How to Read a Typical Course Description
Course Description Key
Each course at Boise State University has a course description that consists of a prefix, course number, title, credit code, semester code, additional information, content description, and list of requisites. These elements of the course description are described below.
 PHYS  211  PHYSICS I WITH CALCULUS  (4-1-4)  (F/S)  (DLN). Kinematics, dynamics of particles, statics, momentum, rotational motion, gravitation, introductory wave motion, heat, and thermodynamics.  PREREQ: MATH 170. COREQ: MATH 175, PHYS 211L.
- Course Prefix/Subject The prefix indicates the department or academic unit offering the course. See table 11.9 for a complete list of course prefixes.
- Course Numbering System Each course offered is assigned a unique number, indicating what type of course it is and what sort of credits may be earned in the course. Throughout this catalog, you will find courses numbered as follows:
00 – 99 noncredit courses that do not count toward degree requirements
100 – 199 freshman-level courses (lower-division courses)
200 – 299 sophomore-level courses (lower-division courses)
300 – 499 junior- and senior-level courses (upper-division courses)
500 – 699 graduate-level courses
Ordinarily, courses numbered below 500 carry undergraduate credit. However, the university sometimes grants graduate credit in select upper-division courses (those numbered 300 through 499). If an upper-division course carries graduate credit, its unique number will be followed by a G (for graduate). Students enrolling in such courses may earn either graduate or undergraduate credit; however, students who wish to earn graduate credit are required to do additional work beyond that required of students earning undergraduate credit.
Throughout the catalog, a hyphen appearing between course numbers indicates that the first numbered course is a prerequisite (PREREQ) to a second numbered course (e.g., ENGL 101-102); a comma between course numbers indicates that either course may be taken independently of the other (e.g., HIST 111, 112).
Cross-listed courses are courses offered by multiple departments or academic units.
Dual-listed courses are courses offered by an academic unit at both the 400-level and 500-level (e.g., GEOPH 420 and GEOPH 575).
University-wide course numbers are standardized numbers that are used throughout the university, indicating a particular type of course.
- Course Title The official title of the course.
- Credits The unique course number of each course is followed by a sequence of three numbers that indicate the number of lecture hours per week that the course meets, number of lab hours per week that the course meets, and the number of credits a student earns by completing the course. The following examples show typical uses of these additional numbers:
(3-0-3) a 3-hour lecture class carrying 3 credits
(3-4-5) a 3-hour lecture class with a corresponding 4-hour laboratory class, carrying 5 credits
(0-4-0) a 4-hour laboratory class that carries no credit
(0-2-1) a 2-hour studio art class or fitness activity class, carrying 1 credit
Note: a V is used to indicate variable credits or hours.
- Semester Offered The semester code indicates the semester(s) and/or term in which the course is offered and is expressed using letter codes F for fall semester, S for spring semester, and SU for summer term, with the full sequence of letter codes enclosed in parentheses. A comma or slash between letter codes is used to interpret combinations as illustrated in the following examples:
(F) fall semester only
(S) spring semester only
(F,S) fall and spring semester
(F/S) fall semester, spring semester, or both
(F,SU) fall semester and summer session only
(S,SU) spring semester and summer session only
If the semester code is not indicated, then the course is offered during the fall and spring semesters and summer session (although there may be some exceptions).
- Additional Information Associated with the scheduling of the course or showing the special status of a course (can be used to satisfy foundational studies requirements) may be given in parentheses after the semester offer.
- Requisites The list of requisites specifies any prerequisites and/or corequisites using the following abbreviations:
PREREQ: prerequisite (condition to be met before enrollment)
COREQ: corequisite (condition met before or during enrollment)
PERM/INST: permission of instructor required to enroll
PERM/CHAIR: permission of department chair required to enroll
The most common type of prerequisite is a specific course that must be successfully completed prior to enrollment. Typically, a corequisite is a laboratory course that must be taken during the same semester or term as a related science course.