How to Read a Course Description

Courses and course descriptions are listed under each degree program. Course titles and numbers, prerequisites, other notes, credit hours and descriptions approved by the College of Engineering Curriculum Committee are included in this Bulletin. 

Schedules of classes are issued separately by the Office of the Registrar, giving hours and room assignments for the courses and sections offered each term. The schedule of classes can be found at:

What the Course Number Indicates

The number of each course is designated to indicate the general level of maturity and prior training expected.

100First-year-level courses
200Sophomore-level courses
300Junior-level courses
400*Senior-level courses
500Predominantly Graduate-level courses
600Graduate-level courses and above

Unless a phrase such as “junior standing,” “senior standing,” or “graduate standing” is part of the list of prerequisites for a course, a student may elect an advanced-level course relative to their current status if the other prerequisites are satisfied. If the difference in standing level is greater than one academic year, it is usually not wise to elect an advanced-level course without first consulting the department or the instructor offering the course.

In general, the prerequisites listed for a course designate specific subject materials and/or skills the student is expected to have mastered before electing the course (or, in some cases, concurrently with it).

*A 400-level course listed in the Bulletin of the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies may be elected for graduate credit when this is approved by the student’s graduate program advisor.

Course Equivalency

The phrase “or equivalent” may no longer be considered as part of any prerequisite for any course. The specific courses must be listed. When a student has satisfactorily completed a course that is not listed but is believed to be substantially equivalent to one specified as a prerequisite for a course that the student wants to elect, the individual may consult the program advisor and upon determining if equivalency has been satisfied, election may be approved.

Permission of Instructor

The phrase “or permission of instructor (or department)” may no longer be considered as part of the statement of prerequisites for any course. When a student does not have the stated prerequisite for a course but can give evidence of background, training, maturity or high academic record, the student should present to the program advisor a note of approval from the instructor or department concerned.

Representative Sample Schedules

The information in this Bulletin for a number of the degree programs includes a schedule that is an example of one leading to graduation in eight terms. This sample schedule is for informational purposes only and should not be construed to mean that students are required to follow the schedule exactly.

A transfer student attending a community or liberal arts college and pursuing a pre-engineering degree program may not be able to follow a similar schedule because of a lack of certain offerings. Departmental program advisors should always be consulted when planning course selections.