Course numbers reflect the nature of instruction, level of work, and scope of content. It should be clear in course proposals how the course number reflects the definitions below.
- 1XX – intended as introductory for freshmen and sophomores; do not require any prior knowledge or special preparation; suitable for core ed Areas of Inquiry
- 2XX – intended as introductory for freshmen and sophomores but may require some prior knowledge or special preparation, usually in high school or at 1XX college level; suitable for core ed Areas of Inquiry
- 3XX – more specific in topic; provide greater depth of knowledge and academic rigor, and prior university preparation; accessible for non-majors
- 4XX - more specific in topic; provide greater depth of knowledge and academic rigor, and prior university preparation; intended for majors or majors in related disciplines; not allowed for Areas of Inquiry; allowed for Cultural Literacy.
- H suffix – indicates a course that provides honors content and requires advanced effort from students (see associated Honors criteria).
- 5XX – always paired with a 4XX; credits and prerequisites the same as with 4XX but students taking grad level 5XX are expected to complete a substantive and measurable difference in the type and amount of work required for credit.
- 6XX and 7XX – graduate or professional level only
Significant changes in course content require a new course number.
Retired course numbers have a 7-year sunset period before the number can be used for a different course.
4xx upper division undergraduate 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. Departments and instructors are responsible for providing graduate-level learning experiences for those students enrolled in 5xx sections. Course proposals must clearly distinguish between the undergraduate assignments and learning outcomes and those intended for graduate students. Graduate students should undertake more complex, in-depth work.
The following “substantive differences” should be clearly stated in the course syllabus when these courses are taught: 1) graduate-level work appropriate to the field (e.g., additional readings, papers, projects, problem sets); 2) graduate work significantly more rigorous in both depth of study and methodology; 3) specification of a higher standard of grading and qualitative evaluations to be met by graduate students. These requirements are in addition to the already specified time commitment for the credits. NOTE: Departments should be sure that their expectations of graduate students in these courses do NOT conflict with Graduate Employees protocols. (See Division of Graduate Studies policy on GEs in Graduate-Level Courses.)
Graduate students and faculty members must be able to identify and describe how the mastery of course content at the graduate level differs from successful mastery at the undergraduate level.
Approved By: University Senate Date: 05/09/2018
Motion Number: US17/18-18
Revised US22/23-20 Date 05/24/2023
Revised US18/19-09 Date 02/13/2019
Revised Date 01/??/2018 (for consistency)
Revised US17/18-05 Date 11/29/2017 (minor corrections)
Revised Date 03/06/2015 (minor edits)
Revised Date 2/21/2014 (minor edits)
Revised US Date 08/??/2009