The number by which a course is designated indicates the level of the course:
100-299: Lower-division courses primarily for freshmen and sophomores.
300-499: Upper-division courses primarily for juniors and seniors.
500-599*: Graduate courses. Open to exceptionally well-qualified seniors with the prior written approval of the course instructor and the Graduate College.
600-699: Graduate courses. Not open to undergraduate students.
700-799: Graduate courses.
800-899: Courses limited to students working toward degrees offered by the colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy, Veternary Medicine, and Public Health. Not available for credit toward other degrees.
900-999: Independent graduate study involving research, thesis, or dissertation. Not open to undergraduates.
The assignment of courses to upper and lower-division is a difficult task. APASC provides these guidelines to ATFs and college/university curriculum committees for their review of course level.
Lower-division courses generally focus on foundational theories, concepts, perspectives, principles, methods, and procedures of critical thinking in order to provide a broad basis for more advanced courses. The primary intent of lower-division coursework is to equip students with the general education needed for advanced study, to expose students to the breadth of different fields of study, and to provide a foundation for specialized upper-division coursework in professional fields. Such courses have one or more of the following four purposes:
Upper-division courses are specialized, in-depth, and advanced, and emphasize problem-solving, analytical thinking skills, and theoretical applications. These courses often build on the foundation provided by the skills and knowledge of lower-division education. Upper-division courses may require the student to synthesize topics from a variety of sources. Upper-division courses may also require greater responsibility, or independence on the part of the student. Upper-division courses require instructors with specialized knowledge and preparation. Thus, many intermediate and all advanced baccalaureate courses in a field of study are properly located in the upper-division. In addition, disciplines that depend heavily on prerequisites or the body of knowledge of lower-division education may properly be comprised primarily of upper-division courses. Such courses have one or more of the following three purposes: