Academic Program Terminology

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

Listed below are the current graduate and undergraduate course prefixes.

AAD - Arts Administration
ACC - Accounting
ADS - African American and African Diaspora Studies
APD - Apparel Product Design
ARB - Arabic
ARC - Archaeology
ARE - Art Education
ARH - Art History
ARS - Academic Recovery Seminar
ART - Studio Art
ASL - American Sign Language
AST - Astronomy
ATY - Anthropology
BIO - Biology
BLS - Humanities
BUS - Business Administration
CCI - Classical Civilization
CED - Counseling and Educational Development
CHE - Chemistry and Biochemistry
CHI - Chinese
CNS - Consortium
CRS - Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies
CSC - Computer Science
CSD - Communication Sciences and Disorders
CST - Communication Studies
CTP - Comprehensive Transition and Postsecondary Education
CTR - Community and Therapeutic Recreation
DCE - Dance
ECO - Economics
ELC - Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations
ENG - English
ENS - Ensemble
ENT - Entrepreneurship
ERM - Educational Research Methodology
ESL - English as a Second Language
FFL - Foundations for Learning
FIN - Finance
FMS - Freshman Seminars
FRE - French
FYE - First Year Experience
GEN - Genetic Counseling
GER - German
GES - Geography, Environment, and Sustainability 
GRC - Grogan College
GRK - Greek
GRO - Gerontology
GRS - Graduate School
HDF - Human Development and Family Studies
HEA - Public Health
HED - Higher Education
HHS - School of Health and Human Sciences
HIS - History
HSS - Honors Programs
IAA - Advanced Data Analytics
IAB - Bioinformatics
IAC - Computational Analytics
IAF - Informatics and Analytics Foundations
IAG - Geospatial Analytics
IAL - Cultural Analytics
IAR - Interior Architecture
IGS - International and Global Studies
IPC - International Programs Center
ISL - Integrated Studies Lab
ISM - Information Systems and Operations Management
ITA - Italian
JNS - Japanese Studies
KIN - Kinesiology
LAT - Latin
LIS - Library and Information Science
LLC - Languages, Literatures, and Cultures
MAS - Master of Applied Arts and Sciences
MAT - Mathematics
MBA - Master of Business Administration
MCP - Middle College
MGT - Management
MKT-  Marketing
MSC - Military Science
MST - Media Studies
MUE - Music Education
MUP -  Music Performance
MUS - Music
NAN - Nanoscience
NTR - Nutrition
NUR - Nursing
ONC - Online NC Interinstitutional
PCS - Peace and Conflict Studies
PHI - Philosophy
PHY - Physics
PSC - Political Science
PSY - Psychology
RCO - Residential College
RCS - Retailing and Consumer Studies
REL - Religious Studies
RUS - Russian
SCM - Supply Chain Management
SES - Specialized Education Services
SOC - Sociology
SPA - Spanish
SSC - Social Sciences
STA - Statistics
STH - Sustainable Tourism and Hospitality
STR - Strong College
SWK - Social Work
TED - Teacher Education
THR - Theatre
UNCX - UNC Exchange
VPA - Visual and Performing Arts
WCV - Western Civilization
WGS - Women’s and Gender Studies

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 descriptions for graduate-level courses (600 and 700 level) are printed in the University Catalog.

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

Code—Title (Organized/Individual)

ACT—Physical Activity (OC)
A course requiring students to participate in physical training, physical conditioning, or other physical exercise activities, sports, or games.

ADN—Administrative (IS)
For administrative use only. Placeholder or other administrative courses used to generate registration activity for a student for billing or other administrative purposes.

CBE—Competency Based (OC)
A course requiring students to demonstrate specific knowledge and skills aligned with clearly defined programmatic outcomes. Courses are typically self-paced and part of a designated competency-based education (CBE) program.

CLN—Clinical (OC)
A course requiring medical- or healthcare-focused experiential work where students test, observe, experiment, or practice a field or discipline in a hands-on or simulated environment.

COL—Colloquia (OC)
A course requiring students to participate in an unstructured or informal meeting for the exchange of views on a specific topic with an expert or qualified representative of the field or discipline.

DSC—Recitations (OC)
course requiring the extended expression of thought supported by generally-accepted principals or theorems of a field or discipline led by a teaching assistant or instructor under the guidance of a permanent faculty member, which often supplements or expands upon the content of a related or co-requisite course. G campus requires a meeting pattern/location.

DTS—Dissertation or Thesis (IS)

IND—Individual Study (IS)
A course requiring students to participate in individualized, independent, directed, or guided studies under the supervision of an expert or qualified representative of the field or discipline that cannot be otherwise classified as Internship, Field Experience, Cooperative Education, Practicum, Recital, Performance, or Ensemble.

INT—Internship, Field Experience, or Cooperative Education (IS)
A course requiring students to participate in a partnership, professional employment, work experience, or cooperative education with an entity external to the institution, generally under the supervision of an employee of the given external entity.

LAB—Lab (OC)
A course requiring scientific- or research-focused experiential work where students test, observe, experiment, or practice a field or discipline in a hands-on environment, typically held in 210 designated spaces.

LEC—Lecture (OC)
A course requiring the extended expression of thought supported by generally-accepted principles or theorems of a field or discipline led by an expert or qualified representative of the field or discipline.

LEL—Lecture and Lab (OC)
A course that requires the combined attributes of a Lecture course and a Lab course.

PRC—Practicum (OC)
A course requiring students to participate in an approved project or proposal that practically applies previously studied theory of the field or discipline under the supervision of an expert or qualified representative of the field or discipline.

PRF—Recital, Performance, or Ensemble (IS)
A course requiring recital-, performance-, or ensemble-focused experiential work, including individual lessons, where students practice or rehearse and ultimately perform works of music, dance, or theatre for a jury or audience.

