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 U.S. Diversity or Global Cultures 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.

    001-099: Pre-Baccalaureate

    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.

    600-699: Graduate

    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

    800-899: Other

    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.

    900-999: Non-Credit

    These non-credit courses are designed to provide opportunities to pursue cultural, intellectual, and social interests.

    Reserved Course Numbers

    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.

    199, 299, 399, 499, 599: Special problems courses used for independent study with variable units. 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, although a major may further limit the number which counts toward major requirements. Special problems courses numbered 599 and lower may not apply in a master's degree program.

    399H, 499H, 599H: Honors courses are available only to students admitted to Honors in the Major or Honors in General Education, typically for independent study leading to Honors. These 3- or 6-unit courses are normally taken in the senior year. These units do not count toward the maximums listed in the preceding paragraph.

    697: Independent Study: See "Graduate Education."

    696: Comprehensive Examination: See "Graduate Education."

    699: Master's Study: See "Graduate Education."

    Sustainability Courses

    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.

    Course Subject Abbreviations

    The following course subject abbreviations are used in the University Catalog, the Class Schedule, student study lists, academic planning guides, evaluation materials, and transcripts.

    Abbreviation Definition

    AAST Asian American Studies

    ABUS Agriculture Business

    ACCT Accounting

    AFAM African American Studies

    AFRI African Studies

    AGET Agriculture Engineering Technology

    AGRI Agriculture

    AIST American Indian Studies

    AMST American Studies

    ANSC Animal Science

    ANTH Anthropology

    APCG Applied Computer Graphics

    ARAB Arabic

    ARTH Art History

    ARTS Art

    ASST Asian Studies

    BADM Business Administration

    BIOL Biological Sciences

    BLAW Business Law

    BLMC Education-Bilingual/Multicultural

    BSIS Business Information Systems

    CHLD Child Development

    CDES Communication Design

    CHEM Chemistry

    CHNS Chinese

    CHST Chicano Studies

    CIMT Concrete Industry Management

    CIVL Civil Engineering

    CMGT Construction Management

    CMSD Communication Sciences and Disorders

    CMST Communication Studies

    COMM Communication

    CSCI Computer Science

    EECE Electrical & Computer Engineering

    ECON Economics

    EDAD Education Administration

    EDCI Education-Curriculum and Instruction

    EDMA Education-Master's Program

    EDSL Education-Second Language

    EDTE Education-Teacher Education

    EDUC Education

    EFLN English as a Foreign Language

    ENGL English

    ENGR Engineering

    ENVL Environmental Literacy

    FINA Finance

    FLNG Foreign Languages and Literatures

    FREN French

    GEOG Geography

    GEOS Geological and Environmental Sciences

    GERM German

    GNED General Education

    GSTP General Studies Thematic Program

    HBRW Hebrew

    HCSV Health and Gerontology

    HIST History

    HNDI Hindi

    HNRS Honors

    HUMN Humanities

    IDES Interior Design

    IDST Interdisciplinary Studies (Graduate Level)

    INST International Studies

    INTB International Business

    INTD Interdisciplinary Studies (Undergradute Level)

    ITAL Italian

    JAPN Japanese

    JOUR Journalism

    KINE Kinesiology

    LAST Latin American Studies

    LATN Latin

    LBST Liberal Studies

    LDRS Leadership Studies

    MATH Mathematics

    MCGS Multicultural and Gender Studies

    MECH Mechanical Engineering

    MECA Mechatronic Engineering

    MEST Middle Eastern Studies

    MFGT Manufacturing Technology

    MGMT Management

    MINS Management Information Systems

    MJIS Modern Jewish and Israel Studies

    MKTG Marketing

    MTHE Mathematics Education

    MUSC Music

    NFSC Nutrition and Food Science

    NSCI Natural Sciences

    NSCT Natural Science Teaching

    NURS Nursing

    PHED Physical Education

    PHIL Philosophy

    PHYS Physics

    POLS Political Science

    PORT Portuguese

    PSSC Plant and Soil Science

    PSYC Psychology

    QBAN Quantitative Business Analysis

    RDGL Education-Reading/Language Arts

    REAL Real Estate

    RECR Recreation Administration

    RELS Religious Studies

    RUSS Russian

    SCMS Supply Chain Management Systems

    SOCI Sociology

    SOSC Social Science

    SPAN Spanish

    SPED Education-Special Education

    SWRK Social Work

    THAI Thai

    THEA Theatre

    UGED Undergraduate Education

    UNIV University Academics

    VIET Vietnamese

    WMST Women's Studies