Nomenclature Report

    University of Saskatchewan
    Nomenclature Report 2011

    Responsibility: Russell Isinger, University Registrar and Director of Student Services
    Approval: University Council  June, 2011
    Date: Effective July 1, 2011

    (PDF version of Nomenclature Report 2011 with additions in 2012)
    (Admissions terminology -- added 2012)
    (Student Mobility terminology -- added 2012) 


    Authority and Responsibility

    Nomenclature Definitions
    Course definitions
         Course, Course authority, Class, Moribund courses, Moribund/closed subject codes, Double-listing or cross-listing of courses in the Catalogue (academic cross-listing, administrative cross-listing, double listing), Cognate courses
    Credit units and billing hours
          Academic credit units, Operational credit units, Billing hour units
    Program definitions
         Program options, Depth of Study (Minor, Major, Honours, Concentration), Joint Degree Program, Dual Degree Program
    Student record definitions
         Qualification, Transcript, Parchment, Full Time Status
    Organizational definitions
         University Council, Board of Governors, Chancellor and Senate, Officers of the University, Faculty, Organizational program types (direct entry, non-direct entry, professional), Academic unit, College, School (University-level School, Professional School), Division, Department, Centre (Type A, Type B, Type C, Type D), Platform, Federated College, Affiliated College, Off-campus (Site, class, graduate students)
    Time-period definitions
         Academic Year, Academic Calendar Year, Academic Calendar, Fiscal Year, Term (Regular Terms, Fall and Winter, Spring and Summer, Irregular terms), Quarter, Instructional Period (Day period, Evening period), Instructional cycle and instructional periods.
    Modes of instruction
         Schedule types (Lecture, Seminar, Tutorial, Practicum/Laboratory, Multimode, Clinical Service, Teacher Supervision, Supervised Self-Instruction, Problem Session, Coop Work Experience/Internship, Individual Research/Reading, Web-Based, Independent Studies, Practicum course)
    Definitions associated with curriculum
         Course, Registered class, Off-campus class, Evening class, Program, Academic credit unit use in programs, Educational level, Community level program, Non-degree program (Non-degree level program), Degree program (Undergraduate level program, Graduate level program), Certificates and Diplomas (Certificate of Proficiency and Post-Graduate Diploma, Diploma in Agriculture and Diploma in Agribusiness, Certificate of Successful Completion, Certificate of Attendance), Academic program type, Laddering, Field of Study, Depth of Study, Discipline, Concentration, Interdisciplinary program, Work Experience program options (Professional Internship program, Cooperative Education program) Cross-college minor, Resource unit, Resource college, Adopting college, Mutually-exclusive course.

    Nomenclature Policies
    University Catalogue
    Catalogue format for programs
    Double listing of courses
    Cross-college minors
    Interdisciplinary use of subject codes
    Course numbers
         Community level courses, Non-degree courses, Undergraduate courses, Graduate courses
    Class scheduling for common components
    Selected Topics courses
    Special Topics courses

    Nomenclature Standards
    Catalogue format for courses
    Course titles
    Section numbers
    Instructional activity codes

    Appendix One: Course level numbering
    Appendix Two: Approved  subject code authority

    Supplementary Material: Academic Programs at the University of Saskatchewan


    The purpose of the University of Saskatchewan Nomenclature Report is to provide a consistent and cohesive language and framework for students, instructors, and administrators to discuss academic programming at all levels throughout the U of S.

    Previous iterations of the U of S Nomenclature Report (1979 and 2001) were linked very closely to student information systems, and this document continues that tradition as one of the most important uses of consistent nomenclature is to facilitate the delivery of information throughout the university system.   Besides obvious benefits to the students, the student information system often identifies inconsistencies, problems with taxonomy, category errors, and internal contradictions that should be addressed.  By separating the policies contained herein from the academic definitions, it will become much easier to treat our university nomenclature definitions as a living document and react more quickly to changes as they occur.


