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Policy - Course Numbers
Policy regarding course numbers, including course ranges for various degree levels, types of courses (e.g., independent study), and reuse of course numbers.
This is a summary of the Policy on Course Numbers. Click here to view the official policy in its entirety in the UW-Madison Policy Library.
- Course numbers below 100 do not carry degree credit.
- Courses numbered under 300 (100-299) may be taken for credit by undergraduates only.
- Courses in the 300‑699 range may be taken for credit by both undergraduate and graduate students.
- Courses in the 700-999 range are open only to graduate and professional students.
Specific Course Numbers
- Course numbers ending in 98 or 99 (ex. 198 or 699) are reserved for individual instruction (i.e., directed study, independent study, research and thesis) and are not to be used for group instruction
- Courses ending in 98 (ex. 198 or 698) are offered on a Credit/No Credit basis
- Courses ending in 99 are graded (A-F)
- The numbers 681 and 682 are reserved for the 2 semester undergraduate honors thesis sequence. Upon completion of the first course in the sequence a placeholder grade is entered indicating whether the student is making appropriate progress. At the completion of the second course an appropriate grade (A-F) is entered for the second course in the sequence which will automatically update the first course in the sequence.
- The numbers 691 and 692 are reserved for the 2 semester undergraduate thesis sequence. Upon completion of the first course in the sequence a placeholder grade is entered indicating whether the student is making appropriate progress. At the completion of the second course an appropriate grade (A-F) is entered for the second course in the sequence which will automatically update the first course in the sequence.
- The number 680 is reserved for the one semester honors thesis.
- The number 690 is reserved for the one semester thesis.
- Courses numbered 790, 890, 990 are generally used for thesis and dissertation writing. A grade of P is entered each semester indicating whether the student is making appropriate progress until the faculty member assigns a grade of S or U and all previously assigned P grades will convert to the S or U. (Read the Graduate School policy.)
Reuse of a Course Number
- A course number may be reused, provided that the previous course with that subject number combination is inactive and there has been no enrollment in the course for at least 8 years.
- If the course that previously used the number is still active but has not had student enrollment (including transfer credit or study abroad equivalency credit) for at least eight years, a course deactivation proposal must be submitted prior to starting a new course proposal that uses the course number in question.
- A course number is not available for reuse until it has had no enrollment for 8 years and until the end of the term it is inactivated in (regardless of approval date).
- Check the Guide to view the list of active courses for a subject, and when each course was last taught. Courses that have been inactivated will not appear.
- The Lumen Course Proposal form will only allow course numbers that are eligible for use to be entered and saved on a course proposal.