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Key to Course Descriptions

Course listings are subject to change without notice.

Courses listed in the General Catalog are approved to be taught for the specified term.  For course offerings and availability by term, see the External Link Schedule of Classes.  


Students must meet the course prerequisites or otherwise satisfy the instructor of their preparation to take the course.  Prerequisites can be waived only at the discretion of the instructor or department offering the course.

Sample Course Description:

Following is a sample course description with the individual elements explained in the order in which they appear.  If an element does not appear in a course description, that means it does not exist for the course.

This sample is for illustration purposes only, as it is impossible for one course to have ALL of these elements.

ART 341A -- Intermediate Photography  (3 units)
Description:  Introduction for artists to the principles and nature of black-and-white documentary photography. Creating untrue narratives, students are challenged to deconstruct the familiar photo essay and create new ways of telling stories.  This is a Writing Emphasis Course.  This is a First-Year Colloquium Course.
Course includes 1 or more field trips.
Special course fee required $50.
Prerequisite(s) and corequisites/concurrent registration:  6 units of ART 343A, ART 343B, ART 344 or ART 346; Art majors only or by portfolio.
Approved asGeneral Education Tier Two - Humanities.
Credit for 1 unit engineering design, 2 units engineering science.
Typical structure
2 hours of lecture, 1 hour of lab per week.
Special exam course may be taken by special exam for credit and grade.
May be repeated for credit 1 time (maximum 2 enrollments).
Identical to MIC 415; MIC is home department.
May be convened with ENGL 515.
Usually offered Fall, Spring.

ART 341A:

The course number indicates the level of the course, for example 100-199 are primarily introductory and beginning courses.  See the Course Numbering System for more information.

Courses offered during the specified term have a link from the course number to their entry in the External Link Schedule of Classes.

Intermediate Photography:

Full course title.

(3 units):

Number of units of credit.


The textual description of course topics.

Writing Emphasis Course:

See the Writing Emphasis Course policy.

First-Year Colloquium Course:

First-Year Colloquium Courses are specially designed for freshman and other students exploring their educational and career opportunities.

Course includes 1 or more field trip(s):

Course activities include one or more field trips (see the External Link University Handbook for Appointed Personnel for more information).

Special course fee required:

Students must pay additional fees, above and beyond the initial tuition and fees, to take this course.  For more information and the complete list of courses with Special Fees, see the Schedule of Classes' External Link Special Course Fees Menu.  In some courses and/or particular fields of study, students may also incur additional External Link Course-Related Expenses.


Identifies courses or other experiences which must be completed prior to enrolling in the course listed.  Students must meet the course prerequisites or otherwise satisfy the instructor of their preparation to take the course.  Prerequisites can be waived only at the discretion of the instructor or department offering the course.

Corequisites/concurrent registration:   

Identifies courses which must be taken during the same semester/term as the course listed.

Approved as:  General Education Tier Two - Humanities.

These courses are approved by the Faculty Senate to meet the University-Wide General Education requirements in the area designated (see the General Education and Foundations page for more information).

Credit for:

The College of Engineering designates the units of credit that apply towards "engineering design" and "engineering science."

Typical structure:

This is the typical class structure for the course, and may include:

  • colloquium
  • discussion
  • dissertation
  • individual studies
  • laboratory
  • lecture -- for courses consisting of lecture periods only, the number of class hours per week is the same as the unit value and is not specified in the course listing.
  • proseminar
  • seminar
  • studio
  • workshop

A structure of "2 hours of lecture, 1 hour of lab per week" indicates that the class meets for two hours of lecture and one hour of laboratory per week (based upon a regular 15 week semester). 

Special Exam:

Course is available by special examination, either for a grade and credit or for credit only.  These options are not available for graduate credit.  Possible entries are:

Special exam:  course may be taken by special exam for credit and grade.
Special exam:
  course may be taken by special exam for credit (not for grade).

See Special Examination for Credit or Grade policy for more information.

May be repeated:

The course may be repeated for credit.  Includes restrictions on the number of times a course may be repeated for credit (beyond the student's first enrollment) or the total number of units of credit permitted for a course.  Possible entries are:

May be repeated:  for a total of 12 units of credit.
May be repeated:  for credit 1 time (maximum 2 enrollments).
May be repeated:  an unlimited number of times, consult your department for details and possible restrictions.

Identical to:

Identifies other departments which give credit for the same course.  If this is not the master course (the course offered by the home department) the home department is identified.  The home department has instructional responsibility for the course.  These courses are sometimes referred to as "crosslists" or "crosslisted."

May be convened with:

Certain 400- and 500-level courses with the same number and title may be convened jointly. Students may receive credit for such courses only once, whether jointly convened or separately, unless designated repeatable or unless special approval is granted by the student's major advisor. The 500-level description designates additional requirements.

Usually offered:

Semester (Fall and Spring) or term in which a course is usually offered.  See the External Link Schedule of Classes for actual class offerings.


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