Undergraduate Course Levels and Numbering System

Note: In addition to the courses listed, each program may offer, as appropriate, the following types of specialized coursework and special learning experiences:

Number Type
1810-19, 2810-19, 3810-19, 4810-19 Selected Topics
2830, 3830, 4830 Directed Study
3850, 4850 Workshop
2880, 3880 Travel Study
2940, 3940 Career Investigation Field Experience (internship)
4940 Career Application Field Experience (advanced internship)
2980, 3980, 4980 Independent Study

For information on currently offered Selected Topics courses in each program, consult the Class Schedules. For information on directed studies, travel study, independent studies, undergraduate research opportunities, and internships in any academic department, contact the Program Chair, the Crouse Center for Academic Advising, or the Office of the Registrar.

Course Numbering System

The course numbering system is comprised of three letters for the departmental program and four digits for the course number.

Course Level Definitions

Below 1000-level: Preparatory course; credit does not count toward graduation requirements.

1000-level: Designed as a foundation or introductory course primarily for first- or second-year students; typically there are no prerequisites. Open to all undergraduate students meeting all requisites. Upon successful completion of these courses, students will be expected to:  

  • demonstrate the ability to communicate course content effectively at the college level, orally and in writing; and
  • fulfill course objectives related to content.

2000-level: Intermediate-level course or an introduction to a particular discipline. Students entering these courses are expected to possess foundational knowledge and skills consistent with successful completion of the first year of college. Open to all undergraduate students meeting all requisites. Upon successful completion of these courses, students will be expected to: 

  • write at a level exceeding first-year proficiency; and
  • demonstrate skills of analysis and application in regard to course content.

3000-level: Designed to focus on specific topics, methods and approaches within a particular academic discipline. Typically designed for upper-class students. Open to sophomore-level and higher (30+ credits) undergraduate students meeting all requisites. Upon successful completion of these courses, students will be expected to:

  • engage in critical thinking, reading and writing that is consistent with the academic discipline.

4000-level: Designed as advanced courses within a major or minor for upper-class students who meet appropriate prerequisites. Open to junior-level and higher (60+ credits) undergraduate students meeting all requisites. Students will be expected to synthesize, integrate and apply prior coursework to the academic discipline and professional field.  

Courses bearing numbers in the 5000 series are open to advanced undergraduates who meet the prerequisites, or with permission from the program chair. Courses with 5000 numbers that are integral to undergraduate programs are listed by title following the undergraduate descriptions for each program. Courses bearing numbers in the 6000 series are open to graduate students only and courses bearing numbers 7000 and 8000 are open to doctoral students only.


In most cases, prerequisites are expressed in terms of Aurora University courses that students are required to have completed before entering a given course. Except where noted, successful completion of a transfer course deemed by Aurora University to be equivalent to the prerequisite course is considered to meet prerequisite requirements. Faculty have established specific alternative means of meeting prerequisites (e.g., portfolio evaluation, placement test, or permission of instructor) as noted within the prerequisites for the course.

In all cases, prerequisites may be waived or modified by the Academic Dean responsible for a course or the Dean’s designate. Aurora University recognizes that prerequisite learning may occur in many settings. If a student believes that their prior learning from non-college sources may have prepared them to succeed in advanced coursework, the student should contact the Academic Dean offering the course for information about waiver of prerequisites in specific instances.