    At its most philosophical level, shared language makes collaboration possible.  In previous iterations of the Nomenclature Report, this collaboration was primarily between instructors and the administrators of the student information systems, which was certainly important and beneficial for the U of S.  However, our Academic Nomenclature needs to evolve alongside our student information systems and be flexible enough to encourage the changes in academic programming that are developing throughout campus.  In particular, the Innovation in Academic Programs and Services Area of Focus in our Third Integrated Plan emphasizes  the need to offer compelling, engaging, challenging academic programs which are creatively designed, are grounded in interdisciplinarity and broad global perspectives, are informed by the scholarship of discovery, utilize new methodologies and approaches, provide future‐oriented professional education and address areas of societal need.  The existing Nomenclature Report increasingly does not facilitate these objectives, and so the guiding philosophy of this policy document is that we can improve our academic programs by clarifying and revising the nomenclature that we use to communicate across campus.

    Scope of this Policy

    This document incorporates all of the policies, rules and procedures relating to academic and administrative nomenclature.  It replaces the Nomenclature Reports of 1979 and 2001.

    Authority and Responsibility

    Under the Bylaws of University Council (Part One, Section 1),  Council prescribes curricula, programs of study, and courses of instruction, and authorizes the establishment of colleges and departments.  This responsibility includes the authorization of policies related to curriculum, programs, courses, and academic administrative structures.  The Academic Programs Committee of Council is responsible for recommending to Council classifications and conventions for instructional programs.

    The Student and Enrolment Services Division is responsible for management of registration and student information systems so that academic programs may be administered in an orderly manner.  This responsibility includes the development and implementation of definitions for academic terminology, including coordinating with other university offices to establish common terminology.

    Additional definitions relating to university governance, students and  faculty can be found in  The University of Saskatchewan Act (1995), the University Council bylaws, and the USFA Collective Agreement.

    Nomenclature Definitions



    The smallest formally recognized academic unit of the curriculum is the course – a unit of study in a subject area identified by a description of activities.  See also Nomenclature Standards for more information about courses.

    Course authority

    Each course label is normally  under the administrative authority of one academic unit.  Control and management of course labels is delegated to the Registrar, but authority for label association with specific courses remains with APC/Council.

    Three types of authority can be defined for each course:

    • resource authority: provision of teaching resources for the course
    • content authority: determining what should be taught in the course. This is the authority that will be listed in the student information system. It is often referred to as Academic Authority. This authority includes such areas as grade approval.
    • administrative authority: administration of the course when it is taught, including such areas as times and location of classes, class maintenance and dealing with student complaints.

    For most courses, all three types of authority are held within a single department or college (in the case of non-departmentalized colleges). For interdisciplinary courses, however, the three types of authority can be spread over several departments, colleges, or other units.

    A course label is a subject area identifier (four character alphabetic) and the course number (numeric). An academic department or college or interdisciplinary program may offer courses titled with several course labels. Each course label should be under the administrative authority of one academic unit or the Centre for Continuing and Distance Education for courses in certificates of successful completion not under the authority of a college.  See also Interdisciplinary Use of Subject Codes under Nomendlcaure Policies, and  Appendix Two: Approved Subject Code Authority.


    While "course" is used to identify subject matter, "class" is used to refer to the offering of a course to one or more students within a term.

    Moribund courses

    A moribund course is one that has not been taught in the previous 48 months. Moribund courses will be retained in the course archive for an additional 48 months and then will be deleted. A moribund course does not appear in the Calendar but can still be activated for registration.

    Moribund/closed subject codes

    A Moribund or Closed subject code is one that is no longer in use but historically has been used at the University of Saskatchewan. Repurposing of historic or expired subject codes is not feasible due to detrimental effects it would have upon historic academic history records.

    Double-listing or cross-listing of courses in the Catalogue

    The terms "double-listing" and "cross-listing" have been used to describe a variety of academic course delivery methods, but in this document, they are defined as following:

    • Academic cross-listing
      Components of two different courses of different levels (often 400 and 800) which are taught by the same instructor in the same location at the same time.  For example, sometimes two courses will be scheduled to share lectures, laboratories, or seminars. In this circumstance, the course requirements for completion of each course are different.  Cross-listing of courses is allowed.
    • Administrative cross-listing
      This refers to the practice of creating multiple sections for one class in order to facilitate reserved seating for two or more groups of students. For example, a class may require a certain number of seats to be allocated to students in several different colleges. This can be accomplished by creating several different sections and administratively cross-listing them back into a single class.
    • Double-listing
      The practice of offering a single course under two different course labels. The course requirements for successful course completion are the same for all enrolled students.  Double listing may be desirable for circumstances such as professional accreditation and for faculty offering courses for interdisciplinary Schools.  For example, in the past the departments of Geological Sciences and Geography have listed the same course under both GEOL and GEOG labels.  Double listing of courses is allowed with some caveats, as historically double listing caused additional administrative difficulties as well as confusion to students. Please refer to the policy section for guidelines in the use of double-listing of courses.  Proposed double-listings should be circulated through the Course Challenge Process and submitted to Academic Programs Committee for approval.  See also Double-listing of courses under Nomenclature Policies.

