How to Read the Course Descriptions

This section contains complete information for all UAF courses. Unless otherwise indicated, course frequency refers to the offering of courses at the Fairbanks campus. The courses listed in this catalog are not offered at all UAF sites but may be offered if demand warrants and qualified faculty are available.

Courses are regularly offered at Bristol Bay Campus at Dillingham, Chukchi Campus at Kotzebue, Kuskokwim Campus at Bethel and Northwest Campus at Nome. Through the Interior Alaska Campus, courses are available at Fort Yukon, Galena, McGrath, Nenana and Tok.

Information about the frequency of courses at these community sites can be obtained from the local UAF representative.

Course Numbers

The first numeral of a course numbered in the hundreds indicates the year in which a student typically takes the course. For example, WRTG F111X is usually for first-year students and ENGL F318 is for third-year students. Freshman and sophomore students are cautioned to register for upper-division (300- and 400-) level courses only if they have adequate preparation and background to undertake advanced study in the field in which those courses are offered.

000-049 Non-credit courses: zero-credit and CEU courses
050-099 Developmental courses: Preparatory courses that do not apply to associate, baccalaureate or graduate degree requirements.
100-299 Lower-division courses
300-499 Upper-division courses: First-year and sophomore students may be required to obtain special permission to take 300- and 400-level courses unless the courses are required in the first two years of their curriculum as printed in this catalog.
500-599 Post-baccalaureate professional courses: 500-level courses are intended as post-baccalaureate experiences for professionals to continue their education at a level distinct from graduate level education. 500-level special topics and independent study courses (593, 597) do not apply toward any degree, certification or credential program. 500-level courses are not interchangeable with 600-level courses for graduate degree programs.
600-699 Graduate courses: A few well-qualified undergraduates may be admitted to graduate courses with approval of the instructor. Students may not apply such a course to requirements for both a baccalaureate and a graduate degree.
700-799 Graduate/Professional Courses: Courses with these numbers are primarily intended for students in doctoral-level programs and demand a level of analysis, synthesis, research or professional knowledge and skills beyond those required for 600-level courses. 700-level courses are applicable to master's and doctoral degrees and to graduate and professional certificates, in accordance with their requirements.

Stacked and Cross-Listed Courses

Some courses are offered by an interdisciplinary program (such as Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies) with a specific disciplinary content (e.g., History). Some courses containing interdisciplinary content are sponsored by several departments (e.g., ACNS F223X/ANS F223X/MUS F223X). These courses are “cross-listed” and are designated in the class listings by “cross-listed with____.”

Courses are also sometimes offered simultaneously at different levels (for example: 100/200 or 400/600) with the higher level credit requiring additional effort and possibly a higher order of prerequisites from students. Such courses are referred to as “stacked” and are designated in the class listings by “stacked with ___.” In the case of 400/600-level stacked courses, graduate student enrollment and a higher level of effort and performance is required on the part of students earning graduate credit.

Courses simultaneously stacked and cross-listed are designated in the class listing as “Stacked with____ and cross-listed with____.”

For all stacked courses, the course syllabus (not the catalog) must stipulate course content and requirements for each level. The catalog should indicate the difference in prerequisites for each level.

Graduate students may not take any 600-level courses for credit if they have already received 400-level credit for that course in their undergraduate work. Individual exceptions to this rule include those courses where there has been a major shift in focus and should be judged by the instructor and the department.

Special or Reserved Numbers

Courses with the suffix X (WRTG F111X, MATH F113X), meet specific general education requirements.
Courses identified with these special or reserved numbers may be available at all levels (e.g., 193, 293, 393, etc.) at the discretion of any department, although offerings above the level of approved programs must be approved in advance by the Provost (e.g., 600-level offerings in areas without approved graduate programs or 300- and 400-level courses in areas without approved baccalaureate programs). These courses may be repeated for credit.

Courses ending with: Reserved for:
000-049 Zero Credit Courses
000C-049C Continuing Education Course (CEU)
92 Seminar: covering various topics which may include group discussions and guest speakers
93 Special Topics: normally offered one time only
94 Trial Course: offered in anticipation of becoming a permanent course
97 Individual Study: in subject areas not normally available
98 Non-thesis Research/Project: preparing for professional practice
99 Thesis/Dissertation: preparing for scholarly or research activity

Course Credits

A credit hour represents an amount of work that reasonably approximates not less than:

  1. One hour of classroom or other faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately 15 weeks, or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time; or
  2. At least an equivalent amount of work for other academic activities, including laboratory work, internships, practice, studio work and other academic work.

