Course Information

Course Numbering System

The system of course numbers is arranged to indicate the level of instruction. The first figure in each number designates the group to which a course belongs:

Numbering Description
1000-1990 Courses open primarily to freshmen
2000-2990 Courses open primarily to sophomores
3000-3990 Courses open primarily to juniors
4000-4990 Courses open primarily to seniors
8000-9990 Courses open only to graduate students

For the most current, up to date listing of course descriptions, visit the Office of the University Registrar's course description website.

From time to time courses may be added or dropped from a curriculum. All courses listed in this catalog cannot be offered each semester. Some departments indicate which semester the course is normally offered. While the departments will attempt to follow the guidelines established for periods of course offerings, there is no guarantee the course will be offered during the semester indicated. Furthermore, students cannot be guaranteed placement in a course offered during a particular semester.

Explanation of Credit Course Numbers

Courses available for graduate credit are those which have been approved by the UNO graduate faculty or its designee. Students will not be allowed to upgrade or retake courses previously taken for undergraduate credit so that they can be used for any purpose where graduate credit is required. Undergraduate courses cannot be used toward a graduate degree.

Dual-listed Courses

Dual-listed courses are courses open to both undergraduate and graduate students. There are two types of dual-listed courses:

  1. Courses numbered at the 3000 level which are dual listed with courses starting with the number eight (8) and ending with a five (5) – (3xxx/8xx5).
    1. No more than two (3xxx/8xx5) courses are allowed on a plan of study.
  2. Courses numbered at the 4000 level which are dual listed with courses starting with the number eight (8) and ending with a six (6) – (4xxx/8xx6).

It is expected that students enrolled for graduate credit will do work at a higher level than that which is expected of undergraduate students in the same course.

Graduate-only Courses

Courses numbered with an eight (8) or nine (9) and ending with a zero (0) – (8xx0 or 9xx0) – are normally restricted to graduate students only. At least one-half the hours of course work on a plan of study must be in courses normally restricted to graduate students only.

With special permission from the dean for graduate studies, exceptional juniors and seniors may enroll in graduate courses.

Courses numbered (8xxx or 9xx1) are normally for advanced master’s and doctoral-level students. If taken at the master's level, the course cannot be taken again at the doctoral level.

Credit/No Credit Option for Courses Offered for Graduate Credit

The UNO graduate faculty does not, in general, allow the Credit/No Credit option for courses offered for graduate credit. However, each graduate program committee shall have the right to designate courses such as practica, independent studies or research courses on which this option could apply. Inquire in the Office of Graduate Studies about the availability of this option for specific courses.

The grade of "Credit" is interpreted to mean the equivalent of a grade of "B" (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) or better and is not considered in the calculation of grade point averages.

Credit Hour Definition

Federal Definition

The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) uses the federal definition1 of a credit hour, which states:

A credit hour is an amount of work represented in intended learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement that is an institutionally-established equivalency that reasonably approximates not less than:

  1. One hour2 of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately 15 weeks;
  2. Or at least an equivalent amount of work as required in paragraph (1) of this definition for other activities as established by an institution, including laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work and other academic work leading toward the awarding of credit hours.

Hour Definition

One credit hour is equivalent to one hour (50 minutes minimum) of lecture and two (2) hours of out-of-class work each week. For all standard 15-week semesters of instruction, and for non-standard (condensed) and online courses the following contact times (minimums) are assigned for every one (1) credit hour based upon the specific type of learning activity:

  • Synchronous Classroom: one hour of contact time and two hours of out-of-class work for each week of instruction
  • Laboratory: two to four hours of contact time for each week of instruction
  • Research/Field Work/Internships/Practica: two to four hours of contact time for each week of instruction
  • Clinical: two to four hours of contact time for each week of instruction
  • Simulation: two to four hours of contact time for each week of instruction
  • Other Activities: three hours of contact time for each week of instruction (Exam time can be considered part of contact time if an instructor chooses to count time spent on assessment as part of contact time)
  • Asynchronous Education (e.g., Online or Distance Learning): three hours of student work for each week. Student work includes reading, research, online discussion, instruction, and assigned group activities, preparation of papers or presentations, and exams.
  • Hybrid Classes (combination of synchronous and asynchronous education):  Combination of face-to-face and assigned student work (see asynchronous) equivalent to three hours for each week.
  • Non-standard semesters (e.g., eight week; five week, etc):  Contact hours will be equivalent to the contact time established for the standard 15-week semester.


Credit hours for all UNO for-credit courses are established as part of the course development and approval process.  The process begins with the departments/schools and then approval by the appropriate college(s) educational policy committee and dean.  The University Educational Policy Advisory Committee (EPAC) is the final approval of the number of credit hours for all courses, regardless of mode of delivery.  Credit hours are determined by course content/required student work that does not vary by mode of delivery. The determination/assignment of credit hours reflects the educational outcome of the course and the time required for a typical student to achieve the course’s desired outcomes. Any changes in credit hours for a course (reduction or increase) is considered a substantial change to the course that requires an updated master syllabus to reflect the change in content and approval by the University Educational Policy Advisory Committee.

Academic Course Credit

All credit courses offered by the university may be applied toward any degree or certificate granted, except as stated by each department.

The amount of credit assigned to a course is determined by the number of hours per week a class is in session, with some exceptions such as laboratory, physical education, band, and choir. A course scheduled to meet three hours per week for a semester, therefore, merits three semester hours credit. No more credit than the amount stated in the catalog is permitted in any course. 

To receive credit, all work must be done under the supervision of a member of the faculty.

Online Class Definition

UNO offers two types of online courses. Totally Online courses are 100% online and students are never expected to meet face-to-face. Hybrid courses (also known as Partially Online) are 75% - 99% online and students are required to meet face-to-face at least once.

Some instructors of Totally Online classes may require students to take proctored tests. If a student lives outside the Omaha metro area and/or is unable to come to campus for tests proctored by the instructor or UNO Testing Center, the instructor and student work together to determine an acceptable remote testing location (typically a private testing center or in certain circumstances such as deployment, with a work superior or supervisor). 

For tuition purposes, Hybrid and Totally Online classes are charged Distance Education tuition and Distance Education fees.

Course Prerequisites

Course prerequisites are automatically met based on previous coursework completed while at UNO or through transfer credit as determined by the student’s advisor.

If the attempted enrollment results in an error indicating that prerequisites have not been met, students must contact their academic advisor or college advising office.

If a student is allowed to enroll without the necessary prerequisites, a permission number must be issued by the academic advisor or the department and entered into MavLINK during the enrollment process.

Course prerequisites can be found by viewing the online catalog, or by logging into MavLINK, selecting "Class Search" and clicking on the title of a course listed. 

Course Syllabus

Students should receive, or have access to, the course syllabus with basic information about the course, including textbooks required, assignments, evaluation protocols, and the basic schedule.

Course syllabi are aligned with the master syllabus, but provide specific information for a particular semester and instructor. Master syllabi are on file with the university and are used for accreditation purposes. Contact your instructor or the department chair/school director for a copy of the master syllabus. Review Board of Regents Bylaw 5.3 about Academic Evaluation which can be found in the Statement of Student Rights and Responsibilities section in this catalog.