    Cognate courses

    Refers to the practice of allowing students credit for a course from another department. For example, Biology allows students to take several Agriculture courses for credit towards a major in Biology.


    Academic credit units

    Academic Credit Units define the amount of university-level credit to be awarded for successful completion of a course and will be displayed on the transcript or, in the case of transfer credit, of study elsewhere. A frequent criterion used in judging credit units would be the expected student effort in the course. Hours of instruction can also be a component of this value, so that a course which requires approximately 39 instructional course hours of lectures, at 3 instructional hours per week over 13 weeks, is often valued at 3 credit units.

    Courses may be offered with any whole number of credit units. Courses offered to meet requirements for a non-degree level diploma or certificate will have credit units at the non-degree level, in contrast to degree-level credit units, attached to them. The value of these non-degree level courses compared to degree-level credit units is established by the college concerned.

    Operational credit units

    The credit units (CU) applied to the student's registration record for a class when the parent course possesses zero Academic CUs. Operational CUs are used to determine a student‟s full or part time status; control the number of classes a student may register in for a term (maximum credit units); determine a student‟s loan eligibility; determine eligibility for full or part time months for T2202A processing.

    Billing hour units

    The billing hour (BH) unit applied to a class is used in the calculation of tuition and student fees.


    Program options

    Within the general requirements of a particular program, many colleges provide one or more Program Options, which identify a specific set of courses and other requirements.  Program Options may be identified by program type, Field of Study, Depth of Study, thesis/non-thesis, and work experience.

    In Graduate Programs, a Program may have a research option (Thesis or Project) or a non-research option (course based).  Work Experience is a Program Option used to identify a prescribed course or group of courses and associated requirements that provide University-recognized work experience (e.g. Business Co-operative Education Program, Internship) in a program.

    Field of Study

    A Field of Study requires completion of a number of prescribed courses in a specific subject or discipline. Programs may permit several Fields of Study.  The number of Fields of Study identified for a student may be limited by policy or practical considerations.

    In colleges with many fields of study, it is often convenient to group them by Program Type. For example, the College of Arts and Science defines three Program Types within the Bachelor of Arts programs and one Program Type within the Bachelor of Science program; the College of Education types its programs as Secondary, and Elementary/Middle Years.

    Within a program or program type, the student usually is required to complete a particular Field of Study.

    Depth of Study

    In Undergraduate Programs, several Depths of Study in a Field of Study are recognized.

    • Minor – (18-24 CUs) is a Depth of Study which prescribes a minimum number of courses in one or more related Fields of Study and which may require the student to maintain a specific scholastic standing in these courses. Cross-college minors are governed by the 2007 Policy on Cross-College Minors.  See also Cross college minors in Definitions associated with Curriculum and in Nomenclature Policies.
    • Major – (>24CUs)  is a Depth of Study which prescribes a significant number of courses in one or more related Fields of Study and usually requires the student to maintain a specific scholastic standing in these courses.  Colleges offering majors with less than 24 credit units must complete the Consultation with the Registrar Form and obtain Academic Programs Committee approval.  Exceptions outside of the credit unit values can be approved only by the Academic Programs Committee.
    • Honours  (>42CUs)  – is a Depth of Study which prescribes a high number of courses in one or more related Fields of Study and which always requires the student to maintain a high scholastic standing in these courses. (Double Honours is also permitted as a type of Honours program.)
    • Concentration - is a Depth of Study which prescribes a suite of courses that provides students additional expertise and specialized training in one aspect of their Major.  Typically, a Concentration will be similar in requirement to a Minor, but the majority of coursework will occur within the student‟s Major Field of Study rather than outside of it.  However, other formats of Concentration are possible such as, for example, the Business Cooperative Education Program.

