Course Descriptions

Course descriptions provide information on course content, credit value, prerequisite and corequisite requirements, and course availability*. Each course has an alphanumeric code used on student schedules, transcripts, and profiles.

*The College determines course capacities and may cancel a scheduled course. The College also may approve the substitution of new or revised courses.

Course Numbers

Course Numbers Purpose/Level
001-009 Developmental course work designed to prepare students for "college level" work. These courses cannot be used to satisfy graduation requirements, but are mandated if indicated by placement tests.
010-099 Career certification course work used only in certificate majors. They are designed to prepare the student for specific career opportunity.
100-298 Degree-level course work, usually taken by students during their first 62 credits.
200 Degree-level transferred courses that do not parallel any Penn College courses.
299/399 Special topic courses that are unique to a given semester and not part of a major. Course usage should be verified with student's adviser prior to scheduling.
300-398 Upper-level undergraduate course work that can serve as junior/senior-level course work within a major or can support courses outside of the major.
400-499 Upper-level undergraduate course work offered as senior-level courses in baccalaureate-degree majors.

Course Credits

The number given after the course description shows the number of credits awarded for the course. The first number in parentheses shows the number of lecture hours per week. The second number, which appears after the dash, shows the number of laboratory or shop hours per week.

Course Prerequisites and Corequisites

Pre/corequisites are key to a student's ability to schedule a course. Therefore, the curriculum sequence as detailed on the major pages is organized to ensure completion in the proper order.

Specialty Course Designations

The College recognizes special categories of courses required by primarily bachelor-degree majors:

  • Art Enrichment (ART) - These courses emphasize design concepts and applications, artistic expression, and the relationship of the arts to humanity.
  • Cultural Diversity (CUL) - These courses examine attitudes, bias, and traditions leading to common misunderstandings of various groups due to ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation.
  • Science, Technology, and Society (STS) - These courses analyze the impact of technology upon social interactions, public health, personal and professional relationships, industry and economy, and the global society.
  • Writing Enriched (WRT) - These courses reinforce writing as a process, teach writing technique, and require regular informal and formal written assignments.


All majors have course requirements that respond to the need for general skills for life enrichment and career advancement. These skills relate to art, communication, computer science, fitness, foreign language, humanities, mathematics, science, and social science, and satisfy the goals of the core curriculum.

Open Electives - Certificate students may take any course that is not a developmental course; associate and baccalaureate students may take any course that is numbered 100 or higher. Open electives offer the broadest range of choices and may be chosen from any subject area, including the student's major area.

General Education Core Elective - A general elective can be any course outside the student's major area that meets the numbering criteria mentioned above. These electives offer a slightly narrower choice and may be selected from any subject area except for the student's major area of study.

Liberal Arts Electives - Liberal Arts electives are those with the following alpha codes: ART, BIO, CHM, ECO, ENL, GEO, HIS, HUM, MTH, PHL, PHS, PSC, PSY, SCI, SOC, and SPC.

Directed Electives - Directed electives allow choices from among courses identified for a specific major.


Some majors require that students complete an internship or practicum as part of the degree curriculum. All are arranged through the student's academic school office. See Work-Based Learning.