Laboratory classes require a minimum of 2,400 science lab minutes per credit (three hours per week per credit), or a minimum of 1,600 non-science lab minutes (two hours per week per credit) plus 800 minutes (one hour per week) of study and/or preparation outside of class. A course submission with a lab component must include a justification (in terms of required student work minutes outside of lab) if the laboratory does not require at least 2,400 lab minutes per credit.

The following standards establish the minimum requirements for an academic unit of credit:

  1. 800 minutes of lecture or equivalent instructional activities plus 1,600 minutes of student work outside of class.
  2. 2,400 minutes of science laboratory
  3. 1,600 minutes of laboratory (non-science lab) plus 800 minutes of student work outside of class
  4. 2,400-4,800 minutes of supervised practicum
  5. 2,400-8,000 minutes of internship (or externship, clinical)
  6. 2,400-4,800 minutes of supervised scholarly activity

Credit hours may not be divided, except half-credit hours may be granted at the appropriate rate. For short courses and classes of less than one semester in duration, course hours may not be compressed into fewer than three days per credit. Any existing semester-long course that is to be offered in a format that is compressed to less than six weeks must be approved by the college or school’s curriculum council and the appropriate Faculty Senate committee. Any new course proposal must indicate the course compression format(s) in which the course will be taught. Only approved course formats will be allowed for scheduling.

Given the above information, the formula used for computing credit/contact hours is 800 minutes (13.3 hours) per credit. This equates to approximately one hour of lecture per week for a normal 14-week semester. For courses that do not employ lectures but are intended to achieve learning outcomes equivalent to those of a lecture course (e.g, some e-learning classes), 800 minutes of structured instructional activities are expected per credit, in addition to at least 1,600 minutes per credit of other work that the student completes independently. "Structured instructional activities" is not restricted to mean synchronous interaction with an instructor, but rather faculty-designed instructional activity intended to facilitate student learning. 

Following the title of each course, the number of credits is listed for each semester. Thus “3 credits” means 3 credits may be earned. Credit may not be given more than once for a course unless the course has been designated as repeatable for credit. Figures in parentheses at the end of course descriptions indicate the number of lecture, laboratory and practicum, internship or scholarly activity hours, respectively, the class meets each week for one semester. For example (2+3) indicates that a class has two hours of lecture and three of laboratory work each week. A designation of (1+0+6) indicates that the course meets for one hour of lecture each week and six hours of practicum, internship or other scholarly activity.

Course Prerequisites

Course prerequisites indicate what previous preparation is needed to enroll in a course. An instructor has the right to waive a course prerequisite if the instructor documents that the student possesses the background required to succeed in the class. An instructor also has the right to drop students from the course if they do not meet the prerequisite or have not received a grade of C- or better in all prerequisite courses. Students who take a course at a higher level than a corresponding prerequisite course required for a degree program are not exempt from taking that required course.

When reading prerequisites, the semicolon (";") means "and." The comma (",") means "or." For example:

MATH F101; MATH F102 means MATH F101 AND MATH F102

MATH F101, MATH F102 means MATH F101 OR MATH F102

If a prerequisite may be taken concurrently, "(may be taken concurrently)" will be listed after the specific prerequisite course.

Identifying Courses

General education requirements have course numbers ending in X.

Specific Degree Requirements

Courses that may be used to satisfy specific degree requirements (e.g., humanities elective for the B.A. degree, or natural science elective for the B.S. degree) are identified in the course description section by the following degree requirement designators:


s—social science


n—natural science

an—Alaska Native-themed

For example, you may use ANTH F309 to satisfy the “social science elective” requirement for a Bachelor of Arts degree. Some courses, including all special topics and individual study courses, are not given course classifications. 

Course Frequency

A frequency of offering designator such as “Offered Fall” or “Offered Alternate Spring” precedes many course descriptions. Every effort is made to ensure this designator is correct. However, students should review the current class schedule or check with the course department for the most accurate and up-to-date information on course offerings.