. Careful reading of selected works. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated up to 1 time(s) with approval. Approval to repeat course granted by the department. Prerequisite(s): PHIL 220 or PHIL 221 or 3 courses in philosophy or consent of the instructor.

421 Aristotle
3 OR 4 hours. Careful reading of selected works. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated up to 1 time(s) with approval. Approval to repeat course granted by the department. Prerequisite(s): PHIL 220 or PHIL 221 or 3 courses in philosophy or consent of the instructor.

422 Medieval Philosophy
0 TO 4 hours. Study of selected philosophers such as Augustine, Boethius, Averroes, Maimonides, Aquinas, William of Ockham, Buridan, Suarez. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): PHIL 220 or PHIL 221 or PHIL 420 or PHIL 421 or consent of the instructor.

423 Studies in Early Modern Philosophy
3 OR 4 hours. Careful reading of selected works of one or more philosophers, 1600 to 1750, such as Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkely, Hume, Reid and Rousseau. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated up to 1 time(s) with approval. Approval to repeat course granted by the department. Prerequisite(s): PHIL 223 or PHIL 224 or 3 courses in philosophy or consent of the instructor.

424 Kant
3 OR 4 hours. Intensive study of Kant's metaphysics and theory of knowledge with main reading drawn from the Critique of Pure Reason. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): PHIL 223 or PHIL 224 or 3 courses in philosophy or consent of the instructor.

425 Studies in Nineteenth-Century Philosophy
3 OR 4 hours. Careful reading of one or more post-Kantian philosophers such as Hegel, Schelling, Fichte, Schopenhauer, Marx, J.S. Mill, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): One 200-level course in philosophy or consent of the instructor.

426 Analysis and Logical Empiricism
3 OR 4 hours. Developments in twentieth century philosophy with roots in the study of logic and language, such as logical atomism, logical empiricism, and contemporary analytic philosophy. Topics vary. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): PHIL 210 or PHIL 226 or consent of the instructor.

427 Continental Philosophy II: European Thought Since 1960
3 OR 4 hours. European thought since 1960: Existential Marxism; Critical Theory; Structuralism, Post-Structuralism and Deconstruction. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. Prerequisite(s): PHIL 227 or consent of the instructor.

428 Topics in Ancient Philosophy
3 OR 4 hours. Careful reading of related works by Ancient Philosophers, such as Plato and Aristotle. 3 undergraduate hours; 4 graduate hours. May be repeated if topics vary, with consent of the instructor. Students may register in more than one section per term. Prerequisite(s): PHIL 220 or PHIL 221; and junior standing or above.

429 Special Studies in the History of Philosophy
3 OR 4 hours. Advanced study of a historical school, period, or the development of a historical theme. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated up to 1 time(s) with approval. Approval to repeat course granted by the department. Prerequisite(s): One 200-level course in the history of philosophy or consent of the instructor.

430 Ethics
3 OR 4 hours. Selected topics in moral philosophy, such as normative ethics, value theory or meta-ethics. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated up to 1 time(s) with approval. Approval to repeat course granted by the department. Prerequisite(s): One 200-level course in philosophy or consent of the instructor. Recommended background: Credit in a course in moral, social, or political philosophy.

431 Social/Political Philosophy
3 OR 4 hours. Selected topics in social and political philosophy. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated up to 1 time(s) with approval. Approval to repeat course granted by the department. Prerequisite(s): One 200-level course in philosophy or consent of the instructor. Recommended background: Credit in a course in moral, social, or political philosophy.

432 Topics in Ethics
3 OR 4 hours. Selected topics in ethics. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated up to 1 time(s) with approval. Approval to repeat course granted by the department. Prerequisite(s): One 200-level course in philosophy or consent of the instructor. Recommended background: Credit in a course in moral, social, or political philosophy.

433 Topics in Social/Political Philosophy
3 OR 4 hours. Selected topics in social and political philosophy. 3 undergraduate hours. 4 graduate hours. May be repeated up to 1 time(s) with approval. Approval to repeat course granted by the department. Prerequisite(s): One 200-level course in philosophy or consent of the instructor. Recommended background: Credit in a course in moral, social, or political philosophy.

