George Mason University 1997-98 Catalog Catalog Index
Course Descriptions

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Course Descriptions

Course Index

This section lists undergraduate and graduate courses offered by the university and available for credit to undergraduates. Courses are listed in alphabetical order beginning with Accounting and ending with Women's Studies. The subject code for courses is included with each heading, and the department offering the course is listed below:

Semester Notation

At the end of the course description, a semester notation informs the reader of the semester in which the course is usually taught. For example, fall (f) means that the course is usually only taught in the fall semester; fall, summer (f,sum) means the course is taught fall and summer only; a fall, spring, summer designation (f,s,sum) means that the course is usually available every semester. A course offered only in alternate fall or spring semesters would be designated with af or as. A course offered only alternate years would be designated with ay. If the course is offered on an irregular basis at the discretion of the department or school, irregular (ir) follows the description. Although circumstances may cause a unit to deviate occasionally from these notations, students should use this information to plan their programs of study.

Course Numbering


  1. Course titles are followed by numbers in parentheses (0:0:0), separated by colons. The numbers have the following significance:

    First number: semester credit hours for the course

    Second number: hours of lecture/seminar per week for the course

    Third number: hours of laboratory/studio per week for the course

  2. For independent study, reading, topics, or similar courses, individual instructors set hours.


Courses numbered 499 and below are undergraduate courses. Course numbers in the 100 series are customarily taken by freshmen, the 200 series by sophomores, the 300 series by juniors, and the 400 series by seniors.

The number designations of the course descriptions below have the following significance:

  1. A single number (as HIST 301) indicates that the course is complete within a single semester, and that the semester course may be taken separately with credit toward a degree.

  2. A double number separated by a comma indicates that the subject matter or content of the course extends through two semesters but that either semester may be taken by itself. Unless otherwise specified, the first semester is not prerequisite to the second semester.


Graduate courses are divided into the following categories:

Courses with the following numbers are reserved for the uses designated:

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