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Interpreting Course Listings
The following paragraphs provide keys to understanding the codes used.
Course Numbers. The number of the course indicates the level of instruction: that is, 100-level courses are appropriate for first-year students, most 200-level courses are appropriate for sophomores, 300-level for juniors, and 400-level for seniors. 500-700 level courses are designated for the Master of Arts in Teaching Program. A student who does not have the stated prerequisite for a course may register for that course only with the consent of the instructor.
Credit hours. The number in the parentheses following the title of each course identifies the credit hours the course will earn. Most courses carry four credit hours. Some offer varying credits, depending upon the exact content determined by the instructor.
Frequency of Offerings. The letter(s) appearing in the parenthetical entry following the title of each course indicates the frequency with which the course is offered.
- A: Offered in alternate years.
- AF: Offered in alternate years, usually in the fall semester.
- AS: Offered in alternate years, usually in the spring semester.
- E: Offered in each semester.
- F: Offered annually in the fall semester.
- S: Offered annually in the spring semester.
- Su: Offered annually in the summer.
Courses are of one-semester duration unless otherwise described. This information is provided to assist the student in making tentative four-year plans when he or she enrolls in St. Mary’s, even though changes in academic needs and faculty resources may require that a department deviate from the anticipated frequency of offerings. If no letter appears after the credit-hours number, a student can consult the appropriate department about its calendar offerings. Courses being offered in any given semester are listed in the online “Schedule of Classes,” a web publication distributed well in advance of the beginning of each semester.
Class Time. Except where course descriptions show both lecture and laboratory hours, courses are conducted primarily by the lecture or discussion method, and classes meet for the same number of total hours each week as there are credit hours for the course.
EXAMPLE: ENGL 320. The Victorian Period (4AS) indicates an English course at the junior level, earning four credit-hours, offered in alternate years, usually in the spring. Class time of four hours per week may be scheduled in several different ways: for example, on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for periods of one hour and 10 minutes each; on Tuesdays and Thursdays for periods of one hour and 50 minutes each; or any equivalent plan. The online “Schedule of Classes” for the semester in which the course is offered lists class hours, size limit, location, and instructor. The phrase “May be repeated for credit” means that the course usually varies in content each time it is offered. A student may register for such a course more than once, earning credit each time, provided that the topics are different. A student may repeat such a course for a better grade only if the topic is the same as the topic of the original course.
Experimental Courses. Occasionally, a department may offer a course that is not listed in the catalog. Designated as experimental, such courses may be offered twice before being formally approved and incorporated into the curriculum or dropped from the College's offerings. Such courses carry credit on the same basis as courses listed in the catalog. Experimental courses may not be used to satisfy any Core Curriculum requirements.