441 Topics in Philosophy of Religion
3 hours. Intensive study of one or more selected topics concerning the philosophical aspects of basic religious beliefs and concepts. Same as RELS 441. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours of credit if topic is different for each registration. Students may register for more than one section per term. Prerequisite(s): One 200-level course in philosophy (except 210) or consent of the instructor.

484 Neuroscience I
3 hours. Neuroscience as an integrative discipline. Neuroanatomy of vertebrates, neural development, cellular neurobiology, action potential mechanisms, synaptic transmission and neuropharmacology. Same as BIOS 484 and PSCH 484. Prerequisite(s): BIOS 286 or PSCH 262.

485 Neuroscience II
3 hours. Integrative neuroscience; continuation of BIOS/PSCH/PHIL 484. Sensory and motor systems; learning, memory, and language. Pathology of nervous systems. Philosophical perspectives, and modeling. Same as BIOS 485 and PSCH 485. Prerequisite(s): BIOS 484.

500 Writing in Philosophy
4 hours. Practice in philosophical writing including finding a thesis. Judicious choice of reading on the topic, outlining, and composing drafts as well as style, paragraphing, and making sentences. Required of all first year Ph.D. students. Prerequisite(s): Graduate standing in philosophy.

501 Seminar: Topics in Ancient Philosophy
4 hours. Intensive study of selected topics. May be repeated with approval. Approval to repeat course granted by the department. Students may register for more than one section per term when topics vary.

503 Medieval Philosophy
4 hours. Intensive study of special topics in medieval philosophy. May be repeated with approval. Approval to repeat course granted by the department. Students may register for more than one section per term when topics vary.

504 Seminar in Political Theory
4 hours. A graduate introduction to Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment theories of politics and society in the North Atlantic world. Same as POLS 504. Prerequisite(s): Consent of the department required for nondegree graduate students.

505 Seminar in Modern Philosophy
4 hours. Intensive analysis of the work of one important philosopher or philosophical movement between 1600 and 1900. May be repeated with approval. Approval to repeat course granted by the department. Students may register for more than one section per term when topics vary.

508 Nineteenth-Century Philosophy
4 hours. Topics in nineteenth-century philosophy. May be repeated with approval. Students may register for more than one section per term. Approval to repeat course granted by the department.

509 History of Analytic Philosophy
4 hours. Topics in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Anglo-American philosophy. May be repeated with approval. Approval to repeat course granted by the department. Students may register for more than one section per term when topics vary.

510 History of Ethics and Social/Political Philosophy
4 hours. Topics in the history of ethics or social-political philosophy. May be repeated with approval. Approval to repeat course granted by the department. Students may register for more than one section per term when topics vary.

513 Topics in History of Philosophy
4 hours. Philosophers, philosophical schools, or intellectual trends other than those of the ancient and modern periods. May be repeated with approval. Approval to repeat course granted by the department. Students may register for more than one section per term when topics vary.

520 Topics in Contemporary Philosophy
4 hours. Intensive analysis of the work of one important philosopher or philosophical movement of the twentieth century. May be repeated with approval. Approval to repeat course granted by the department. Students may register for more than one section per term when topics vary.

522 Feminist Philosophy
4 hours. Topics in feminist philosophy. May be repeated with approval. Students may register for more than one section per term. Approval to repeat course granted by the department.

524 Continental Philosophy
4 hours. Topics in continental philosophy. May be repeated with approval. Approval to repeat course granted by the department. Students may register for more than one section per term when topics vary.

526 Ethics
4 hours. Intensive study of selected topics. May be repeated with approval. Approval to repeat course granted by the department. Students may register for more than one section per term when topics vary.

528 Social/Political Philosophy
4 hours. Intensive study of selected topics. May be repeated with approval. Approval to repeat course granted by the department. Students may register for more than one section per term when topics vary.

530 Aesthetics
4 hours. Intensive study of selected topics in aesthetics. May be repeated with approval. Approval to repeat course granted by the department. Students may register for more than one section per term when topics vary.

