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Key to Course Listing Notations

LSA Course Guide

The online LSA Course Guide contains course descriptions written by instructors of classes to be offered in a specific term. Instructors are asked:

  • to begin with a statement of the subjects (topics, themes, methods).
  • to include the intended audience and any recommended special background that is not already listed in course prerequisites.
  • to indicate the basis of student evaluation (exams, papers, etc.)
  • to state method(s) of instruction (lecture, lab, discussion).
  • to mention texts which will be required.

Links to instructor home pages, class homepages,  open section information, and past syllabi (if available) are provided on the class detail pages.

Students can view descriptions by SUBJECT, and an advance search feature allows students to search for courses based on key words, distribution designation, or by various requirements and course groupings.

Catalog numbers are part of a University-wide numbering system. Generally, courses numbered 100 to 199 are introductory, 200-299 are intermediate, and 300-499 are advanced (upper-level).

Cross-listed courses are sponsored by more than one department or program and may be elected in any of the participating units. Cross-listings (for courses listed in the Undergraduate Course Catalogue and LSA Course Guide) appear in boldface and are denoted by a slash between the participating units.

Course titles appear in boldface after the course number.

Prerequisites appear in italics after the course title. Some prerequisites are advisory. They suggest the assumed background or level of academic experience, and students should be guided by these statements. Some prerequisites are mandatory and are enforced at the point of online registration. The Course Guide and the Undergraduate Course Catalogue indicate the cases when prerequisites are enforced.

Prerequisites are of three types:

  • Courses. Unless otherwise stated, the phrase "or equivalent" may be considered an implicit part of the prerequisite for any course. When a student has satisfactorily completed a course(s) at the required level of competency and when that course is believed to be substantially equivalent to one listed as a prerequisite, the student must consult the instructor or department. If equivalency is determined to have been satisfied, election may be approved by issuance of electronic permission.
  • Class standing (first year, sophomore, junior, senior). A course might be appropriate for firs-t and second-year students only, or for juniors and seniors.
  • Permission of instructor or Permission of department. The phrase "or permission of instructor" / "or permission of department" may be considered an implicit part of the statement of prerequisites for any course. When permission is a stated requirement, or when a student does not have the stated prerequisite for a course but can give evidence of sufficient background, the student should obtain approval from the instructor or department concerned and request an electronic override.

The Credit Symbol, an Arabic numeral in parentheses, denotes the credits earned for the course. Credit is granted in semester hours. Except for small seminars where the reading and/or writing requirements are intensive, one credit represents no less than one hour of class meeting time each week of the term, and usually represents three hours of work outside of class for each class hour.

Area distribution designation is approved by the LSA Curriculum Committee on a yearly basis. A course may be approved with the designation natural science (NS), social science (SS), humanities (HU), mathematical and symbolic analysis (MSA), creative expression (CE), or interdisciplinary (ID). Courses without one of these designation may not be used toward area distribution requirements.

Courses meeting certain college requirements are so listed. Language courses (other than English)  may be used toward meeting the Language Requirement  (Lang Req). The First-Year Writing Requirement may be met by courses designated (FYWR). Courses approved with the designation "Lang Req " or "FYWR" may not be used as part of an area distribution plan. (BS) means that the course may be used toward the 60 approved credits required for the B.S. degree. Courses meeting or partially meeting the Quantitative Reasoning requirement are designated (QR/1) or (QR/2). Courses with standard approval for meeting the Race & Ethnicity (R&E) requirement are so indicated. Other courses may meet the R&E  requirements on a term-by-term basis and are listed in the LSA Course Guide (

Repetition of a course that varies in content from term to term is permitted only under certain conditions. When a department or program has a policy about the repetition of a course for credit, that policy is included in the course listing. In all other instances, a student must get permission from both the department or program and the Academic Standards Board to repeat a course for credit. Generally, a course may be elected for credit once only.

Excluded combinations of course elections are designated in the listing of affected courses.

Special Grading pattern for a course is indicated in the course listing. Some LSA courses are offered mandatory credit/no credit. 

University Online Schedule of Classes. provides links to PDF, CSV and Wolverine Access versions of the Schedule of Classes.  The All Class reports are refreshed nightly, the Open Class reports are updated every half hour and Wolverine Access offers real time course and class information.  These are maintained for all active terms.