Course Numbering System and Guide to Course Descriptions

Course numbering system (Fall 2009 to present)

Number Definition
000-099 Background courses
100-199 Lower division courses designed primarily for freshmen
200-299 Lower division courses designed primarily for sophomores
300-399 Upper division courses designed primarily for juniors
400-599 Upper division courses designed primarily for seniors
600-799 Graduate courses designed primarily for master's level study
800-899 Upper-level graduate courses primarily for students in specialist or doctoral programs
900-999 Upper-level graduate courses primarily for students in doctoral programs

Course description

In addition to providing a brief description of the course content, it also includes:

  • Pass/Not Pass grading options.
  • Repeat limitations.
  • Limitations on course applicability to degree requirements.
  • Courses that have both an undergraduate and graduate version. Students enrolled in either version meet in the same room at the same time with the same instructor. The graduate level version of the course must require coursework appropriate for graduate credit. These courses are referred to as "cross-listed" courses in the class schedule.
  • Periodicity indicating anticipated semester when the course may be offered.

Credit and contact hours

  • Credit hours represent a unit of academic credit measured in semester hours. Some courses may be offered for a range of credit hours. Learn more: Credit Hours and Semester System Policy.
  • Lecture contact hours represents the number of hours per week the class will meet in a lecture environment (based on a 15-week semester).
  • Lab contact hours represents the number of hours per week the class will meet in a laboratory environment (based on a 15-week semester).
  • Clinical contact hours represents the number of hours per week the course will meet in clinical experiences outside the classroom and may not be indicated as lab hours. Normally clinical hours will require three or more hours per week per hour of credit. Some typical clinical courses are Nursing, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy.
  • Courses with no standard lecture or laboratory contact hours indicates class time is spent outside the normal classroom environment (i.e., field study, internships, practicums, research, service learning, supervised teaching, thesis, etc.)

Prerequisite and corequisite

  • A prerequisite may consist of one or more background courses, a placement test score, admission to a specific program of study, or departmental permission. The student is responsible for having the appropriate prerequisites prior to the beginning of the class. If any academic department determines that a student does not have the appropriate prerequisite, registration for the class may be cancelled either prior to or after classes begin. Questions concerning the prerequisite should be directed to the academic department offering the class
  • Some courses may require concurrent enrollment in another course during the same semester, referred to as a "corequisite" in the class schedule.
  • Prerequisites and corequisites change over time and are not dependent on the student's catalog of graduation. The registration system will enforce prerequisites that are in effect for the semester of registration.

Variable content course

The variable content course statement indicates course is defined as one having in either its course title or its description any of the following terms: variable content, special topics, issues, problems, seminars, projects, independent study, or readings. Variable content courses include any courses that may be substantially different from one semester to another. Also included in this category are special problems, special projects, readings, and research conducted on a tutorial basis with individual students. Unless otherwise stipulated in the course description, a variable content course may be taken only once for credit.