Office of the Registrar

Course Numbering System


Each course is designated by a seven-digit number. The first two digits identify the teaching unit or department offering the course. The next three digits identify the specific course and its level:

xx.000-xx.099 = no credit earned toward a degree
xx.100-xx.299 = undergraduate introductory or undergraduate foundation courses
xx.300-xx.499 = undergraduate upper-level or undergraduate advanced courses
xx.500-xx.599 = graduate courses that allow qualified, advanced undergraduates
xx.600-xx.799 = graduate courses to which undergraduate students usually are not admitted

The last three digits show the section number of the course. For summer courses, the section number also denotes the summer session.

The letters C or O before the first two digits indicates that the course was taught off campus. Since fall 1992, study abroad courses have a course number prefix letter to indicate location.

General Education and Honors Courses

Undergraduate courses may have a General Education Program designation following the course title.

Prior to fall 1989, letters were used to indicate distributive credit in Arts and Humanities (/A), Social Sciences (/S) or Natural Sciences (/N).

Between fall 1989 and summer 2012, General Education courses carry a Curricular Area (1 through 5) and level (1 or 2) designation (for example, 1:2). Courses taken to meet General Education requirements are marked with "G" on the transcript.

Beginning in fall 2012, General Education courses are designated by the Foundational Area (FA) 1 through 5.

Courses taken in the University Honors Program are marked with "H" or have "Honors" as part of the course title on the transcript.

Independent Study and Internship Courses

Each teaching unit may offer individual reading and study courses which are designated by the departmental course number prefix and course numbers xx.390, xx.490, xx.590, or xx.690.

Starting in fall 1973, these courses have a second-line title which indicates the student's project. The instructor's name may also appear with the course title.

Internship (numbered xx.491 and xx.691) and Cooperative Education Field Experience (numbered xx.392 and xx.692) courses are also available from most departments.

Consortium of Universities

The Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area includes the following institutions:
   American University (AU)
   The Catholic University of America (CU)
   District of Columbia Teachers College (DT)
(part of the university of the District of Columbia since fall 1977)
   Gallaudet College (GC)
   George Mason University
   Georgetown University (GU)
   George Washington University (GW)
   Howard University (HU)
   Marymount University
   Mount Vernon College (MV)
   Southeastern University
   Trinity College (TC)
   University of the District of Columbia
   University of Maryland

Courses taken at these institutions by a degree-seeking student are counted as residence credit at American University. Before fall 1973, these courses are indicated on the transcript with an asterisk (*) and the footnote "Consortium Course." The institution at which they were taken is identified by a two-letter code (shown above) after the course number. Since fall 1973, the institution is identified in the course title.

American University and Wesley Theological Seminary participate in a cooperative registration plan apart from the Consortium of Universities. Before fall 1973, courses taken under this plan are identified by "WT" following the course number. Since fall 1973, Wesley Theological Seminary is included in the course title.