Cross-Listing Boston University Courses

Effective fall 2020

Cross-listing, the practice of offering a single course for registration with two or more different course numbering codes, is an established practice at Boston University and is currently supported by extensive, term-based programming unique to Boston University’s student information system. Cross-listing is designated “meets with” on the class schedule.


Classes are considered to be cross-listed if they share all of these characteristics without variation:

  • Instructors
  • Meeting pattern
  • Classroom
  • Class components, e.g., lecture, lab, discussion
  • Unit hours
  • Prerequisites or equivalents
  • Course title
  • Class description
  • Course syllabus
  • Same course outcomes
  • Carry units in each participating department
  • Meet the same general education requirements, if approved as such

Courses may be officially cross-listed for registration regardless of their department affiliation if they are educationally at the same degree level or no more than 200 levels apart (100 and 300, 400 and 600). All students in a cross-listed course share the same educational experiences. Undergraduate- and graduate-level courses may be cross-listed so long as graduate students register for the graduate course and meet all the undergraduate outcomes and additional graduate-level outcomes, as evidenced by such additional assessments as a research paper or final project. Graduate-level courses in a cross-listed group may require additional (but not alternative), graduate-only assignments, projects, or class time to achieve the additional outcomes. Should additional class time be needed, an additional graduate-only class corequisite will be scheduled with a different course number.

The maximum enrollment for one of the cross-listed classes cannot equal or exceed the maximum enrollment for all of its cross-lists in total. Students may register for the cross-listed course that makes sense for them; the awarding of units is managed in the degree audit system, and enrollment matters are managed by seat reservations and wait lists. Wait lists are currently handled at the department or school/college level. The maximum number of cross-listed courses in a cross-listed group cannot exceed four in the current student information system. Existing courses will not be grandfathered; they must adjust to meet the new requirement.

Cross-listing is a formal relationship that cannot be unilaterally ended or interrupted. If one course in a cross-listing group is offered, all courses must be offered. The courses do not meet independently of each other. Students cannot receive academic units for more than one course that is part of a cross-listed group.

Directed studies, internships that do not include a common classroom element, thesis or dissertations courses, and “topics courses” in which topics vary (as opposed to specific readings that vary) cannot be cross-listed.