    Colleges have developed a variety of terms for concentrations (option, specialization within a major, themes, streams, etc.).  It is possible (within technical limitations) to have the concentrations appear on the transcript, but these terms collectively are referred to and displayed as "concentrations".  While the connotation of "option" varies across academic units, it is necessary to have a single term to describe this level of study, and concentration is the simplest and most descriptive at the university/information systems level.

    The first three Depths of Study within a Field of Study always appear on University transcripts.  Concentrations may also appear on the transcript, provided that the proposed concentration is consistent with Canadian University general practices and/or acknowledged and desirable for professional organizations and accreditation and is feasible within the technical limitations of the transcript‟s reporting system.  Consultation with the Registrar and Academic Programs Committee must be performed for new concentrations to appear on transcripts.

    Joint Degree Program

    A joint degree program is where a student pursues a degree at both the University of Saskatchewan and another post-secondary institution, with the student receiving only one degree at the end of the program either from the University of Saskatchewan or from the partner institution.  The University of Saskatchewan parchment, if awarded, and transcript reflect the joint nature of the program.  The degree can be at the undergraduate or graduate level.

    Dual Degree Program

    A dual degree program is where a student pursues a degree both at the University of Saskatchewan and another post-secondary institution, with the student receiving two degrees at the end of the program, one from the University of Saskatchewan and one from the partner institution.  The University of Saskatchewan parchment and transcript reflect the dual nature of the program.  The degree can be at the undergraduate or graduate level.


    The student record holds the program and course information related to a specific student. It will typically contain information related to the specific classes, sections and sessions.


    The qualification is the degree, diploma or certificate awarded to the student, which may be accompanied by an indication of distinction (Great Distinction, Distinction, Honours, High Honours).


    The transcript is the official and unabridged version of a student‟s educational record at the University of Saskatchewan provided to the student and at the student‟s request to third parties. The transcript shows the label, title, class, term and result for each course in which a student was registered past the add/drop deadline.  It also records such information as faculty actions, suspensions, expulsions, transfer credits, and qualifications and distinctions.  The nature, extent and format of information that appears on the transcript are determined by the Registrar in accordance with national and international professional standards, normal practice in higher education, and practical systems.  An official transcript is one issued directly to another agency or institution and bearing the seal of the University of Saskatchewan and the signature of the Registrar.  The seal and the signature may be in electronic form in accordance with the University's signing policy.


    The Parchment is a legal document issued by the University of Saskatchewan, that confirms the recipient has successfully completed a specific program and confers an academic qualification.  The Parchment displays the University of Saskatchewan seal, at minimum the signatures of the University President, University Chancellor, University Secretary, Dean of the college, and the date, degree, and major (or program in the case of the College of Graduate Studies and Research) where appropriate.  The nature, extent and format of information that appears on the transcript are determined by the Registrar and University Secretary in accordance with national and international professional standards, normal practice in higher education, and practical systems.

    Full Time Status

    Generally, a student is defined as being full time if

    • An undergraduate student or a graduate student in a course-based program who registers for 9 or more CUs (Operational and/or Academic CUs) during a regular term or 4 or more CUs in a Spring or Summer term.
    • A graduate student in a thesis program who is designated as having full time status by the College of Graduate Studies and Research
    • A student who does not meet the above requirements but is deemed to be full time by the University Secretary or Registrar. Examples include certain DSS students, elected USSU representatives or the editor of the Sheaf


    University Council

    A governing unit of the University, with duties and authority described in The University of Saskatchewan Act 1995.  In general, Council is responsible for overseeing and directing the University‟s academic affairs.  This includes areas such as establishment of departments, colleges and programs; affiliations; student discipline for academic offences; admission standards and quotas: scholarships and bursaries; examinations; library policies; and advising the Board on physical and budgetary plans.

    Board of Governors

    A governing unit of the University, with duties and authority described in The University of Saskatchewan Act 1995.  In general, the Board is responsible for overseeing and directing all matters respecting the management, administration and control of the University‟s property, revenues and financial affairs.

    Chancellor and Senate

    The duties and authority of the Chancellor and Senate are described in The University of Saskatchewan Act 1995.  In general, the Chancellor presides at meetings of Convocation and Senate, and confers degrees.  In general, Senate is responsible for non-academic student discipline, examination for professional societies, grants honorary degrees, and confirms the decisions of Council in the areas of admission requirements, quotas, the disestablishment of departments and colleges, and the dissolution of affiliations.

