Below you will find a short description of items included in course listings and course bubbles. For further information regarding course designations, consult your advisor or view the Requirements for Undergraduate Study. The mortarboard symbol () appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.mortar board
|Gen Ed||Communication Part A: a course in communication skills at the college level, developing student abilities in writing and public speaking, for both exposition and argumentation.
Communication Part B: a course involving substantial instruction in the four modes of literacy (that is, speaking, reading, writing, and listening), with emphasis on speaking and writing, either in the conventions of specific fields or in more advanced courses in communication.
Quantitative Reasoning Part A: a Quantitative Reasoning Part A course is an introductory course in college‐level mathematics, computer science, statistics or formal logic that prepares students for more advanced work in a disciplinary context.
Quantitative Reasoning Part B: a Quantitative Reasoning Part B course builds on the tools of college‐level mathematics, computer science, statistics or formal logic that are acquired by achieving the Quantitative Reasoning Part A learning outcomes. Quantitative Reasoning Part B courses may be offered at any level, provided that the material challenges students to think critically and apply quantitative skills to develop models, interpret data, draw conclusions, and solve problems within a disciplinary or interdisciplinary context.
|Ethnic St||Counts toward Ethnic Studies requirement: a course intended to increase understanding of the culture and contributions of persistently marginalized racial or ethnic groups in the United States, and to equip students to respond constructively to issues connected with our pluralistic society and global community.|
|Breadth||Biological Science: a course concerning the systematic study of the structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy of living organisms. Courses with this designation may meet Biological Science requirements or the broader Natural Science breadth requirements.
Humanities: employing analytical, critical, and interpretive methods, “Arts & Humanities” courses teach a wide array of skills necessary to understand and analyze past, present, and future of the world around us. These courses focus on exploring the human condition, using knowledge to build empathy and appreciation for the complexities of one’s own and other people’s perspectives.
Literature: courses with “literature” designation focus on the reading and interpretation of texts in multiple genres, including fictional and nonfictional prose, poetry, and drama, from a range of cultures, in translation or in their original languages, irrespective of how they are presented. They teach skills of literary analysis while examining the relation between the texts and the cultures, historical periods, and ideas that produced them.
Natural Science: a course characterized by the systematic study of the natural and physical world, and with the use of abstraction and logical reasoning. Biological Science and Physical Science courses are subsets of the Natural Science curriculum.
Physical Science: a course involving the systematic study of objective information about the physical world, broadly defined, and include areas of study such as Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science, and Earth Science (atmospheric science, oceanography). Courses with this designation may meet Physical Science requirements or the broader Natural Science breadth requirements.
Social Science: a course which relies upon methods of data collection (either qualitative or quantitative), data analysis, or data interpretation that characterize factual, methodological, institutional, and theoretical inquiry into the systematic study of humans/groups and institutions/society.
|Level||Elementary: a course associated with predominantly introductory material, are usually open to all students (including first year students).
Intermediate and Advanced: courses with sensible prerequisites to reflect a gradual mastery of material.
|L&S Credit||Counts as Liberal Arts and Science credit in L&S: a course which encourage students in one or more of the three “habits of the mind” of liberal arts education, as specified by the College of Letters and Science.|
|Honors||Accelerated Honors (!): a course open to both honors and non-honors students. Accelerated Honors courses receive honors credit automatically in recognition of the amount and rigor of material covered in the course, often designed to combine two semesters of material into one semester. The enrollment system will automatically assign honors.
Honors Only Courses (H): a course reserved for students declared in an Honors program only, taught by a faculty member who is an expert in the subject-matter of the course. It is designed to challenge students to actively participate; hence, the course content is often shaped by student questions and interests. The enrollment system will automatically assign honors.
Honors Optional (%): a course open to both honors and non-honors students. The optional honors component of work is designed to facilitate in-depth, student-driven learning and enrich the student’s experience. The student is responsible for formally declaring their intention to complete an honors project when enrolling.
|Grad 50%||Counts toward 50% graduate coursework requirement: a course used in the Graduate School's requirement that least 50% of credits applied toward the student’s graduate program must be with courses designed for graduate work.|
|Work||Workplace Experience Course: a course where workplace experience is linked to learning in an academic program. Courses must include intentional learning objectives related to the experience.|
|Foreign Language||First-semester language course: Course in a language other than English for students with no prior experience in the language. These courses are not retro-credit eligible.
Second-semester language course: Course in a language other than English that requires a Level 1 course a requisite. These courses are retro-credit eligible.
Third-semester language course: Course in a language other than English that requires a Level 2 course a requisite. These courses are retro-credit eligible.
Fourth-semester language course: Course in a language other than English that requires a Level 3 course a requisite. These courses are retro-credit eligible
Fifth-semester and above language course. Course in a language other than English that requires a Level 4 or Level 5 course a requisite. These courses are retro-credit eligible.
|Sustainability||Identifies courses that meet criteria of having at least two learning outcomes that relate to the practices, challenges or dimensions of sustainability.|
Requisites represent the academic preparation needed to be successful in a course. They are enforced via the enrollment system, meaning a student who attempts to enroll in a course but lacks the requisite preparation will be barred by the system from enrolling.
It is assumed that courses in progress at the time of enrollment will be completed successfully and thus fulfill a course requisite. Course administrators/departments may check the completion of these courses and may drop enrolled students who failed or dropped a requisite course and notify them accordingly.
There are occasions when a student may have the necessary preparation to be successful in a course, but this preparation is not easily identifiable in their student record. An example would be earned transfer credit that did not equate to a UW-Madison course. Students may ask the course instructor for permission to enroll in a course for which they do not meet the enforced requisite. Instructor permission will override any restrictions on enrollment the class might have.