Course Numbering System

Assignment of new course numbers

The heads of the academic units proposing courses should request the assignment of new course numbers. Any one of the six changes listed below requires the assignment of a new number.

  • New course added
  • Significant change in content of established course
  • Significant change in credits of established course
  • Change of established hyphenated course to separate course
  • Change of separate courses to hyphenated course
  • Significant change in time pattern of established course (class hours of lecture, lab, or discussion)

Course level descriptions

The University Senate approved the following Course Numbering Directives on March 14, 2005.

Course Numbers Description
0000-0999 Ratcliffe Hicks School of Agriculture or pre-college work; may not be taken for degree credit by Baccalaureate students
1000-1999 Introductory courses, usually with no prerequisites, primarily intended for freshmen and sophomores
2000-2999 Courses, usually with no more than one prerequisite, primarily intended for sophomores
3000-3999 Advanced undergraduate courses, primarily intended for juniors and seniors
4000-4999 Advanced undergraduate courses, primarily intended for seniors
5000-5999 Entry-level and intermediate graduate courses
6000-6999 Advanced graduate courses
7000-7999 Law School
8000-8999 School of Medicine (for entering class of 2016 as approved by Office of the Provost of Academic Affairs 01/29/16)

Reserved course numbers

Course numbers xx80 to xx99 are reserved for special topics, thesis, internships, etc. as follows:

Number Course type
xx80 or xx90 Field study
xx81 or xx91 Internship
xx82 or xx92 Practicum
xx83 or xx93 Foreign Study
xx84 or xx94 Seminar
xx85 or xx95 Special Topics
xx86 or xx96 Thesis
xx87 or xx97 Honors Thesis
xx88 or xx98 Variable Topics
xx89 Undergraduate Research
xx99 Independent Study

Reusing course numbers (Eight Year Rule)

No course number previously assigned, but dropped, will be assigned again until the original number remains unassigned for a period of at least eight years or a course that has been archived using the Senate’s Five Year Rule* becomes reinstated without change or a dropped course becomes reinstated without change.

If the content of a course is changed sufficiently to warrant assigning a new number, a statement should appear after the description of the course, noting the prior course (Example: _______ “Formerly offered as ENGL ….”).

* Courses that have not been offered in the previous five years may, at the request of the department, be inactivated and archived. Reactivating the course would also only require a department request; the approval process need not be restarted.