Course Numbers (Policy)

Course numbers are issued by the UOCC in consultation with the Registrar and Catalog Editor. There is a seven-year sunset period for numbers previously assigned to another course. Any course that significantly changes subject matter usually is assigned a new number to replace the old number. The Office of the Registrar confirms eligible course numbers for academic departments.

Course numbers reflect the nature of instruction, the level of work required, and the general scope of the content. Group satisfying courses must be at least 4 credits, and be offered at least every other year. Non-majors must be allowed to enroll for either a letter grade or pass/no pass. Only courses numbered 1xx, 2xx, or 3xx are eligible to request group-satisfying status.

Lower-division courses, numbered 1xx-2xx, are intended as introductory and are intended for freshman and sophomore students. Courses numbered 1xx usually indicate that no special preparation is required; 2xx generally indicates a degree of special preparation, either in high school or lower-division college.

Upper-division courses, numbered 3xx-4xx, are generally more specific in topics, providing greater depth of knowledge and academic rigor, and prior university preparation. A 3xx number usually indicates a course accessible for non-majors (and suitability for general education); a 4xx number generally indicates a specialized course suitable for majors or majors in related disciplines. Courses at the 4xx level cannot be given group-satisfying status for general education. Departments must justify, in terms of content, workload, and method of instruction, the assignment of the course to the upper-division level. 4xx upper division classes may be cross-listed with a 5xx level graduate class that requires additional engagement at the graduate-student level. Credits and prerequisites for these 4xx/5xx classes are the same, yet students at the graduate level are expected to complete a substantive and measurable difference in the type and amount of work required for credit. See 4xx/5xx Differential for additional information. 5xx numbers may not be approved alone at the UO without accompanying 4xx numbers.

The alpha course number suffix ‘H’ is intended to advise students that the course provides honors content and requires advanced effort from students. See Honors Criteria on the UOCC website for additional information.

Courses numbered 6xx-7xx are graduate or professional level only. Exceptional undergraduate students may petition the Graduate School for permission to enroll in courses at this level.

Courses required for majors, minors, or certificates must have permanent rather than generic or experimental numbers. A course may be offered under an experimental number for a maximum of three times, at which time it must be either submitted for permanent approval or dropped from the department course offerings. Experimental courses are afforded none of the rights that approved courses have (i.e., they cannot be listed as required courses in degree programs, cannot have pre- requisites, cannot have expanded course descriptions, cannot be designated as group-satisfying or multicultural-satisfying, etc.).

Approved By: University Senate       

Revision History: From “UOCC Procedures for Curricular Changes” - Revised August 2009; updated March 6, 2015 (see page 19); updated August 2017; Minor corrections Jan 2018 for consistency; updated for US18/19-09 Feb 2019.

Original Source: UOCC Procedures for Curricular Changes -