Subject Codes (policy)

New subject codes may only be assigned by the Registrar’s Office. Please contact the curriculum coordinator in the Office of the Registrar to discuss available codes. Most commonly, new subject codes are proposed in conjunction with a new academic program and are assigned to the appropriate academic unit. On occasion, new subject codes are requested when a program name is significantly revised and the correlation to the subject code is lost. When associated with new programs, new subject codes are suggested in the proposal reviewed by the Undergraduate or Graduate Council.

***To be effective in the next catalog which is published in July, new subject codes must be approved by the end of the prior Fall term.***

Subject Code Guidelines

  • In the interests of transparency, subject codes should be as meaningful as possible to the reader of a class schedule or transcript. To the extent possible, standard conventions should be employed for terms common to multiple subject codes.
  • Subject codes are typically 3-4 characters in length; subject codes of 1-4 characters are allowed. They should appear in all-capital letters without internal spaces.
  • Subject codes are not approved on an experimental or interim basis.
  • Subject codes must have a home department which is responsible for:
    • setting up term course offerings in Banner
    • scheduling and assigning instructors
    • requesting class rooms
    • managing course enrollments (including wait lists and permissions) o collecting grades
    • communicating with and serving as liaison to stakeholders, including the Registrar’s Office, Admissions, advisors, students, and other academic units
    • requesting generic course numbers
    • submitting new courses for approval through the curricular process
  • Proposers of new degree or certificate programs that will require a new subject code should consult the Registrar’s Office. Existing programs proposing a name change are encouraged to retain the existing subject code whenever possible, unless the subject code is no longer logically related to the program title.
  • The current UO definition of a subject code presupposes an academic purpose and curricular affiliation. In most cases, that affiliation – and the home department – will be an academic unit. In some instances, units with no program offerings will provide courses which are eligible for academic credit. In such instances, an academic home may be identified or the subject code may be administered by the administrative unit in question (e.g. UESS). For subject codes without an academic home, the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Student Success provides oversight. It may also be appropriate to limit the number of credits associated with the subject code which can apply toward a degree.

Procedures for Requesting New Subject Codes

  • Prepare a written request from the director/department head and obtain endorsement from the dean’s office. (The Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies serves as dean for units outside academic schools and colleges.) The proposal should address the following questions.
    • Purpose for the subject code, emphasizing its academic connection
    • Explanation as to why an existing subject code cannot be used (or what existing subject code(s) will be discontinued)
    • Home department/unit which will assume the responsibilities described above
    • Budgetary implications (which unit or units will get credit for SCH generated by the subject code)
    • Expected impact on students (if any)
    • Limitations to credit that can be applied toward a degree (if applicable)
  • Submit the request to the Office of the Registrar. The Registrar’s Office will review the proposal and recommend a subject code.
  • The request will be forwarded to UO Committee on Courses for approval as an administrative action and recorded in the “Other Curricular Matters” section of the quarterly curriculum report, ratified by a vote of the Senate.
  • Where a new or revised subject code is part of a course or program proposal, please contact the Office of the Registrar in advance for recommendations and to reserve a subject code for use in the proposal.

Approved By: University Senate        Date: 03/11/2015

Motion Number: US14/15-51

Revision History: First version approved 03/11/2015 in the Winter 2015 Curriculum Report.

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