Florida’s Statewide Course Numbering System
Courses in this catalog are identified by prefixes and numbers that were assigned by Florida’s Statewide Course Numbering System (SCNS). This numbering system is used by all public postsecondary institutions in Florida and by participating nonpublic institutions. The major purpose of this system is to facilitate the transfer of courses between participating institutions. Students and administrators can use SCNS (https://flscns.fldoe.org/) to obtain course descriptions and specific information about course transfer between participating Florida institutions.
Each participating institution controls the title, credit, and content of its own courses and recommends the first digit of the course number to indicate the level at which students normally take the course. Course prefixes and the last three digits of the course numbers are assigned by members of faculty discipline committees appointed for that purpose by the Florida Department of Education. Individuals nominated to serve on these committees are selected to maintain a representative balance as to type of institution and discipline field or specialization.
The course prefix and each digit in the course number have a meaning in the SCNS. The listing of prefixes and associated courses is referred to as the “SCNS taxonomy.” Descriptions of the content of courses are referred to as “statewide course profiles.”
Example of a Course Identifier
||Level Code (first digit)
||Century Code (second digit)
||Decade Code (third digit)
||Unit Code (fourth digit)
||Lower Level (Freshman)
||Freshman Composition Skills
||Freshman Composition Skills I
||No laboratory component in this course
General Rules for Course Equivalencies
Equivalent courses at different institutions are identified by the same prefixes and same last three digits of the course number and are guaranteed to be transferable between participating institutions that offer the course, with a few exceptions, as listed below in Exceptions to the General Rule for Equivalency.
For example, a freshman composition skills course is offered by many different public and nonpublic postsecondary institutions. Each institution uses “ENC_101” to identify its freshman composition skills course. The level code is the first digit and represents the year in which students normally take the course at a specific institution. In the SCNS taxonomy, “ENC” means “English Composition,” the century digit “1” represents “Freshman Composition,” the decade digit “0” represents “Freshman Composition Skills,” and the unit digit “1” represents “Freshman Composition Skills I.”
In the sciences and certain other areas, a “C” or “L” after the course number is known as a lab indicator. The “C” represents a combined lecture and laboratory course that meets in the same place at the same time. The “L” represents a laboratory course or the laboratory part of a course that has the same prefix and course number but meets at a different time or place.
Transfer of any successfully completed course from one participating institution to another is guaranteed in cases where the course to be transferred is equivalent to one offered by the receiving institution. Equivalencies are established by the same prefix and last three digits and comparable faculty credentials at both institutions. For example, ENC 1101 is offered at a community college. The same course may be offered at a state university as ENC 2101. A student who has successfully completed ENC 1101 at a Florida College System institution is guaranteed to receive transfer credit for ENC 2101 at the state university if the student transfers. The student cannot be required to take ENC 2101 again since ENC 1101 is equivalent to ENC 2101 if the minimum grade has been earned in the course. Transfer credit must be awarded for successfully completed equivalent courses and used by the receiving institution to determine satisfaction of requirements by transfer students on the same basis as credit awarded to the native students. It is the prerogative of the receiving institution, however, to offer transfer credit for courses successfully completed that have not been designated as equivalent.
NOTE: Credit generated at institutions on the quarter-term system may not transfer the equivalent number of credits to institutions on the semester-term system. For example, 4.0 quarter hours often transfers as 2.67 semester hours.
Authority for Acceptance of Course Equivalent
Florida Statutes Section 1007.24(7) (http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=1000-1099/1007/Sections/1007.24.html)
Excerpted item 7: Any student who transfers among postsecondary institutions that are fully accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education and that participate in the statewide course numbering system shall be awarded credit by the receiving institution for courses satisfactorily completed by the student at the previous institutions. Credit shall be awarded if the courses are judged by the appropriate statewide course numbering system faculty committees representing school districts, public postsecondary educational institutions, and participating nonpublic postsecondary educational institutions to be academically equivalent to courses offered at the receiving institution, including equivalency of faculty credentials, regardless of the public or nonpublic control of the previous institution. The Department of Education shall ensure that credits to be accepted by a receiving institution are generated in courses for which the faculty possess credentials that are comparable to those required by the accrediting association of the receiving institution. The award of credit may be limited to courses that are entered in the statewide course numbering system. Credits awarded pursuant to this subsection shall satisfy institutional requirements on the same basis as credits awarded to native students.