SEM—Seminar (OC)
A course requiring students to participate in structured conversation or debate focused on assigned readings, current or historical events, or shared experiences led by an expert or qualified representative of the field or discipline.

SLF—Correspondence (IS)
A course requiring the institution to provide instructional materials, by mail or electronic transmission, including examinations on the materials, to students who are separated from the instructor. Interaction between the instructor and the student is limited, is not regular and substantive, and is primarily initiation by the student; courses are typically self-paced.

STT—Student Teaching (IS)
A course requiring students to instruct or teach at an entity external to the institution, generally as part of the culminating curriculum of a teacher education or certification program.

STU—Studio (OC)
A course requiring visual- or aesthetic-focused experiential work where students test, observe, experiment, or practice a field or discipline in a hands-on environment.

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.

Undergraduate Areas of Study

Undergraduate areas of study include all majors, concentrations, teacher licensure programs, minors, and second majors that are available to UNC Greensboro students. Students seeking a baccalaureate degree must select a primary major, and may, after consultation with an advisor, also select a minor or a second major.

Major Description And Program Requirements

A major is a formalized curricular program leading to a degree. A concentration is a formalized curricular sequence established to achieve a specific goal within a major. Each academic unit or department establishes the course requirements for each major program, concentrations within a major, and related area requirements. All program requirements follow the general structure described below.

Major Description

The following information is always included at the beginning of the major listing:

  1. Name of major
  2. Degree awarded
  3. Total credit hours required for the degree
  4. Area of Study Codes (AOS)
  5. Concentrations available (if more than one area of study is available)

Program Admission Requirements

Special program admission and/or continuation requirements, if any, are listed immediately following the description of the major and degree. A number of programs have requirements that must be met before the student can be formally admitted to the major and permitted to take upper-level courses. Such requirements usually involve completion of foundation courses, achievement of a certain GPA, and completion of a specified number of credit hours. Certain programs require portfolio review or audition for admission.

Program Course Requirements

General Education Requirements

All students completing undergraduate degrees at UNC Greensboro are required to complete General Education Core and Marker Requirements. All undergraduate programs follow General Education requirements. Most programs in the College of Arts and Sciences have College Additional Requirements (CIC) in addition to the General Education requirements. General Education core and marker requirements, including specific courses specified by the program, are listed prior to the major requirements.

Major Requirements

Major requirements include all courses that must be taken within the major department for completion of the degree. All undergraduate majors require a minimum of 27 credits in the major program of study.

Majors that provide students with more than one concentration or area of study within the major will usually separate the Major Requirements into Core Requirements and Additional Concentration Requirements. Core courses are those courses required of all students in the major, regardless of concentration. Concentration requirements are additional courses required only for a specific concentration.

A program of study taken by a student as a second major, in addition to the student’s primary major, must meet all requirements as stated for that major. For example, a student pursuing English as the primary major who wishes to obtain a second major in French, must meet all the requirements for the English major as well as those for the French major.

Related Area Requirements

A number of majors require courses from other departments or programs for completion of the degree. Such courses are listed as “Related Area” requirements following the major requirements.

Teacher Licensure Requirements

Programs that lead to teacher licensure also list teacher licensure requirements.

Second Academic Concentration Requirements for Teacher Licensure Programs

Several teacher licensure programs require students to complete a second academic concentration in addition to the primary major program. Students in teacher education programs should check with their advisors or with the School of Education Licensure Programs for available second academic concentrations.


Most programs do not specify which electives a student must take although some may make suggestions. Electives are those courses taken to complete the credits required for the degree after fulfilling General Education requirements and major, related and/or other program requirements.


A minor is a formalized curricular sequence taken by a student outside his or her major area of study. Programs that can be taken as minors are described following descriptions of the major and second major. A minimum of 15 credit hours in a department is required to complete an area of study as a minor. Several areas of study can be taken only as minors. See individual programs for details.

Special Curriculum Option (Plan II)

For students whose intellectual interests and professional goals span more than one Academic Department, a special curriculum option—called Plan II—allows students to design an individualized interdisciplinary course of study drawing on existing faculty expertise and interest. Plan II programs should reflect the same kind of rigorous intellectual investigation found in UNC Greensboro’s established department based majors. Rigorous intellectual investigation varies by discipline, but typically involves a scaffolded set of courses that build upon each other; some degree of formal theoretical analysis is often, if not universally, desirable.

Developing an individualized program is a time consuming process, often taking one year from initial intent to final approval. Students must file a statement of intent to pursue Plan II with the University Curriculum Committee prior to completing their first 45 institutional credit hours, and submit the full plan for review prior to completing their first 60 institutional credit hours. Students desiring to pursue Plan II should be advised that there is no guarantee that their proposed program will lead to graduation until it has been fully approved.

Required steps have been adopted by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee for approving Plan II programs. The following is an abbreviated description of the procedures that must be followed:

  1. Consult with the Student’s First Office regarding established UNC Greensboro majors &/or minors to determine if a program that supports the student’s interdisciplinary goals already exists (Plan II programs that replicate existing programs with minor variations will not be approved).
  2. Select a faculty advisor with academic expertise in the primary component of the interdisciplinary major.
  3. With the help of the faculty advisor, Select another faculty member with expertise in a different component of the interdisciplinary major, as well as a representative of the Unit Advising representative to serve on an advisory committee.
  4. Develop a formal proposal with the advisory committee.
  5. Proposal must be reviewed by the lead faculty advisor’s academic unit’s curriculum committee.
  6. Proposals are then reviewed by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee

Minor modifications to an approved Plan II program may be made if approved by both the faculty advisor and the University Registrar’s Office. Other modifications require the full process outlined.