23, No. 17, April 1, 2004
Courses to be renumbered under new
Forrest, Assistant Editor
by Bill Wiegand
Take a number
Staff members in the Office of Facility Management
and Scheduling had to rebuild the Class Schedule and
related publications as a result of the course renumbering
project and the implementation of SCT Banner. “We
really need to thank the people in the colleges who
provided all the data and reviewed it several times
along the way,” said assistant director Carol
Malmgren, shown here with director Mark Netter.
A new course numbering
system will take effect on the Urbana campus with the fall 2004 semester.
A seven-level system will replace the four-level numbering system currently
used. Many other institutions use seven-level systems, including Urbana’s
sister campus in Chicago.
Under the new system, course numbers at Urbana will range from 000 to
699 (see box). The 300-399 designation will delineate upper-division
undergraduate courses, and the 400-level designation will comprise upper-division
undergraduate courses that graduate students can also take for credit.
Under the four-level system, some upper-division undergraduate classes
had 200-level designations while others had 300-level designations,
a disparity that sometimes confused students as well as recruiters and
officials at other universities.
UIC adopted a seven-level system in 1991 to help distinguish between
lower-level and upper-level undergraduate courses as well as credit
and non-credit courses, which will carry 000 designations in Urbana’s
Over the years, as courses were approved and added, the limitations
of the four-level system led to inconsistencies in course numbering.
In side-by-side comparisons of UIC and Urbana students’ transcripts,
the four-level course numbers at Urbana were occasionally misinterpreted
as indicating that Urbana students had taken lower-level classes than
their peers who took similar courses but with higher course numbers
at UIC, said David Ruzic, professor of nuclear engineering and materials
science. Ruzic also chairs the faculty advisory committee on the UI
Integrate project, an inter-campus committee that has represented faculty
concerns throughout the implementation of the new system.
As courses were added through the years, some academic units ended up
with a hodgepodge of course numbers, and the course-renumbering project
offered the opportunity for them to organize courses in more systematic
“As new courses were developed, students rightfully believed that
the higher the number, the more difficult or advanced the course, but
that didn’t always happen because maybe the right number and sequence
wasn’t available,” said Kirby Barrick, associate dean of
academic programs in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental
“This really does give students an advantage by providing a more
consistent, understandable transcript,” said assistant provost
Keith Marshall, who coordinated the renumbering project with campus
academic units and the Office of Facilities Management and Scheduling.
Staff in facilities management and scheduling rebuilt the course catalog
and produced a new version of the Timetable, which is called the Class
Schedule in the new Self-Service system.
The Urbana Senate approved a proposal to revise the course-numbering
system at its Oct. 21, 2001, meeting. However, for cost effectiveness,
implementation of the new numbering system was scheduled to coincide
with the implementation of UI2 Self-Service, the student registration
module of SCT-Banner, which is being launched this month.
guide to new course numbers
seven-level course-numbering system will be implemented
at the Urbana campus beginning with the fall 2004 semester.
The Course Information Suite, which contains the Class
Schedule, the Course Catalog, the Programs of Study and
information about general-education requirements, is available
on the Web at http://courses.uiuc.edu/cis/index.html.
000-099 Noncredit preparatory courses
100-199 Lower level undergraduate courses
200-299 Lower level undergraduate courses
300-399 Upper level undergraduate courses
400-499 Upper level undergraduate
and graduate courses
500-599 Graduate courses
600-699 Professional courses
(law and veterinary medicine
that while we were putting the new registration system up it was a golden
opportunity to standardize data and refine the course-numbering system,”
Some units in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences were in danger
of running out of course numbers under the four-digit system, said Luci
Rich, senior assistant dean for student affairs.
ACES had begun re-examining curricula in all seven of its departments
about four years ago, Barrick said, to establish consistent course definitions
and numbers, a project that dovetailed with the campuswide renumbering
“It took quite a bit of time to get seven departments to all agree
to the same kind of terminology and numbers, but we think it has been
very helpful to the degree-audit system and then very helpful to students,”
As a result of academic units’ re-examining and consolidating
their course rubrics, the number of courses offered on the Urbana campus
decreased from 7,500 to 7,200, said Mark Netter, director of the Office
of Facility Management and Scheduling.
Since April 2003, a Course Renumbering Crosswalk Table has been available
to make all units aware of the new campus numbers and was especially
important in revising course marketing materials and other campus documents,
said Carol Malmgren, assistant director of the Office of Facility Management
The table cross-references the old course numbers and course rubrics,
called subjects in the new system, with their new counterparts. Users
can search the online table by the old rubrics or the new subject names
and by the old and new course numbers.
The crosswalk table, the Class Schedule and the revised Course Catalog
and Programs of Study are all components of a package called the Course
Users were able
to preview thenew numbering system and the Course Information Suite
online the past couple of months. However, students who register for
summer courses must use UI-Direct and the old course numbers, since
the new system and numbers do not take effect until fall.
In addition, summer registration was pushed ahead a couple of weeks
instead of occurring concurrently with fall registration to help users
distinguish between the old and new systems. On April 5, students will
begin registering for the fall term using the new course numbers and
The Degree Audit Reporting System, DARwin, also had to be revised to
recognize the new course numbers and academic requirements. Students
and advisers will be able to view that information online when the academic
history portion of the student module goes live and the next batch processing
run is made in DARwin during the fall term.
The transition to the new numbering and registration systems will cause
some “hiccups along the way,” Netter said, “and it’s
going to be a challenge, but in the long run I think the university
will be better served.”
Also beginning in the fall, credit for graduate courses will be conferred
in hours rather than graduate units. The graduate-unit system was “almost
unique to Urbana” and few other universities were using it, Marshall