MSU Billings Catalog

Course Terms and Definitions

Listings in the Course Descriptions section are grouped alphabetically according to academic discipline.  Then, under each academic discipline, the courses follow a numerical order.  Each listing includes the description of the course content, the course credit, prerequisites (if any), and corequisites (if any).  Course offerings are subject to the availability of staff and adequate enrollment.  Students should consult the yearly time schedule of classes to determine the courses actually offered each semester.

Course Numbering

The academic program at Montana State University Billings is organized in lower division, upper division and graduate courses.  Lower division courses are numbered 100 to 299; upper division courses carry numbers from 300 to 499; graduate courses have numbers from 500 to 599.  Ordinarily, freshmen take courses carrying numbers from 100 to 199; sophomores from 200 to 299; juniors from 300 to 399; and seniors from 400 to 499.  However, provided that prerequisites are met, freshmen may take courses carrying numbers from 200 to 299, sophomores from 300 to 399, and juniors from 400 to 499.  Courses numbered 500 to 599 are available to senior students who are within one semester of graduation, have a minimum grade point average of 3.00, and have received prior approval from the Director of Graduate Studies.  If these conditions have been satisfied, students may enroll for up to eight semester graduate credits.

Courses numbered 600 and above are only available to graduate students.

Educator Preparation Program Restricted Courses

Certain upper division courses are restricted to students admitted to the Educator Preparation Program at MSU Billings.  (See the listing of specified courses.) Only those students admitted to the Educator Preparation Program may register for these restricted courses.

Credit Hour

A credit is the unit used in recording an amount of work and engaged effort represented in learning outcomes and verified by evidence of student achievement. Each credit hour represents a minimum of three class-oriented work hours (60 minutes of classroom instruction and an additional two hours of out-of-class engaged effort and work per student) each week during a 15-week (minimum) semester.  One credit of achievement should approximate 45 hours of combined instruction and student work/engaged effort. At least an equivalent amount of work and engaged effort is required regardless of pedagogical format (lab, web-enhanced, on-line, condensed coursework, internships, studio, independent study, etc). 

The number following the course title indicates the number of credits for which the course is offered.  When the credit number is followed by “R,” the course may be repeated up to the total credit indicated.  For example, 1 cr. R-6 means a course is offered for one credit but may be repeated up to a maximum of six credits.  When the indicated credit is preceded by a “V,” the possible credit varies.  For example, V 1-5 cr. means the credit varies from one up to a maximum of five.  Normally, a credit represents 60 minutes of classroom instruction per week for one semester.  The time required for each credit may be distributed in any combination among preparation, recitation, lecture or laboratory work.

Lecture and Laboratory 4 cr. (Lec. 3; Lab 1)

Illustrates a class with three credits of lecture per week and one credit of laboratory.

Lecture and Studio 4 cr. (Lec. 2, Stu 2)

Illustrates a class with two credits of lecture per week and two credits of studio work a week.

Recitation and Studio 4 cr. (Rct 2, Stu 2)

Illustrates a class with two credits of recitation a week and two credits of studio work a week.

Cooperative Education\Internship

Each Cooperative Education or internship course requires, as a minimum, 45 contact hours per semester credit hour.


Some courses require other courses which must be completed before another can be taken.  For example, ACTG 202  Prerequisite: ACTG 201 means that ACTG 201 must be completed before a student enrolls in ACTG 202.  In some cases, an equivalent course for stated prerequisites may be substituted by permission of the dean or chairperson of the area in which the course is given.


Some courses require that another course(s) be taken simultaneously if the corequisite course has not been successfully completed prior to registration.  Withdrawal from a corequisite course necessitates withdrawal from the other corequisite course(s).


*  Designates a course that can be counted toward General Education Requirements.

Offered Online