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New Course Number Information (Montana University System Common Course Numbering)

Frequently Asked Questions

The following is a list of the most commonly asked questions with responses.  If you have additional questions or would like to suggest additional information to be added to this page, please contact Ed Johnson (

What happened to the ENEX and WTS 101? 

A: There is no longer a single ENEX or WTS rubric for undergraduate courses.  These courses are now listed as WRIT (Writing) or LIT (Literature).  For instance, both ENEX 101 and WTS 101 are now WRIT 101. 

What happened to FOR 220?

A:  This course is now being offered as WRIT 222.

Will graduate courses be affected by the common course numbering initiative?

A:  Typically , no.  However, some departments have changed the abbreviations of their graduate courses to reflect the changes made in their undergraduate course abbreviations.

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 with the same subject abbreviations and numbers they had at the time 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 117 so will I be OK if I take M 115?

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 a hard copy catalog for 2009-2010 and thereafter be printed?

A:  No!  Only an online versions are be available due to the number of changes that are occurring during the conversion process.

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 New Course Number Translation Guide, select the old course abbreviation, and then click on "search."  For instance, selecting CHEM will show you the new abbreviation and numbers for all of the chemistry courses.

My department used to have only one course abbreviation.  Why are there more different course abbreviations for my department?

A: To create a system that can work across all campuses, we have had to move away from course abbreviations based on departmental names to those based on subjects.  So, where a multidisciplinary department may have had all of its courses under a single abbreviation, it may now have several because the faculty teach in various subject areas. For example, the Department of Mathematical Sciences now offers courses in both M (Mathematics) and STAT (Statistics).

Why did perfectly good course abbreviations such as 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 course code 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 course rubrics makes this less confusing.

Contact: Provost's Office
Phone: (406) 243-4689