    Officers of the University

    The authority and duties of the following are described in The University of Saskatchewan Act 1995:  President, Vice-President and acting president, Deans, Heads of departments, Secretary, Controller.  The president is responsible for supervising and directing the academic work of the university, its faculty and student body, and the business affairs of the university.


    A faculty member is defined in The University of Saskatchewan Act (1995) as a person who serves as a professor, associate professor, assistant professor, lecturer, special lecturer, instructor, librarian or extension specialist.  The Act requires full-time employment.  However, the Bylaws of University Council defines as members of a College or School Faculty, those Professors, Associate Professors, Assistant Professors, Extension Specialists, and full-time lecturers, who are members of departments which, for administrative purposes, are assigned to the Dean of that College or the Director of that School.

    Organizational program types

    Programs are often described using the terms "direct-entry", "non-direct entry". Some programs are also described as "professional" programs. These are defined as follows:

    • direct-entry: programs which admit students with high-school level preparation.
    • non-direct entry: programs which admit students only after one or more years of university-level preparation.
    • professional: programs which are designed to ensure that students will qualify to receive professional certification from a professional body or association in addition to their degree. Professional certification bodies usually specify course requirements and graduation standards expected.

    Academic unit

    The term "academic unit" is used to describe authority over academic programs and student progression.  Primarily, academic units are departments, schools, and colleges, but for specific programs the academic authority could be a division, a research centre or an interdisciplinary administrative committee.


    An organizational unit of the University, the Faculty Council of which is assigned the general responsibility for the development and delivery of programs and courses leading to degrees, certificates, diplomas and other forms of recognition approved by the University and for matters of scholarship and discipline relating to the students enrolled therein.

    The Dean of a college is an officer of the university with duties and authority described in The University of Saskatchewan Act (1995). The Dean is responsible for general supervision over and direction of the work of the college and of the teaching and training of the students of the college.

    In a non-departmentalized college, the College is also responsible for instruction, research and scholarly work, as described for departments.


    The definition of a School has two separate and distinct meanings:

    The University-level School is governed by a Faculty Council, with the head of the School (Dean or equivalent) reporting to the Provost and Vice-President Academic.  Faculty associated with the School are assigned through a variety of appointments and are responsible for the general responsibilities  assigned to Colleges, which would include outreach activity, research, and the delivery of programs, often of an interdisciplinary nature, housed within the School.

    The Professional School is an academic unit focused on the delivery of professional program.  These programs may be accredited and prepare their students for particular professional designations.  The Professional School is housed within a College, with the head of the school (e.g. Associate Dean or Director) reporting to the Dean of the associated College. The Dean reports to the Provost and Vice-President Academic and is responsible for general supervision over the direction of the work of the college.


    The definition of Division has several separate and distinct meanings.

    A Division can  represent an administrative or organizational unit, much like a department, which reflects the unit‟s disciplinary or interdisciplinary approach towards program delivery and research and scholarly work.  In other cases, a division is a structure organized to facilitate administration for a group of departments or units with a recognized, distinctive commonality of purpose and practice.  In such cases, the division commonly is governed by a Divisional Faculty Council with specified powers delegated to it by the College Faculty Council.


    An organizational unit of a College, the Faculty of which is responsible for the development and delivery of instruction and for carrying out research and scholarly work in a particular subject and/or related subjects.

    The Head of a department is an officer of the university with duties and authority described in The University of Saskatchewan Act (1995). The Department Head has general supervision over and direction of the work of the department and shall assign teaching duties to the members of the department following consultation with the department as a whole. The Head is also responsible to the Dean for the satisfactory performance of the work of the department.


    The University currently hosts a variety of centres, variously known as centres, institutes, units, organizations, networks, or programs, including incorporated entities. For purposes of this policy, a centre is a formally structured organization which is not a division, department, school or college, but which is established within or in conjunction with the University of Saskatchewan, for the pursuit or support of: scholarly, artistic, scientific, or technological objectives; teaching; or outreach. This is a particular list of defined centres and is not meant to preclude the use of the term.  This should include, but not necessarily be limited to 1) performing disciplinary or multi-disciplinary research, teaching, scholarly or artistic activity; 2) offering new curricular and extra-curricular educational opportunities; 3) demonstrating or stimulating research, scholarly, artistic or business opportunities; 4) providing outreach activities.