532 Metaphysics
4 hours. Intensive study of selected topics. May be repeated with approval. Approval to repeat course granted by the department. Students may register for more than one section per term when topics vary.

534 Philosophy of Mind
4 hours. Intensive study of selected topics. May be repeated with approval. Approval to repeat course granted by the department. Students may register for more than one section per term when topics vary.

536 Epistemology
4 hours. Selected topics in the contemporary theory of knowledge. May be repeated with approval. Approval to repeat course granted by the department. Students may register for more than one section per term when topics vary.

538 Philosophy of Language
4 hours. Intensive study of selected topics. May be repeated with approval. Approval to repeat course granted by the department. Students may register for more than one section per term when topics vary.

540 Philosophy of Science
4 hours. Intensive study of selected topics. May be repeated with approval. Approval to repeat course granted by the department. Students may register for more than one section per term when topics vary.

542 Philosophy of Special Sciences
4 hours. Intensive study of special topics in philosophy of physics, philosophy of biology, or other sciences. May be repeated with approval. Approval to repeat course granted by the department. Students may register for more than one section per term when topics vary.

544 Philosophy of Logic
4 hours. Intensive study of selected topics. May be repeated with approval. Approval to repeat course granted by the department. Students may register for more than one section per term when topics vary.

546 Philosophy of Mathematics
4 hours. Philosophical foundations of mathematics. May be repeated with approval. Approval to repeat course granted by the department.

562 Mathematical Logic
4 hours. First order logic, completeness and incompleteness theorems, introduction to model theory and computability theory. Same as MATH 502. Prerequisite(s): MATH 430 or consent of the instructor.

563 Metamathematics II
4 hours. Incompleteness theorems, elementary recursion theory and proof theory, first and second order arithmetic. Same as MATH 503. Prerequisite(s): MATH 502 or PHIL 562.

565 Set Theory
4 hours. Naive and axiomatic set theory. Independence of the continuum hypothesis and the axiom of choice. Same as MATH 504. Prerequisite(s): MATH 430 or MATH 502 or PHIL 562.

567 Model Theory I
4 hours. Elementary embeddings, quantifier elimination, types, saturated and prime models, indiscernibles, Morley's Categoricity Theorem. Same as MATH 506. Prerequisite(s): MATH 502 or PHIL 562.

568 Model Theory II
4 hours. Stability theory: forking and indpendence, stable groups, geometric stability. Same as MATH 507. Prerequisite(s): MATH 506 or PHIL 567.

569 Advanced Topics in Logic
4 hours. Advanced topics in modern logic; e.g. large cardinals, infinitary logic, model theory of fields, o-minimality, Borel equivalence relations. Same as MATH 512. May be repeated. Students may register in more than one section per term. Prerequisite(s): Approval of the department.

590 Research Seminar
4 hours. A work-in-progress seminar for graduate students at the topical, prospectus, or dissertation level. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading only. May be repeated. Prerequisite(s): Completion of 10 of the 14 required courses for the Ph.D. in Philosophy.

591 Teaching Methods in Philosophy
1 hours. Techniques and methods of teaching philosophy for philosophy teaching assistants. Includes visits to classes taught by students and feedback on teaching methods and performance. Course information: Open only to Philosophy PhD students.

593 Independent Research
2 TO 8 hours. Topics and plan of study must be approved by the candidate's advisor and by the staff member who directs the work. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading only. May be repeated. Students may register in more than one section per term.

596 Independent Study
1 TO 4 hours. Topics and plan of study must be approved by the candidate's advisor and by the staff member who directs the work. May be repeated. Students may register in more than one section per term.

599 Thesis Research
0 TO 16 hours. Research for the Ph.D. thesis. Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading only. May be repeated. Students may register in more than one section per term.


Information provided by the Office of Programs and Academic Assessment.

This listing is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a contract. Every attempt is made to provide the most current and correct information. Courses listed here are subject to change without advance notice. Courses are not necessarily offered every term or year. Individual departments or units should be consulted for information regarding frequency of course offerings.