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Guide to Course Descriptions

Course descriptions are comprised of the following information:

  1. Course Number
  2. Course Title
  3. Course Credit (in parentheses)
  4. Special Information, which may include:
    • General Education credit
    • Prerequisites and/or corequisites
    • Special restrictions or other requirements
    • Repeat-for-Credit notation (if course can be repeated)
    • Grading Mode (if other than letter grade)
  5. Description of course content
  6. Frequency of offering (in parentheses)
  7. Courses with which the course may be cross-listed (in parentheses)

Each course description is represented by a three-letter prefix (indicating the department or program within which the course is taken) and a three-digit course number. After each course title are two (or three) numbers separated by colons which indicate semester hours credit, lecture, and laboratory hours. Following the credit indicator the following items may be listed: General Education credit; course prerequisites or corequisites; special restrictions or requirements; repeat-for-credit information if the course can be repeated for credit; and grading mode if the course is graded other than by letter grade. The course description itself may be followed by frequency of offering information. Explanations of each of these topics follows.

See Course Prefix Symbols.

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Course Type/Instructional Delivery Mode

Courses at UNCG may be offered in several formats, based on the mode in which the course is taught or instruction delivered. The type of course is reflected in the credit structure as well as being detailed in the course description. The semester Schedule of Courses also indicates a course’s type or delivery mode.

Lecture/Seminar Courses

A lecture course consists of classes that meet weekly for a specified number of hours; instruction is delivered in a lecture or seminar setting. The semester hour structure of the course is expressed by two numbers, such as (3:3), where the first number indicates that the course carries three semester hours of credit and the second number indicates that the course meets for three lecture/seminar hours per week.

Laboratory/Studio/Practice Courses

Such courses, which meet weekly, may combine a lecture component with a laboratory/studio/practice component, or may consist of a lab/studio/practice session only.

In a combined lecture and lab/studio course, class sessions usually meet at different times and are detailed in the online Schedule of Courses for each semester. The credit structure for such courses is always expressed by three numbers, such as (3:2:3), where the first number represents the semester hours credit, the second number represents the number of lecture/seminar hours the course meets per week, and the final number, the lab/studio hours required by the course each week.

A course that is comprised of a lab/studio/practice component only will be expressed by the following credit structure: (1:0:3), where the course receives 1 semester hour of credit, has no lecture component, and meets for three hours a week in a lab/studio/practice environment.

Web-Based Courses

Web-based courses are delivered via the Internet, totally or in combination with more conventional formats such as in-person lectures and/or labs. Web-based courses are denoted as such in the online Schedule of Courses.

Service-Learning Courses

The University defines Academic Service-Learning as a teaching method that links community action and academic study so that each strengthens the other. Students, faculty, and community partners collaborate to enable students to address community needs, initiate social change, build effective relationships, enhance academic skills, and develop civic literacy. Service-Learning encourages critical consideration of the ethical dimensions of community engagement. Service-Learning courses are identified by the course category in the online Class Schedule.

Experimental Courses

An experimental course is a regular academic credit course offered once or twice on an experimental basis through an established academic program. Such a course is intended to accommodate the expertise of a visiting faculty member or to allow faculty to test a course within the UNCG academic community. An experimental course is always denoted as such by including “Experimental Course” in the title, abbreviated to "Exp Crs" in the course schedule and on the academic transcript.

Practicum/Internship Courses

A practicum/internship course is usually an upper level course, involving a career-related learning experience of limited duration in which an individual takes on responsible roles outside of the traditional university environment where training and supervision are included: in a nonprofit organization, a government office, or a private, for-profit business. An internship may last for a month, several months, or a year; be paid or voluntary; be taken for academic credit or not; be full-time or part-time.

An example of a practicum/internship credit structure is (6:1:20), which indicates the course is taken for six (6) semester hours credit, has an on-campus seminar or lecture component that meets for 1 hour a week, and requires the student to spend approximately 20 hours weekly in the field at the off-campus site.


Course Type Abbreviations








Conversational Language Course








Independent Study








Lecture & Lab


Lecture with Practicum/Field Experience








Study Abroad Course




Studio and Lecture


Studio/Other (Used primarily for Dance courses)


Student Teaching








Video Conference


Web-based (100% of course instruction is taught online)


Web and lab (~50% of course instruction is taught online and ~50% is a lab component)


Web and lecture (Course is taught via face-to-face lecture and online)


Web, lecture, and lab (Course requirements include face-to-face lectures, lab sessions, and an Internet component)


Web, lecture, and studio (Used primarily for Dance courses)


Web with on-campus tests and examinations (Used primarily for Math courses)


Web with on-campus video conference

Web interaction involves more than the use of Blackboard or the placement of the course syllabus on the instructor’s Web site. The course is defined as asynchronous instruction where the instructor and student are separated by time and space. Interaction in these courses is primarily through discussion forums, e-mail, and blogs.

1Will not be assigned to a general purpose classroom.
2No more than fifty percent (50%) of instruction will be assigned to general purpose classroom.
3General purpose classrooms assigned based on department request for specific dates.

