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Course Descriptions

All universities and colleges in the North Dakota University System (NDUS) have agreed on Common Course Numbers (CCNs) for many of the courses they have in common. The CCN notation in the course description indicates MSU courses that are recognized as common within the North Dakota University System.

Course Definitions, Designators and Format

Courses approved at the time of publication are listed in this bulletin. Not all courses are offered every term. Refer to the outline schedule of course search term and Campus Connection for listed offerings. 


Course definitions frequently include additional information about enrollment. Students are responsible for complying with restrictions or expectations related to course enrollment listed herein or any supplementary information.

Course Credits: Credits are stated in semester units as defined in the Academic Policies section in the bulletin. 

Course per-requisites (Pre-req): Prerequisites indicate the academic background, academic level, or other requirements considered necessary for enrollment in the course. Most prerequisites are specific courses, however, equivalent preparation is usually acceptable. 

Course co-requisites (Co-req): Co-requisites indicate courses to be taken concurrently with the course described. Instructor or department permission may override a pre-requisite or co-requisite. 

Cross-listed courses: A cross-listed course means the same course is offered by two or more departments or under another course prefix. Cross-listed courses are noted and the full description appears under the department responsible for the course. Credit may only be earned for the course under one of the prefixes.

Format Of Course Listings:

All university course offerings, listed alphabetically by areas of study, are described on the following pages. Course information and course availability is subject to change. The heading, which precedes the brief description of each course, includes the current course number; course title; and the number of semester credit hours, fixed or variable. Enrollment information, such as per-requisites and co-requisites follows.

Course Numbers:

Course numbers indicate the student classification for which the course is primarily intended. Some course numbers end with a letter suffix: L - laboratory course; R - recitation (undergraduate) or research continuation (graduate); S - graduate project. The number system is as follows:

  • 100 series courses - open to freshmen
  • 200 series courses - primarily for sophomores
  • 300 series courses - primarily for juniors
  • 400 series courses - primarily for seniors
  • 500 series courses - graduate courses
  • 800 series courses - continuing education