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SIS/Getting Started - Codes in SIS: Terms, Sessions and Subjects


Term codes, session codes and subject codes are helpful numbers to remember as you navigate through SIS.

You are not required to memorize these codes or numbers. You will always have the ability to click on the magnifying glass icons next to the search field to find the correct codes.

Term Codes

Term codes are four-digit numbers that indicate the semester. The three terms used at UW–Madison are Fall, Spring, and Summer. Every day of the year is in one, and only one, term. The official start of the term predates the "first day of classes" in Fall/Spring.

An example of how Term Codes are constructed is outlined below. 

  • Spring 2022 = 1224
  • Summer 2022 = 1226
  • Fall 2023 = 1242
Each column is a portion of the term code. The top row is the definition and the second row is an example.
Century: 1 School Year: 23 Semester: 2

2000s = 21st

1900s = 20th


(year it ends)

2 = fall

4 = spring

6 = summer

Session Codes

Session Codes indicate the length of time of instruction.

  • A1 is the regular fall/spring session and is the most commonly used. 
    • The first day of A1 is the "first day of classes."
  • Modular session codes are three letters, denoting the week it begins, how many weeks it spans, and how many weeks instruction occurs.
  • 2 examples of modular sessions:  
    • AHH begins the 1st week of instruction (A), spans 8 weeks (H), meets 8 weeks (H).
      • This session has instruction that occurs during each week of the session.
    • BNG begins the 2nd week of instruction (B), spans 14 weeks (N), meets 7 weeks (G).
      • This session has instruction that occurs every other week of the session.
  • View a complete list of the current session codes.
  • Note: In Summer, codes are not tailored to reflect the weeks of instruction. For example, if a summer class begins week one, spans three weeks, but only has two weeks of instruction, it should use ACC. We would not build ACB.

The graphic below illustrates how sessions may be scheduled within a given term, within a calendar year. The A1/Regular sessions span almost the entire Fall and Spring terms. There is no A1 session during Summer term, though some are commonly used (e.g. 8-week DHH session). If you are a curricular representative, you may be scheduling courses and class sections within various sessions. Scheduling classes in the correct term AND session is essential, as sessions can affect add/drop deadlines, tuition-refund schedules, housing payments for students using veteran education benefits, compliance with state law and federal Title IV financial aid regulations, and more.

Graphic displaying regular and modular sessions within a calendar year.

Subject Codes

Subject Codes are three-digit numeric codes assigned to each subject listing in SIS. View a complete listing of the subject codes in SIS.

Keywordssis (SIS)   Doc ID117776
OwnerLogan R.GroupOffice of the Registrar
Created2022-04-05 13:47:46Updated2024-06-18 12:02:35
SitesOffice of the Registrar
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