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Key to Course Descriptions

Course Numbers. The level of a course is indicated by the number. Usually it is expected that students will take courses appropriate to their classification. It is particularly important for freshmen to register for courses numbered below 200.

000-099Credits in these courses do not apply to the minimum 124 hour requirement for graduation.
100-199 Primarily for Freshmen
200-299 Primarily for Sophomores
300-399Primarily for Juniors
400-499 Primarily for Seniors
500-599 Advanced Undergraduate Courses or Graduate Level

A student who has been formally admitted to the College of Graduate Studies and who takes courses numbered 500 or higher will receive graduate credit and, with the approval of the advisor, may apply it to a degree program.

600-699 Graduate Courses. Open only to students who have been admitted to the College of Graduate Studies. Undergraduate students should use the form available from the College of Graduate Studies website to apply to take a graduate course for undergraduate credit.

700-799 Graduate Courses. Open only to students who have been admitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

800 -899 Graduate Courses. Open only to students who have been admitted to the College of Graduate Studies and who are in the third year of doctoral study or full time internship at the specialist level.

900-999 Graduate Courses. Open only to students who have been admitted to the College of Graduate Studies and who are in the fourth year of doctoral study.

Graduate courses which are subject to limitation under the policy on unspecified content or variable credit are listed in each department.

Non-Degree Courses

Courses numbered (DESIGNATOR) 589 - Professional Development (1-6) do not apply to degree requirements. These courses cover selected issues designed for professional development, in-service training to meet specific staff development needs in education, business/industry, allied health, technology, and other professional settings. They are not applicable to degree requirements.

Cognate Courses

A cognate course is one outside of but related to the principal discipline.


Course substitutions appropriate to the student's program may be authorized by the advisor.

Cross-Listed Courses

Cross-listed courses are those courses identified in the course listing as “identical to” another course. Credit may not be earned in more than one of these courses.

Credit and Attendance Hours

Central Michigan University complies with the federal credit hour definition. “one hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester” 34CFR 600.2 (11/1/2010). This credit policy applies to all courses regardless of the delivery format. Laboratory, internship, practica, studio, and similar non-lecture courses will require at least an equivalent amount of work.

The number of semester hours of credit in each course is indicated by the first number following the title of the course. Within the parentheses, the first number indicates the number of hours of lecture per week; the second number, the hours of laboratory per week. EXAMPLE: 4(3-2) means four hours of credit, three hours of lecture, 2 hours of laboratory.


Some courses listed as prerequisites may have their own prerequisites. You may need to plan more than one semester in advance when deciding which semester to take a particular course. Students seeking to substitute prerequisite courses with equivalents or permission of instructor may do so only with departmental approval. Such substitutions are not automatic.


  • Prerequisite – Any course(s) and/or other requirement(s) that must be completed prior to enrolling in a particular course.
  • Pre/Co-requisite(s) – Any course and/or other requirement(s) that students may take prior to, or concurrently, with the particular course.
  • Co-requisite – Any course and/or other requirement(s) that students must take concurrently with a particular course.
  • Recommended – Any course and/or other requirement(s) that might be useful for students to complete prior to enrolling in a particular course.

Syntax Guidelines

  • Multiple Course Requirements are separated by a comma. Example: ART 105, 115.
  • Compound requirements are separated by a semi-colon. Example: ART 105, 115; Admission to the Teacher Education Program.
  • Alternative courses are separated by “or.”

    Example: ART 105 or 115.

  • Multiple alternative courses are preceded by the use of “One of:”.

    Example: One of: ART 105, 115, 215.

  • Default prerequisites. “or permission of instructor” and “or equivalent” are default prerequisites and therefore apply to any course. It is understood that students may contact a faculty member for permission to register for a class (with a bump card) or have previous coursework evaluated for equivalency (with a bump card). Thus, these phrases should not appear in course descriptions.
  • “Or graduate standing” should appear only in 500 level classes to permit graduate students to register without CMU’s undergraduate requirements.

Variable Credit Courses

Variable credit courses are indicated by a semester-hour designation such as 1-3(Spec). (Spec) means there are special arrangements regarding the number of hours spent in class. Maximum hours which a student may earn in a variable credit course to apply toward graduation are the highest number in the semester-hour designation for the course (i.e., three hours maximum in example listed above).

Distance Learning, Online, or Hybrid Courses

Distance learning courses include online courses, hybrid courses, and other courses that do not have the traditional face-to-face classroom format. Course approved for offering in a distance learning format are identified in each course description when the course is approved for distance learning, hybrid, or online.

Other Designation

  • CR/NC Credit/No Credit, see index for more information.
  • Courses are listed in alphabetical order by designator.