Course Description Symbols and Terms
The following is a fictitious example of a catalog course description illustrating the notations and symbols used for course descriptions throughout the University Catalog.
UNIV 101A Introduction to Life 1.0–4.0 FS
- Prerequisites: High school graduation
- Corequisities: Validated enrollment in a minimum of 6 units, ENGL 001, and faculty permission.
A comprehensive introduction to life. A series of lectures by University figures, small group discussions and an independent project all geared to orienting the new student to life. 2.0 Hours lecture, 1.0 Hours discussion, 3.0 Hours supervision. ABC/no credit grading only. You may take this course for credit more than once; see the department for information. This is an approved General Education course. Special fee required; see the Class Schedule.
Line 1–Course Identification (Subject and Course Number), Title, Unit Value, and Semester Offered
The first line of the course description contains the official Course Identification used in the Class Schedule, student registration lists, and transcripts. It is followed by the complete course title, unit value, and semester-offered symbol.
Credit for courses offered by California State University, Chico is awarded in terms of semester units. The unit value of a course is computed on the basis of one unit for each hour of lecture or discussion, two hours of activity, two to three hours of laboratory, or three hours of independent study or internship per week, for a 16-week semester (15 weeks instruction plus mandatory final week for two additional hours minimum). Courses meeting for fewer than 16 weeks will require an equivalent number of hours pro-rated on a per-week basis. For most courses, two hours of out-of-class preparation will be expected for each hour of in-class lecture or recitation.
The semester a course is normally offered is symbolized as follows:
- FA = during fall semester each year
- SP = during spring semester each year
- FS = during fall and spring semester each year
- F1 = during fall semester odd years
- F2 = during fall semester even years
- S1 = during spring semester odd years
- S2 = during spring semester even years
- SM = during summer session
- JA = during January Intersession
- Inq = inquire at department, offered irregularly
Lines 2 & 3–Prerequisites, Corequisites, Faculty Permission
Registration requirements are outlined on the line immediately following the course title and are defined as follows:
Prerequisites: You must fulfill specific course work or other conditions before you will be allowed to enroll in the course. Prerequisites may be waived by the faculty member only on approval of a formal petition which fully outlines the equivalent attainment. You must have a passing grade for a prerequisite course. Your total number of units determines whether you meet a prerequisite for class level (e.g., sophomore), unless the requirement is otherwise defined and listed in the catalog.
The prerequisites line may also contain the following information:
Recommended Background: It is recommended that you have prior course work or knowledge; the term is used to advise and caution, but not to prevent your enrollment.
Corequisite: You must take concurrently the course or courses indicated. The requirement may not be waived.
Recommended Co-enrollment: You are advised to take a recommended concurrent enrollment; it is used to advise you of proper course sequence.
Faculty Permission: You must obtain permission of the instructor before registration can be allowed. Inquire in the department office for specific instructions regarding permission to register.
Line 4–The Course Description:
A complete course description is provided. You may assume courses meet for one hour of lecture per unit of credit with regular letter grading employed unless otherwise stated. At the end of the course description, a statement or series of statements will appear to indicate any special features of the course: activities, labs, or supervised activity; ABC/NC or CR/NC grading; courses permitting registration more than once; special fees associated with a course; and courses approved for General Education and Ethnic or Non-Western Studies. Courses with approved equivalents under the California Articulation Numbering (CAN) System also provide the equivalent CAN course number at the end of the description. This practice is subject to change without notice.
Course Numbering System
The following course numbering system is employed.
These courses are generally developmental or preparatory and carry no baccalaureate credit.
100–199: Freshmen or 1st Year, Lower-Division
These courses are designed for freshmen, but may be taken by others. Many community college courses may be comparable.
200–299: Sophomore or 2nd Year, Lower-Division
These courses are designed for sophomores, but may be taken by others. Some community college courses may be comparable.
300–399: Junior or 3rd Year, Upper-Division
These courses are designed for juniors, but may be taken by others. This course designation is appropriate for GE Upper-Division Themes. None of these courses are comparable to community college courses. Since community college courses cannot qualify for upper-division credit, it is presumed that upper-division courses at CSU, Chico should not be equivalent to similar courses at any community college.
400–499: Senior or 4th Year, Upper-Division or Graduate
These courses are designed for seniors, but may be taken by others. This course designation is appropriate for senior seminars and courses that require a high degree of disciplinary sophistication or a high degree of specificity in content. It assumes considerable prerequisite knowledge and experience. None of these courses is comparable to community college courses. Students receiving graduate credit for these courses generally are required to complete additional course work compared to students receiving baccalaureate credit.
500–599: Advanced Senior or Graduate
These courses reflect advanced study, which is appropriate for both seniors and graduate students. Students receiving graduate credit for these courses generally are required to complete additional course work compared to students receiving baccalaureate credit. These courses can include post-baccalaureate courses, such as those in credential programs, which are not permitted to be included in course work for graduate degrees.
