Guide To Course Descriptions

Course descriptions are comprised of the following information:

  • course number—each course description is represented by a three-letter prefix (indicating the department or program within which the course is taken) and a three-digit course number.
  • course title
  • course credit (in parentheses)—after each course title are two (or three) numbers separated by colons which indicate credit hours, lecture, and laboratory hours.
  • description of course content
  • prerequisites and/or corequisites
  • courses with which the course may be cross-listed (i.e., Same as . . .)
  • frequency of offering
  • General Education credit (Distribution)
  • special information (Notes), which may include:
    • special restrictions or other requirements
    • repeat-for-credit notation, if course can be repeated
    • grading mode, if other than letter grade
    • previous course occurences, if renumbered or prefix changed (i.e., Formerly . . .)
    • equivalent course credit

See topics listed below for explanations of the above items.

Course Prefixes

See the topic Course Prefixes in this Academic Program Terminology section.

Course Numbers and Levels

Course level numbers are structured as listed below.

Course Level Number Description
100-199 intended primarily for freshmen
200-299 intended primarily for sophomores
300-399 intended primarily for juniors
400-499 intended primarily for seniors
500-599 for all graduate students
600-749 for all graduate students, including doctoral
750-799 doctoral level only

Undergraduates are reminded that a minimum of 36 credit hours must be completed at the 300 level or above to meet graduation requirements.

Course Credit Hours

Credits for all courses are reported in credit hours. A credit hour credit equals one 50-minute class period per week or its equivalent throughout one semester. The number of credits given for each course is listed as part of the course description immediately following the course title.

Course Type Abbreviations with Instructional Delivery Method

See the topic Course Type Abbreviations with Instructional Delivery Method in this Academic Program Terminology section.

Course Description

The description of a course is necessarily brief and is intended to give students a concise overview of course content. A course syllabus, which contains complete details about a course’s content and requirements, may be obtained from the department or instructor.

Course Prerequisites and/or Corequisites

A prerequisite is a course that must be completed before another course may be taken. A corequisite is a course that must be taken concurrently with another course. Prerequisites and corequisites are indicated with the heading Prerequisite or Corequisite followed by the requirements that must be met before that course may be taken. A student may not enroll in a course without having completed the proper prerequisites unless these prerequisites have been waived by the head of the department in which the course is offered.

Cross-Listed Courses

Each semester a number of courses are cross-listed with courses taught in a different department. These courses meet in the same room at the same time but have different course prefixes and may have different numbers. Cross-listed courses are listed under the Cross Listed Courses heading (“Same as . . .”). Students should be aware of cross-listings before registering in order to avoid taking a course for which they will not receive additional credit.

Frequency of Course Offering

Many courses indicate the semester(s) in which they are usually offered. This information is listed under the Offered heading:

  • Fall and Spring—course usually offered both fall and spring semesters.
  • Fall and Spring and Summer—course usually offered fall and spring semesters and summer session.
  • (Fall or Spring)—course usually offered either fall or spring semesters.
  • (Fall or Spring or Summer)—course may be offered fall semester, or spring semester, or summer session.
  • (Fall or Spring or Winter)—course may be offered fall semester, or spring semester, or winter session.
  • (Fall)—course usually offered fall only.
  • (Spring)—course usually offered spring only.
  • (Summer)—course usually offered summer only.
  • (Alt)—course usually offered only in alternate semesters or years.
  • (Even, Odd)—course usually offered in even or odd semesters or years.
  • (Occ)—course offered occasionally.

Students should also be aware that regularly scheduled undergraduate classes for which fewer than ten students enroll (or graduate classes for which fewer than five students enroll) will be offered only with special approval of the Provost. If enrollment does not justify continuation of a class, the class may not be offered that semester.

General Education Requirement Abbreviations

See the General Education Program topic in the University Requirements section.

Other Course Restrictions

Some courses carry additional restrictions (Freshmen only; Majors only; etc.). Such restrictions are also listed in the prerequisite notation.

Repeat-for-Credit Notation

Some courses may be repeated for credit under special circumstances. Such information is listed in the Notes.

Grading Method

Courses are graded by letter grade (A–F) unless otherwise noted in the course description. If a course is graded other than by letter grade, this information is stated after the prerequisite listing. Also see the topic on Grading in the Academic Regulations and Policies Section.

Pass/Not Pass Courses

Undergraduate/advanced undergraduate courses that are graded P/NP (Pass/Not Pass) or S/U (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory) and are so noted in their descriptions.

Equivalent Course Credit

A number of undergraduate courses have course content that is considered equivalent to other similar courses. The course entry in this bulletin will contain a notation under the Notes heading—such as “Students may not earn credit for both . . .” Students should be aware of such equivalencies before registering in order to avoid taking a course for which they will not receive additional credit.