Course Numbering Policy; Supersedes EM 84-001, EM 88-053, and EM 90-037

Executive Memorandum 03-021

October 29, 2003

To: Campus Community

From: Paul J. Zingg, President

Subject: Course Numbering Policy; Supersedes EM 84-001, EM 88-053, and EM 90-037

COURSE NUMBER POLICY

The 2005-07 University Catalog

Course numbering serves to identify the course and its sponsor department (based on the subject). When thoughtfully applied, course numbers can communicate valuable information to the student, faculty, adviser, high school and community college counselor, and others who think about the classes a student must take and to those who evaluate the classes that have been taken. To facilitate transfer and entrance to graduate school, course numbering should also communicate necessary information to other universities. Courses are considered to be pre-baccalaureate, lower-division, upper-division, graduate, and professional development. To facilitate the transfer of courses to and from the California State University, Chico, clear definitions of lower-division and upper-division courses are required. Course numbering should reflect the academic level of the course. Although there are differences in the organization and content of various academic disciplines, in general, distinctions between course levels reflect the prior preparatory experience and perhaps the relative academic challenge to students. The following course numbering system is established.

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 nor can they receive graduate credit. Students receiving graduate credit for these courses generally are required to complete additional course work compared to students receiving baccalaureate credit. (revised 2-13-04) Courses numbered 499 do not apply in a master's degree program. (revised 5-17-05)

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: RESERVED 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 toward 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.

GUIDELINES

  • Prerequisite courses will have a lower number than the course using the prerequisite.
  • Courses numbered 299 and below will be available for community college transfer credit.
  • Suffixes may be used. Suffixes such as “L” for laboratory, “S” for service learning, and “X” for supplemental instruction are reserved.
  • The suffix “H” is reserved for courses designated as honors. Courses so designated must be approved by the University Honors Program for either Honors in General Education or Honors in the Major.
  • Suffixes which signify a variable unit value will not be permitted.
  • Course sequences with suffixes may be numbered sequentially.
  • Course numbering must be consistent with Major Academic Plans (MAP).
  • Degree programs need to contain at least 40 units of upper-division work.
  • Numbering systems should have appropriate gaps to allow for future curricular changes.

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 toward 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 catalog years. No university limit on the number which may count for a degree. A major may limit the number which counts toward major requirements.

199, 299, 399, 499:

Special problems courses used for independent study with variable units (indicated in The Class Schedule by VAR). Students may register for a maximum of 3 units per semester; Students will be strongly advised to enroll in no more than 3 units of independent study per semester; a total of 6 units may apply toward 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 (revised 2-11-05)

399H, 499H:

Honors courses are available to students admitted to the University Honors Program or to department honors programs. These 3- or 6-unit independent study courses are normally taken in the senior year. These units do not count toward the maximums listed in the preceding paragraph.

597, 697 Independent Study (formerly 398)

A course designated for a specific research project supervised by an authorized member of the faculty. See The University Catalog, Graduate Education section, for full details.

699 Master’s Study (formerly 399)

Separated into a thesis and supporting research or a project as defined by the individual department. See The University Catalog, Graduate Education section, for full details.

700-799 Reserved 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 toward 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.