Course prefix (academic subject code) guidelines establish protocols for the approval and creation of prefixes for courses and disciplines maintained in the course catalog and in student records.

Courses and course prefixes must be proposed through our curriculum inventory management (CIM) system. Upon submission, CIM routes the request through the department and college/school workflows for review and approval.

The scheduling of courses must adhere to the published curriculum calendar for publication in the university catalog and schedule of classes for the given term.

View the Curriculum Update Calendar


  1. Course prefixes are created as four-character academic subject codes in the course catalog (e.g., HIST, ACCT). They have a corresponding short description limited to 30 characters and formal (long) description limited to 50 characters (these should match even if truncation is necessary).
  2. Most commonly, new prefixes are proposed and created in conjunction with new academic programs.
  3. Course prefixes are assigned to academic organizations (most commonly to academic departments, but may be created for colleges, centers, etc.) for purposes of review and reporting.
  4. Course prefixes should reflect a discipline or field or study.
  5. Prefixes should not begin with or include the type of academic organization (e.g., C for Center, D for Department) or degree type (e.g., M for master's, B for bachelor's).
  6. Prefixes should not be created for only one or two specialized courses within a broader discipline. Use the primary discipline subject code, when feasible, to facilitate class searches and readability of transcripts.
  7. Unique course prefixes are not approved for the same disciplines or subject descriptions (e.g., interdisciplinary subjects offered by more than one department).
  8. Course prefixes are not approved on an experimental or interim basis. Rather, trial or temporary courses should be offered under existing department or program course prefixes.
  9. Changes to existing or proposals for new subject codes are not approved for the sole purposes of marketing or differentiation of offerings based on instruction mode, tuition or location.
  10. Changes to existing prefixes may be proposed when academic programs or disciplines are approved for name changes and the existing prefixes are no longer relevant. Upon approval, active courses under the former prefix are recreated with the new prefix. Courses with the former prefix are inactivated and systematically linked to courses with the new prefix for purposed of repeatability, grade replacement, degree audit, etc.