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Course Numbering System

The course numbering system is provided here to help guide the creation and revision of courses and academic programs.

All valid numbers are three digits, between 001-699, without the addition of alpha prefixes or suffixes. In general, course numbers should follow a hierarchical scheme, with the lower numbers representing lower levels of instruction or difficulty.

001-099: Developmental courses that do not carry academic credit, but that carry administrative credit for purposes of calculating tuition, full- or part-time status, financial aid eligibility, and satisfaction of special program requirements.

100-199: Introductory courses generally considered appropriate for the first-year college student. These courses may be prerequisites to more advanced courses. They may or may not award general education credit. They do not carry undergraduate advanced-level credit. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors may register for them.

200-299: Courses that are intended for sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have completed the 100-level prerequisites. These courses may or may not award general education credit. These may be introductory courses in a subject that requires 100-level work in other disciplines as prerequisites. Freshmen may register for these courses if they have satisfied the prerequisites through AP courses in high school or through proficiency or placement tests.

300-399: Courses that require 200-level prerequisites or that are of sufficient complexity or difficulty that they require a broader educational background and maturity to perform at optimal levels. In some disciplines sophomores may register for these courses if they meet the standard for rigor. These courses are generally taken by juniors and seniors who will receive advanced-level undergraduate credit, but not graduate credit. All senior seminar or senior theses courses should be included in this category. These courses include those offered in professional colleges that require junior standing for admission, but which are not intended for graduate credit at any level.

400-499: Advanced undergraduate- and graduate-level courses. Students with graduate standing may register for these courses and receive graduate credit. (Some units may wish to restrict this level to graduate students only.)

500-599: Courses intended exclusively for graduate and post-baccalaureate professional-degree students.

600-level courses accommodate students in special programs.

Graduate Course Numbers Heading link

The Graduate College has reserved the following numbers at the 400 and 500 levels for special purpose courses:

  • 494: Special Topics in [Unit Name].
  • 593: Independent Research in [Unit Name].1-8 semester hours. Satisfactory/unsatisfactory grade only. Similar to 596 (Independent Study), but awards a Satisfactory/unsatisfactory rather than a normal grade.
  • 594: Special Topics in [Unit Name].
  • 595: Departmental Seminar, 1-3 semester hours. S/U grades only.
  • 596: Independent Study, 1-4 semester hours. May be repeated for credit. Students may register for more than one section per term. S/U or letter grades permitted.
  • 597: Project Research, 0-16 semester hours. Intended for use in master’s programs that allow or require a project in lieu of a thesis. S/U grades only.
  • 598: Master’s Thesis Research, 0-16 semester hours. S/U grades only.
  • 599: PhD Thesis Research, 0-16 semester hours. S/U grades only.