Course Numbers and Levels

Course level numbers are structured as follows:

  • 100–199—intended primarily for freshmen
  • 200–299—intended primarily for sophomores
  • 300–399—intended primarily for juniors
  • 400–499—intended primarily for seniors
  • 500–599—intended for advanced undergraduates and graduate students; these courses are not open to freshmen and sophomores
  • 600–749—registration restricted to students who are classified as graduate students
  • 750–799—registration restricted to students admitted to doctoral programs

Undergraduates are reminded that a minimum of 36 semester hours must be completed at the 300 level or above to meet graduation requirements.

Course descriptions for graduate-level courses (600 and 700 level) are printed in The Graduate School Bulletin.

Course Credit Hours

Course credit, or semester, hours are indicated in parentheses immediately following the course title. The first figure indicates the number of semester hour credits awarded for the course. The second and third figures indicate the number of lecture/seminar and laboratory/studio/practice hours normally scheduled each week during the semester in the course.

For example, (3:2:3) indicates the course carries three semester hour credits, meets for two lecture/seminar hours and three laboratory/studio hours each week.

When only two figures appear in the parentheses, there are no laboratory or studio hour requirements. For example, (3:3) indicates that the course carries three semester hour credits and meets for three lecture/seminar hours per week.

Graduate courses and certain other courses may have only one figure enclosed in parentheses, which indicates only the number of semester hours credit given.

Normally, a class period is 50 minutes in length for each semester hour given.

Two course numbers separated by a comma indicate a sequence of two courses with closely related content.

General Education Requirement Abbreviations

Course Prerequisites/Corequisites

A prerequisite is a course that must be completed before another course may be taken. A corequisite is a course that must be taken concurrently with another course. Prerequisites and corequisites are indicated after the course title and credit by Pr. or Coreq. followed by the requirements that must be met before that course may be taken.

A student may not enroll in a course without having completed the proper prerequisites unless these prerequisites have been waived by the head of the department in which the course is offered.

Other Course Restrictions

Some courses carry additional restrictions (Freshmen only; Majors only; etc.). Such restrictions are highlighted following the listing of any course prerequisites.

Grading Method

Courses are graded by letter grade (A–F) unless otherwise noted in the course description. If a course is graded other than by letter grade, this information is stated after the prerequisite listing. Also see section on Grading.

Pass/Not Pass Courses

The following undergraduate/advanced undergraduate courses are graded P/NP (Pass/Not Pass) or S/U (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory) and are so noted in their descriptions:

ARE 369; BUS 105B; CED 506; CHE 401; CNR 589; CSD 219, 333, 476, 490, 493, 571; DCE 250, 365, 461; ELC 506; ENT 427; FRE 210; GER 291; GRK 150; HEA 428; HHP 110, 589; HSS 299; IAR 452; ISM 411; ITA 210; KIN 461, 462, 471, 522; LAT 198, 199; MKT 427, 450; MTD 090, 091; MUE 479; NUR 425, 435, 440, 460; PHY 401; PSY 122; RUS 101L, 102L; SAS 100, 200; SPA 100; TED 461, 462, 506

Repeat-for-Credit Notation

Some courses may be repeated for credit under special circumstances. Such information is highlighted following the listing of any prerequisites.

Course Description

The description of a course is necessarily brief and is intended to give students a concise overview of course content. A course syllabus, which contains complete details about a course’s content and requirements, may be obtained from the department or instructor.

Frequency of Course Offering

Many courses indicate the semester(s) in which they are usually offered. This information is indicated in parentheses at the end of the course description as follows:

  • (Fall & Spring)—course usually offered both fall and spring semesters.
  • (Fall & Spring & Summer)—course usually offered fall and spring semesters and summer session.
  • (Fall or Spring)—course usually offered either fall or spring semesters.
  • (Fall or Spring or Summer)—course may be offered fall semester, or spring semester, or summer session.
  • (Fall or Spring or Winter)—course may be offered fall semester, or spring semester, or winter session.
  • (Fall)—course usually offered fall only.
  • (Spring)—course usually offered spring only.
  • (Summer)—course usually offered summer only.
  • (Alt)—course usually offered only in alternate semesters or years.
  • (Even, Odd)—course usually offered in even or odd semesters or years.
  • (Occ)—course offered occasionally.

Students should also be aware that regularly scheduled undergraduate classes for which fewer than ten students enroll (or graduate classes for which fewer than five students enroll) will be offered only with special approval of the Provost. If enrollment does not justify continuation of a class, the class may not be offered that semester.

Equivalent Course Credit

A number of undergraduate courses have course content that is considered equivalent to other similar courses. The course entry in this Bulletin will contain a notation—such as “Students may not earn credit for both RCO 114 and STA 108”—at the beginning of the description. Students should be aware of such equivalencies before registering in order to avoid taking a course for which they will not receive additional credit.

Cross-listed Courses

Each semester a number of courses are cross-listed with courses taught in a different department. These courses meet in the same room at the same time but have different course prefixes and may have different numbers. Cross-listed courses are indicated in parentheses following a course description (“Same as . . .”). Students should be aware of cross-listings before registering in order to avoid taking a course for which they will not receive additional credit.

This page was last updated on June 8, 2011.