Course-Related Terminology & Explanations - COPY

Table of Contents (use the links to jump to a specific term)

  1. Course Subject Area & Number
  2. Course Number & Level
  3. Course Title
  4. Course Credit Hours
  5. Course Description
  6. Prerequisites & Corequisites


Course Subject Area & Number

  • The COURSE SUBJECT AREA is the alpha identification (normally four letters, e.g. , ANTH) assigned to a course to indicate the department or course content area within a department.

  • The SUBJECT AREA CODES are assigned as approved. Requests for additional codes or changes in codes must be made through the normal curricular process. Once they are approved, Academic Affairs and the Registrar coordinate the final assignment of the SUBJECT AREA CODE.


Course Number & Level

The first digit of a course number indicates the classification of the student for which the course is normally intended:

  • 0001-0999 Courses for which the credit does not apply toward minimum degree requirements or for which credit is restricted

  • Level 1* = 1000-1999 Lower Division | courses primarily for freshmen

  • Level 1* = 2000-2999 Lower Division | courses primarily for sophomores

  • Level 2 = 3000-3999 Upper Division | courses primarily for juniors

  • Level 2 = 4000-4999 Upper Division  | course primarily for seniors

    • May have 6000 level cognates. 

      • 6000-6999 Undergraduate courses with 4000 level cognates for which a limited amount of graduate credit may be earned by those graduate students have more course requirements, such as an additional paper or additional higher-level readings to receive graduate credit. 

      • This course title, description, etc., must be identical to those of the 4000 level. 

      • The 6000 level curricular requests must be submitted at both the graduate and undergraduate levels. All courses at or above the 6000 level must be taught by members of the Graduate Faculty. [link to form?]

  • Level 3 = 7000-7999 Master's courses.
    • May have 8000 level cognates.

  • Level 4 = 8000-8999 Doctoral courses.
    • May have 7000 level cognates.

  • Level 4 = 9000 Doctoral dissertation course(s).

  • Level 5 = Law Professional 

*See the TBR Articulation Policy for criteria that pertain to the lower division general education course number assignment.

New Course Number or Change in Course Number

In addition to the above considerations in the assignment of a COURSE NUMBER, the number for a new course may not be the same as that of an existing course or of a course that has existed in the past. When a course number is changed, the former number must be indicated in parentheses following the course title and credit hours.


ORIGINAL LISTING > CRPL 1000. Course Planning. (3)

New Course Number Listing Example >
CRPL 1002. Course Planning. (3). (1000) 

The curricular request for the change in course number must indicate all places in the online Catalog such as course prerequisites, degree, major, minor, or concentration requirements, etc., that will be affected by the change.


Course Title

  • COURSE TITLES should be concise and indicative of course content.

Course Credit Hours

    • The CREDIT HOUR is the unit by which course work is measured at the university. The value is usually determined by the number of hours per week in class.

    • A minimum of 750 contact minutes is required for each semester hour's credit for a lecture course (2250 minutes for a three-hour course).

    • At least 1500 minutes per one hour credit is required for a laboratory course.

    • The credit available for each course is stated after the course title in the online Catalog and changes must be proposed through the regular curricular revision procedure. The assignment of appropriate credit hours has both academic and funding implications.

    • From the student's perspective, the semester hour is defined as the credit earned for the successful completion of one hour per week in a lecture class for one semester, or for two hours per week of laboratory for one semester.

    • A three-credit hour course normally meets for three lecture hours or for two lecture hours and two laboratory hours per week. Each lecture hour presupposes a minimum of two hours of preparation on the part of the student.

    • The credit for most courses does not vary from section to section or term to term. The most common number of credit hours for lecture courses is three (3), and for the combination of lecture and laboratory is four (4).

    • In the online Catalog the number of course credit hours is enclosed in parentheses immediately following the course title:
      • EXAMPLE > CRPL 1001. Curriculum Planning I. (4)

    • The content of some courses is organized in such a manner as to permit individual segments or combinations of segments to be taught for varying amounts of credit.

    • There is currently a range of 1-12 hours per course. In the online Catalog, the range is enclosed in parentheses immediately following the course title:
      • EXAMPLE > CRPL 1002. Curriculum Planning II. (1-3) .

    • Courses that have been approved to be repeated for credit (fixed or varied) must include in the course description a statement indicating that they
      • may be repeated,
      • the conditions or requirements for repeating the course, and
      • the maximum amount of credit permitted:
        • EXAMPLE > “....With permission of chair, may be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours credit.”

    • If laboratory, clinical, etc. hours comprise part of the course requirements, the distribution of time must be stated in the online Catalog course description:
      • EXAMPLE > “....Two lecture hours, two laboratory hours per week.”

    • In Banner and in the online class listing, the lecture and laboratory components of the same course are listed separately:
      • EXAMPLES
        • CRPL 1001 ( 2). Curriculum Planning 1
        • CRPL 1001 ( 2) Curriculum Planning 1 Lab

    • If the laboratory course is separate from the lecture course but both are required to be taken concurrently, then each must be listed as a corequisite of the other.

    • If the two are separate and a specific grade is required in both in order to receive credit, then a statement to that effect must be included in the description of both:
      • EXAMPLE > SCIN 2001. Science. (3). Survey of .... A grade of “C” is required in SCIN 2002 in order to receive credit for 2001. COREQUISITE: SCIN 2002.


    • Requests for a change in the number of credit hours assigned to a course must observe the required minimum for contact minutes and must indicate associated changes in degree, major, minor, concentration, etc., requirements.



Course Description

  • If the course title is sufficiently indicative of course content, no description is necessary.

  • Course descriptions should clearly highlight course content.
    • Complete sentences are not necessary, but there should be consistency within the particular course description and among course descriptions in the same department.

    • Phrases which merely repeat the course title will be eliminated.

  • The following TBR policy statement MUST be observed:
    • “All course descriptions should clearly and accurately describe the contents of courses and should NOT contain any representations of the result to be expected from enrollment in the courses.”

  • For any course change, check for impact on other course prerequisites, degree, major, minor, and concentration requirements, etc. Check with other departments to ensure against overlap or that their requirements are not impacted.



Prerequisites & Corequisites

  • Course PREREQUISITES and COREQUISITES are included at the end of the course description.

  • Determination of course prerequisites and corequisites is based upon academic content, not staffing and scheduling. If the knowledge from one course is essential for successful performance in another course, the first course must be listed as a prerequisite for the second:
    • EXAMPLE > CRPL 4021. Program Planning. (3). Preparation of ... PREREQUISITE: CRPL 3005.

  • When there is a common prerequisite for all courses at the upper division level in a department, then a general statement should be used at the beginning of the course description listing rather than including the prerequisite with each course:
    • EXAMPLE STATEMENT > "In addition to specific course prerequisites, CRPL 2250 is a prerequisite for all upper division courses in the Department of Curriculum Planning."

  • If courses required for degrees, majors, etc. have prerequisites, the prerequisites must be included as part of the description for the requirements of the degree, major, etc.

  • If the academic content of two or more courses dictates that they be taken concurrently, then each must be listed as a corequisite for the other.