Graduate courses are open to post-baccalaureate students only, except that undergraduates with permission of the Dean of the Graduate School may enroll. They require an identification and investigation of a theory or principle; application of theory to new ideas, problems, and materials; extensive use of bibliographic and other resource materials; or competence in the scholarly presentation of independent study research.
700–799: Reserves For Future Use
These courses focus on problems encountered in professional service and aim to meet the needs of groups seeking vocational improvement and career advancement. They are designed primarily for the purpose of meeting objectives that cannot be served by established graduate and undergraduate courses. Credit for these courses does not apply to degrees. However, in exceptional cases and with the approval of the appropriate department and college dean, students may apply these towards degree and credential programs for which such courses are deemed acceptable. Determination of the acceptability of these courses for degree and credential credit will depend primarily upon course content and approach. Students should not consider registering in these courses for credential or degree purposes without first consulting with the appropriate department.
These non-credit courses are designed to provide opportunities to pursue cultural, intellectual, and social interests.
Other Numbering Conventions
The following course numbering conventions have been adopted to facilitate identification of course content across disciplines.
189, 289, 389, 489, 589, 689: Internship and other experience-based courses. These courses involve community work with placement in a public or private agency under the supervision of a qualified professional. A maximum of 15 internship units may be applied to a bachelor’s degree (a department may limit the number of units which count towards its major requirements).
198, 298, 398, 498, 598, 698: Special topics and experimental courses offered on a one-time only basis or new courses offered between catalogs. No University limit on the number which may count for a degree. A major may limit the number of units which count towards its major requirements.
Courses marked with a leaf symbol are a part of CSU, Chico’s devotion to sustainability practices and education. These green courses emphasize environmentally responsible awareness and learning.
199, 299, 399, 499, 599: Special problems courses used for independent study with variable units (indicated in the Class Schedule by VAR). You are strongly advised to enroll in no more than 3 units of independent study per semester; a total of 6 units may apply towards a bachelor’s degree. All courses are graded CR/NC, and none apply in a master’s degree program. See the University Catalog, Independent Study and Special Purpose Courses section, for full details.
199H, 299H, 399H, 499H, 599H: Honors courses are available to students eligible for the University Honors Program. The 3- or 6-unit independent studies course, normally taken in the senior year, culminates in a research paper, project, or performance that is publicly presented. You must receive a grade of B or higher in the course for Honors credit.
597, 697: Graduate Independent Study: See “Graduate Education.”
699: Graduate Master’s Study: See “Graduate Education.”
California Articulation Number (CAN)
The California Articulation Number (CAN) System identifies some of the transferable, lower-division, introductory, preparatory courses commonly taught within each academic discipline on college campuses.
The system assures students that CAN courses on one participating campus will be accepted in lieu of the comparable CAN course on another participating campus. Example: CAN ECON 2 on one campus will be acceptable for CAN ECON 2 on another participating campus. Each campus retains its own numbering system. The CAN course identification where applicable is identified at the end of the course description in this catalog.
Course Subject Abbreviations
- Asian American Studies
- Agriculture Business
- African American Studies
- African Studies
- Agriculture Engineering Technology
- American Indian Studies
- American Studies
- Animal Science
- Applied Computer Graphics
- Asian Studies
- Business Administration
- Biological Sciences
- Business Law
- Business Information Systems
- Child Development
- Communication Design
- Chicano Studies
- Concrete Industry Management
- Civil Engineering
- Construction Management
- Communication Sciences and Disorders
- Communication Studies
- Computer Science
- Electrical & Computer Engineering
- Education Administration
- Education–Curriculum and Instruction
- Education–Master’s Program
- Education–Second Language
- Education–Teacher Education
- English as a Foreign Language
- Environmental Literacy
- Foreign Languages and Literatures
- Geological and Environmental Sciences
- General Education
- General Studies Thematic Program
- Health and Gerontology
- Interdisciplinary Studies (Graduate Level)
- International Studies
- International Business
- Interdisciplinary Studies (Undergradute Level)
- Latin American Studies
- Liberal Studies
- Leadership Studies
- Multicultural and Gender Studies
- Mechanical Engineering
- Mechatronic Engineering
- Middle Eastern Studies
- Manufacturing Technology
- Management Information Systems
- Modern Jewish and Israel Studies
- Mathematics Education
- Nutrition and Food Science
- Natural Sciences
- Natural Science Teaching
- Physical Education
- Political Science
- Plant and Soil Science
- Quantitative Business Analysis
- Education-Reading/Language Arts
- Real Estate
- Recreation Administration
- Religious Studies
- Supply Chain Management Systems
- Social Science
- Education-Special Education
- Social Work
- Theatre Arts
- Undergraduate Education
- University Academics
- Women’s Studies