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Banner Course Identification (Course ID) help

How is a course identified in the Schedule of Classes?

When students are looking at courses offered for a particular term, they will see that a course offering is uniquely identified through a combination of three elements:  the Course Subject, the Course Number, and the Section Number.  Each of these three elements is described below.

(There is another, less descriptive, unique identifier called the CRN, which is described on our CRN help page.)

What is the course subject?

The course subject typically corresponds to the teaching department (or a portion thereof) of the course.  It is coded in our Banner student information system with a 2-, 3-, or 4-character code.  See our Course Subject help page for more details on this code and what it stands for.

What is the course number?

The course number is a 3-digit number plus, in some cases, a single letter suffix.  (The letter suffix may indicate that this course is a part of a larger sequence of related courses, or it may identify topics or subject areas specified in courses such as readings or special problems.)  The course number identifies the course and indicates the classification of the course according to the following scheme:

  • 100 to 199 – typically for freshmen
  • 200 to 299 – typically for sophomores
  • 300 to 399 – typically for juniors
  • 400 to 499 – typically for seniors and/or graduate students
  • 500 to 598 – typically for graduate and Law students
  • 599 to 601 – typically for graduate students
  • 602 to 698 – typically for Law students

In reference to undergraduate students, you may sometimes see 100 to 299 course numbers referred to as "lower division" courses and 300 to 499 course numbers referred to as "upper division" courses.  Bachelor's degree requirements include a minimum number of "upper division" courses (as noted in the appropriate Undergraduate Catalog).

In reference to graduate students, most 599 course numbers designate thesis work, most 600 course numbers designate dissertation work, and most 601 course numbers designate continuing enrollment.

Course numbers between 001 and 099 are unique situations that cannot otherwise fit into the above scheme (or are reserved for certain Music courses).

What is the section number?

The section number categorizes course offerings as follows:

  • 001 to 099 – on-campus section1 meeting 13 to 16 weeks
  • 101 to 199 – on-campus section1 meeting 9 to 12 weeks
  • 201 to 249 – on-campus section1 meeting 8 weeks
  • 250 to 299 – on-campus section1 meeting 7 weeks
  • 301 to 399 – on-campus section1 meeting 4 to 6 weeks
  • 401 to 499 – on-campus section1 meeting 2 or 3 weeks
  • 501 to 599 – on-campus section1 meeting less than 2 weeks
  • 700 to 799 – typically independent study, research, or internship section 
  • 800 to 809 – typically travel study section 
  • 840 to 849 – online section2 that is part of the online MBA program
  • 900 to 939 – off-campus (on-site) section3
  • 940 to 949 – online section4 that is part of a particular online program
  • 950 to 959 – online section4 that is not part of a particular online program
  • 95A to 95Z – online (site-specific) section4 offered to limited groups of students
  • 980 to 989 – hybrid online section4 that is mostly online but includes an on-campus component

Introductory courses that are required (such as ENGL 101) may have so many on-campus sections offered in a term that not all of the section numbers properly follow the above pattern.

1 Normally, on-campus sections are taught in a face-to-face format.  However, due to the COVID-19 threat, some on-campus classes during the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters were taught in alternative formats (such as online or a hybrid of face-to-face and online).

2 These online sections have a unique tuition/fee structure.  They are not considered to be on-campus sections.

3 These off-campus sections are offered through Extended Campus at various locations away from the Carbondale campus.

4 These online sections are offered through Extended Campus.  They are not considered to be on-campus sections.