Undergraduate Catalog 2024-2025

Course Designations


Each course is assigned a subject code that identifies the discipline, field or program offering the course. For example, course numbers in English are preceded by ENG; course numbers in Mathematics are preceded by MATH; and courses in Visual Arts are preceded by ART.


Four groups are identified by course numbers, generally to indicate the difficulty of a course and its location on a continuum of study that leads to general mastery of the content and methodology of a discipline:

  • Basic skills - 001-099 are not counted in cumulative credits, total credits toward graduation, GPA, nor for financial aid purposes.
  • Lower division - 100-199 range are 1st-year (freshmen) courses and 200-299 are 2nd-year (sophomore) courses.
  • Upper division - 300-399 are 3rd-year (junior) courses and 400-499 are 4th-year (senior) courses.
  • Graduate level - 500-699 are Master’s courses and those numbered 700 or higher are Doctoral/Specialist courses.
    • Juniors and seniors with a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher are permitted to take 500-level courses.
    • Undergraduates may be permitted to take courses with numbers 600-699 if they have applied to and have been accepted into a Master’s level program at UNC. 600-699 courses may not be counted towards an undergraduate degree.
    • Undergraduates are not permitted to take courses with numbers 700-799.

Note: Applicability of coursework to a higher degree as an undergraduate student: please refer to specific details on the petition to count toward the next highest degree at www.unco.edu/graduate-school/pdf/Petition-to-Count-Work-Toward-Higher-Degree.pdf.

Undergraduate students may not count courses numbered 600-799 toward undergraduate degree programs.

Graduate students may not count courses numbered 100-499 toward graduate degree programs; courses numbered 700-799 may be taken for specialist or doctoral credit only.

Courses at the university are sequentially numbered. Courses numbered 100-499 are for undergraduate credit. Courses numbered 500-599 may count as undergraduate or graduate credit. If a course numbered 500-599 is not counting toward the correct level, the student may contact the Office of the Registrar to request that it be changed.  With the exception of approved Acceleration 4 + 1 programs, a course numbered 500-599 counting as undergraduate credit cannot be counted toward a graduate degree; a course numbered 500-599 counting as graduate credit cannot be counted toward an undergraduate degree. 

Undergraduate students seeking to apply 500-599 courses to their graduate degree must complete a petition to count work towards the next higher degree. In order to count work forward into a higher degree (for example, bachelor’s into the master’s or master’s into the doctoral) prior to completing the prior degree, the following are required:

  • You must be admitted to the higher degree (a letter of admission from the Graduate School);
  • You must have applied for graduation for the prior degree (Graduation Office for bachelor’s or the Graduate School for master’s or specialist);
  • And, you must file this form no later than the first week of the semester in which you enroll in the course work.

Additional policies governing counting work forward can be found in the UNC Graduate Catalog and at www.unco.edu/graduate-school/student-resources/current-students/academic-policies-and-deadlines.aspx.

Courses numbered 600-799 are for graduate credit only. 

Courses with variable titles may have additional prerequisites assigned to specific sections scheduled.

Courses bearing the designation "gtP" are in gtPathways, Colorado's Guaranteed Transfer Program. These courses are guaranteed to transfer to all Colorado institutions of higher education.

Courses bearing the designation "LAC" are in the Liberal Arts Curriculum. These courses will meet the LAC requirements for graduation. For more information, see the Liberal Arts Curriculum catalog page.

Occasionally, courses that do not appear in the Catalog may appear in the Schedule of Classes (www.unco.edu/sched/). These course number end in "98" and are considered experimental. For example, an experimental course in Geology might be GEOL 398.

Mutually Exclusive Courses

Courses carry a mutually exclusive designation when the content of each course is highly similar or identical to the other(s). In those cases, credit will only be granted for one of the mutually exclusive courses. Courses with mutually exclusive designation have a statement that students may only earn credit for one course; e.g., ‘Credit allowed for only one of these courses: ENST 356 or ECON 356.’ Registration for any mutually exclusive variant of a course will be prohibited while a mutually exclusive course is in progress, and once a passing grade has been posted (e.g., a student who is currently enrolled in ENST 356 or has received a passing grade in ENST 356 will be prevented from registering for ECON 356). Students wishing to apply the grade replacement policy to a mutually exclusive course must repeat the same course originally taken (a mutually exclusive variant of the course may not be used for grade replacement).

Equivalent Courses

Equivalent courses are identical in content, but may have a different title or prefix. Equivalent courses satisfy graduation requirements and prerequisites. Generally, equivalent courses are used for courses with prefix, title or course number changes. Equivalent courses are eligible for grade replacement.

Curriculum Sweep and Purge

Every year during spring semester, the Office of the Registrar generates a report for review that captures courses, except for reserved-number courses, that have not been taught in the last six (6) years.

Academic Units are notified by email, including the respective Chair/Director and Dean, if any of their courses appear on this “purge” report. Unless the department/school specifies otherwise, the course(s) are removed from the curriculum file. Departments/Schools are asked for a written justification for those they would like to retain. Required written justification will be determined by the department/school in which the course is offered.