Frequently Asked Questions
The following is a list of the most commonly asked questions with responses.
What happened to the ENGL subject abbreviation?
A:There is no longer a single ENGL rubric for undergraduate courses. These courses are now listed as WRIT (Writing) or LIT (Literature). For instance, ENGL 121W is now WRIT 101W.
Will my transcript change?
A: None of the changes will affect how courses you have already taken will appear on your transcript. All courses will appear as they did when you registered for them.
What if I repeat a course and the number has changed?
A: Courses that are renumbered will be treated as equivalent for the purpose of repeats. The original course and grade will remain on your transcript (as has always been the case) but the MOST RECENT attempt will be used in calculating your GPA.
The catalog says I must take MATH 224 so will I be OK if I take M 273?
A: Yes! Curricula will be updated online to indicate the new course number, but old advising sheets as well as the printed catalog will continue to show the old number. They are interchangeable.
Will my old transfer work change on my transcript?
A: No. This will not impact what is currently posted on your transcript.
How do I find out what the new courses are called in my discipline?
A: Go to the Common Courses Equivalency tool and select your the old subject abbreviation you want to learn about. For instance, selecting CHEM will show you the new numbers for all of the chemistry courses.
My department used to have only one subject abbreviation. Why are the courses now called three different things?
A: To create a system that can work across all campuses, we have had to move away from subject abbreviations based on departmental names to those based on subjects. So, where a multidisciplinary department may have had all of its courses under one subject abbreviations, it may now have several because the faculty teach in various subject areas.
Why did perfectly good subject abbreviations (e.g., MATH) have to change?
A: In most subjects, there were so many courses being taught across the state using so many different numbers that keeping a popular subject abbreviations would necessarily have meant renumbering courses to something that was already in use for a different course. Imagine the confusion if MATH 181 were changed to MATH 150 and MATH 150 were changed to MATH 130, etc. The same course number could end up meaning different things depending on when it was taken. The use of entirely new subject abbreviations avoids this difficulty.
Why are there so many biology abbreviations?
A: MSU has over 150 courses in the biological sciences taught across five different departments. These used to be organized according to department but now must be organized by subject area. We now have four unique biology abbreviations: BIOB (general), BIOE (environmental), BIOM (microbial), BIOO (organismal). Many departments teach courses under these designations and all teach under more than one.