About Courses

Use this guide to understand course descriptions and requirements. Courses listed in this catalog are subject to change without notice.

Course Descriptions

Course changes during the catalog year appear with a warning reading Review all entries and/or Discontinued after the units. The change may be anything from a unit change to being discontinued; pay attention to the effective term; this is the first term the change is effective or the term the course is discontinued.

Below is a sample of how a course is listed in this catalog:

PRB 190—Proseminar in Problems (1) Review all entries

Seminar—1 hour. Prerequisite(s): PRB 111; senior standing. Pass One restricted to seniors. Discussion of serious problems, their issues, and resolutions. Involves a different emphasis each quarter. May be repeated 2 times(s) for credit with consent of instructor. GE credit: AH, DD, WC. Effective: 2001 Winter Quarter.

  • Top line is course subject code; course number—title; units; warning, if applicable.
  • Paragraph following is course instructional format (learning activity); prerequisite(s) for the courses; enrollment restrictions; course description; grading, if other than letter grading; repeat rules, if any; GE attributes, if any. Term the course is effective

General Education (GE Credit)

  • Topical Breadth. AH=Arts and Humanities | SE=Science and Engineering | SS=Social Sciences
  • Literacies. ACGH=American Cultures | DD=Domestic Diversity | OL=Oral Skills | QL=Quantitative | SL=Scientific | VL=Visual | WC=World Cultures | WE=Writing Experience


Prerequisites for undergraduate courses are checked by Schedule Builder. It is the student's responsibility to meet these requirements and the instructor's responsibility to enforce them. Students who have completed equivalent work may be admitted to the course at the instructor's discretion. For complete information, see Student Information on Prerequisites.

Undergraduate Courses

001-099, Lower Division Courses. Courses open to all students for lower division credit who have met the necessary prerequisites as indicated in the General Catalog course description; designed primarily for freshmen and sophomores.

100-199, Upper Division Courses. Courses open to all students who have met the necessary prerequisites as indicated in the General Catalog course description. Preparation generally includes completion of one lower division course in the given subject or completion of two years of college work.

090X/190X. Seminar courses for in-depth examination of a special topic within the subject area.

092/192. Internship courses enable individual students to obtain practical experience to complement their educational goals or to explore potential career interests and opportunities. Students must have completed 84 units before enrolling in course 192.

097T&C /197T&C. Tutoring and Tutoring in the Community courses for students who want to tutor in a subject in which they are proficient—generally in their major field—while enrolled as an undergraduate.

098/198. Directed Group Study courses are set up on a one-time basis for a group of students in a subject for which no regular courses have been established.

099. Special Study for Undergraduates courses arranged for an individual student who shares, with an instructor, an academic interest that cannot be accommodated within the formal course structure; credit is limited to a total of 5 units per term.

194H. Special Study for Honors Students courses are for individual students with honor status, as determined by the department offering the course and who have completed 84 units; credit is limited to a total of 5 units per term.

199. Special Study for Advanced Undergraduates courses are the upper division counterparts of course 99 and involve supervised independent study and research requiring adequate background in the subject proposed for study as well as prior completion of 84 units; credit is limited to a total of 5 units per term.

Variable-Unit. Subject to approval by the department chair, an instructor may arrange to give a special study course to interested students; numbers 090X, 092, 097T, 097TC, 098, 099, 190X, 192, 194H, 197T, 197TC, 198, 199.

Autotutorial. Courses where students instruct themselves at their own pace. Courses can be identified by the letters AT at the end of their course numbers; e.g., 013AT, 141AT.

Online & Hybrid. Courses where instruction is delivered on the Internet. Courses that are delivered completely online can be identified by the letter V at the end of their course numbers, e.g., 010V, 162V. As a combination on online and classroom can be identified by the letter Y at the end of their course numbers, e.g., 010Y, 162Y.

Research Conference. Courses where advanced undergraduate students may participate in critical discussions of staff research activities. These one-unit courses are numbered 190C and are graded on a Passed/Not Passed basis.

Graduate Courses

200-299. Courses open to graduate students and to undergraduates who have completed 18 units of upper division work basic to the subject matter of the course. However, admission is subject to the approval of the instructor in charge of the course. Grading in 290C courses and most variable-unit 299 or 299D courses is Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory (S/U). Check the course description for grading information.

300-399, Professional Courses for Teachers & Nurse Practitioners. Professional courses for teachers and nurse practitioners are teacher-training courses in the School of Education and in other departments and are especially intended for teachers or prospective teachers. Courses designed to provide instruction to teaching assistants are included. Courses for certification of family nurse practitioners and physician assistants are also included. Courses are open only to students enrolled in those programs.

400-499, Other Professional Courses. Professional training courses. Graduate students should consult their faculty advisor or contact Graduate Studies before registering in 400 series courses to determine if graduate credit may be awarded for the course in question.

Multi-Quarter Courses

A series of course numbers followed by two or three letters (for example, Physics 110A-110B-110C) is continued through three successive quarters; e.g., fall through spring. The first quarter course listed this way is a prerequisite to the second and the second is prerequisite to the third. On the other hand, where A and B portions of a course are listed separately (for example, Economics 160A and 160B), the A course is not a prerequisite to B, unless it is specifically mentioned in the list of prerequisites.

Expanded Course Descriptions

Because of space limitations, you may find that the descriptions in the General Catalog do not include all the information you would like about a course. The faculty has responded to this need by writing the "Expanded Course Descriptions," giving more detailed explanations about each course offering. These descriptions are available each quarter to assist students in selecting their courses. They contain such information as texts used, preparation required of students, basis for grading, course format, special assignments (papers, field trips, etc.) and a topical outline of the material to be covered. Copies of the "Expanded Course Descriptions" are available for on-campus use at the College dean's offices or the Biology Academic Success Center, advisors' offices, advising centers, and departmental offices.