University of Minnesota  Administrative Policy

Course Credit and Numbering: Twin Cities, Crookston, Morris, Rochester

Policy Statement

  1. Academic Credit
    1. Courses appearing on the University transcript must be for academic credit with academic content.
    2. Academic courses generally may not be offered for zero credits, unless it is a remedial course numbered 0xxx pursuant to this policy and appendix.
    3. Students must be registered for a class in order to participate in the class and be eligible to earn academic credit or participate as an auditor.
  2. Course Numbering
    1. Departments and colleges must use 4-digit course numbers using the system in the Appendix to this policy.
    2. Students should use the course numbering system to assist in selecting courses to advance them toward their degree.
    3. Alphabetic Suffixes: No alphabetic suffixes other than those already in place at the time this policy was adopted (April 2009) may be used (see the FAQ).
    4. Graduate programs must use the standard numbering conventions for all thesis credit courses (see Appendix).
    5. Graduate programs will use the all-University numbering conventions for other kinds of courses (see Appendix for xx91 – xx98 courses).
    6. Thesis credit courses (see Appendix) and xx91 – xx98 are examples of courses that students may repeat for credit.
    7. Use of a zero as the last digit of a course number is reserved for courses that may be repeated for credit (e.g., "topics" courses, some music and studio arts courses).
    8. Cross-listed courses have the same content, title, description, outcomes, prerequisites and meeting pattern; meet the same liberal education requirements (if applicable);and are offered for the same number of credits. All cross-listed versions of a course meet the same program requirements.


This policy is not applicable to the Duluth campus.

Reason for Policy

Minnesota statute sec. 135A.08 requires the University to have a course numbering convention to distinguish remedial, lower division, upper division, and graduate level coursework. Consistent use of the course numbering system helps students select and sequence their courses and helps those who view a student’s transcript to identify the level of courses that appear on the transcript. The University must have consistent standards for awarding credits for academic work and transcripting those courses to meet Higher Learning Commission accreditation requirements.




Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are suffixes and how can they be used?

    Suffixes help identify certain characteristics of courses. Currently three suffixes are used: W (for writing intensive courses); H (for honors courses); and V (for courses that are both honors and writing intensive).


Primary ContactAmber Cellotti [email protected]
Crookston CampusJason Tangquist218-281-8424[email protected]
Morris CampusMarcus Muller320-589-6011[email protected]
Rochester CampusParry Telander, Registrar507-258-8023[email protected]
Responsible Individuals
Responsible Officer Policy Owner Primary Contact
  • Executive Vice President and Provost
  • Vice Provost and Dean of Undergraduate Education
  • Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education
  • Amber Cellotti
    Interim Director, Office of the Registrar


Cross-listed Course

A cross- listed course consists of a single course offered for registration under two or more distinct subject designators and course numbers. 

Directed Research

An opportunity in which a student designs and carries out a research project under the direction of a faculty member. Directed research may be taken for variable credit and special permission is needed for enrollment.

Directed Study

A course in which a student designs and carries out an independent project under the direction of a faculty member. Directed study courses may be taken for variable credit and special permission is needed for enrollment.

Independent Study

A course in which a student enrolls in an established course but studies independently under an instructor’s guidance rather than attending class. Independent study courses may be taken for variable credit and special permission is needed for enrollment.


Remedial courses are intended to correct or improve deficient skills and knowledge in a specific subject. 0xxx courses are remedial courses that do not carry credit.


There are no specified responsibilities associated with this policy.

Related Information



February 2021 - Comprehensive Review. Minor Revision.

  1. Added language to document that academic credit appears on the transcript and must have academic content; addressing course proposals that are not academic in nature (professional continuing education, professional development, etc.).
  2. Added language to codify existing practice that academic courses should not be offered for zero credits
  3. Added language from current Grading & Transcript policy that students must be registered in order to receive course credit; this policy provides a more logical “home” for this provision.
  4. Added a definition for cross-listed courses to codify existing practice.
  5. Minor changes regarding course numbering provisions were made to be consistent with graduate policy and moving text to the policy appendix.
  6. Clarified that the policy is needed for both Minnesota Law and Higher Learning Commission Requirements.


May 2016 - Comprehensive Review. Minor Revision. Language now aligns with Administrative Policy: Application of Graduate Credits to Degree Requirements. Removes language that pertained to the old Graduate School structure.


December 2009 - Policy now applies to Crookston.


April 2009