Exceptions to the General Rule for Equivalency
Since the initial implementation of the SCNS, specific disciplines or types of courses have been exempted from the guarantee of transfer for equivalent courses. These include courses that must be evaluated individually or courses in which the student must be evaluated for mastery of skill and technique. The following courses are exceptions to the general rule for course equivalencies and may not transfer:
- Courses not offered by the receiving institution.
- Courses at non-regionally accredited institutions, courses offered prior to the established transfer date of the course in question.
- Courses in the 900-999 series are not automatically transferable, and must be evaluated individually. These include such courses as Special Topics, Internships, Apprenticeships, Practica, Study Abroad, Theses, and Dissertations.
- Applied academics for adult education courses.
- Graduate courses.
- Internships, apprenticeships, practica, clinical experiences, and study abroad courses with numbers other than those ranging from 900-999.
- Applied courses in the performing arts (Art, Dance, Interior Design, Music, and Theatre) and skills courses in Criminal Justice (academy certificate courses) are not guaranteed as transferable. These courses need evidence of achievement (e.g., portfolio, audition, interview, etc.).
Note: Transferability is at the discretion of the receiving institution.
Questions about the SCNS and appeals regarding course credit transfer decisions should be directed to Cynthia Brown Hernandez, the USF System SCNS contact via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or to the Florida Department of Education, Office of Articulation, 1401 Turlington Building, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400.
The course prefix is a three-letter designator for a major division of an academic discipline, subject matter area, or subcategory of knowledge. The prefix is not intended to identify the department in which a course is offered. Rather, the content of a course determines the assigned prefix to identify the course.
Other General Course Information
Courses offered for credit by the University of South Florida are listed in the 2019-2020 USF Course Inventory (see https://www.systemacademics.usf.edu/course-inventory/). When viewing a course within the USF Course Inventory the first line of each description includes the SCNS prefix and number (see example below) and title of the course. The College and Department are listed below this information. The Course Description, Credit Hours, and requisite information is listed under this information. You can view this example at https://www.systemacademics.usf.edu/course-inventory/?output=detail&subj=AFA&num=2000.
Please note: Credits separated by a hyphen indicate variable credit:
The following abbreviations are utilized in various course information:
- PR Prerequisite
- CI With the consent of the instructor
- CC With the consent of the chairperson of the department or program
- CP Co-prerequisite
- CR Co-requisite
- DPR Departmental Permit Required
- S/U S/U Grade System
- Lec Lecture
- Lab Laboratory
Note: The University reserves the right to substitute, not offer, or add courses that are listed in this catalog.
GLOBAL CITIZENS PROJECT
Course Level Definition
1000-1999 Freshman Level
2000-2999 Sophomore Level
3000-3999 Junior Level
4000-4999 Senior Level
5000-5999 Senior/Graduate Level
6000-Up Graduate Level
Course information can be found at https://www.systemacademics.usf.edu/course-inventory/. This online resource provides a search function by course prefix, college, department, or title. In addition, course attributes for State Communication and Computation Requirements, General Education, Global Citizens Project, and Undergraduate Research are also available.
The USF Course Inventory provides details regarding course description, credit hours, requisites (Pre, Co, and Co-Pre), repeat limits, restrictions, and attributes.
Academic Plan of Study
The 2019-2020 Undergraduate Academic Plan of Study can be accessed at https://ugs.usf.edu/catalog/
- Click the Academic Plan of Study option from the left menu. Select the Major/Concentration and click View Selected Plan.
From academic year 2012-2013 to 2018-2019, the Academic Plan of Study were called Eight Semester Plans, and are available in the Undergraduate Catalog Archive.