    • Type A Centres are those that are organizationally part of one college, and report to a Dean. These Centres involve activities that complement and enhance the work of primarily one college, and could involve multi-disciplinary and multi-faculty work. The activities of such Centres should be congruent with approved College Plans and would be established with the Dean‟s endorsement and Council approval. Responsibility for funding of these Centres rests with the college.
    • Type B Centres are those that involve activities beyond the scope of a single college and/or involve significant resources and will require the endorsement of the Deans involved, the appropriate Vice-President (usually the Vice-President Research) and Provost‟s Committee on Integrated Planning (PCIP) before seeking the approval of Council. These Centres are organizationally part of the University and are subject to University management and control, reporting to a designated Dean, an Executive Director that reports to the vice-provost, or an appropriate Vice-President (usually the Vice-President Research).
    • Type C Centres are Centres that are incorporated and legally distinct from the University, and which have academic/research implications for the University. These Centres must have the authorization of the Vice-Presidents and secure Council approval before being recommended to the Board of Governors. These Centres may be either a cooperative relationship involving the sharing of resources, or a landlord-tenant relationship, reflecting the academic interest of the University in the Centre‟s activities and recognizing the University‟s community obligation to promote the greatest community use of its faculties and resources. These Centres will report on their academic and research activities to a Dean to the extent possible, and/or to an appropriate Vice-President. A financial report must also be provided to the Vice-President (Finance and Resources) for the Board, and all legal requirements of incorporated entities met.
    • Type D Centres are legally incorporated entities, established to support the activities of the University, but which have no academic focus. Such Centres may be proposed by a college or administrative unit, and their establishment would require the approval of the Vice-President Finance and Resources, PCIP and the Board of Governors. Type D Centres would report on an annual basis to the Vice-President Finance and Resources and through that office to the Board.


    The term "platform" is used to describe an agreement between departments or academic units to categorize certain courses or groupings of courses as core courses for foundational knowledge, in several fields of specialization or interdisciplinary areas.

    Federated College

    An educational institution authorized by the University to offer for University credit, courses in certain subject areas.  As described in the Bylaws of University Council, a Federated College must be authorized by the University to give courses recognized for credit toward a Bachelor of Arts degree in the subjects of at least four departments of the College of Arts and Science. The members of the College teaching staff, teaching the above University courses or classes, must possess qualifications sufficiently high to be recognized as members of the Faculty of Arts and Science and shall be so recognized, and the College must be situated on or adjacent to the campus at Saskatoon.  St. Thomas More College, Saskatoon, is the university‟s only federated college.

    Affiliated College

    An educational institution recognized by the University as carrying on work of a University level.  As described in the Bylaws of University Council, the aim of affiliation is to associate with the University for the purposes of promoting the general advancement of higher education in the province, those institutions which are carrying on work recognized by Council as of university grade, where such association is of mutual benefit to the University and the institution seeking affiliation.  The colleges affiliated with the University of Saskatchewan are Horizon College and Seminary, Saskatoon; College of Emmanuel and St. Chad, Saskatoon; Gabriel Dumont College, Saskatoon and Prince Albert; Lutheran Theological Seminary, Saskatoon; St. Andrew‟s College, Saskatoon; and Briercrest College and Seminary , Caronport, SK.


    •  Site  A regional college or other educational institution where students may be admitted to the University of Saskatchewan for one or more years of study.  Sites now designated are reviewed by a College at regular intervals under a policy which requires, among other things, that the site offer classes in humanities, social sciences and sciences so that students can complete at least the first year of studies.
    • A class is deemed to be off-campus if the administration of the class is not through the main university campus (e.g. through a regional college), if the class is not taught physically at the main university campus or if permitted by the Registrar.
    • Graduate students completing thesis requirements are not considered to be off-campus.

    See also "Off-campus class" in Definitions associated with Curriculum


    Academic Year

    A twelve-month period beginning July 1st each year.   This is the usual time period used for academic appointments in the hiring and promotion of faculty.

    Academic Calendar Year

    A twelve month time period beginning May 1st of each year around which admission procedures and curricular changes are organized. Students are generally expected to complete the program requirements approved for the Academic Calendar Year in which they were admitted. As such, program changes and new programs are typically implemented with an effective date of May 1st.

    Academic Calendar

    A listing of the dates of major academic events or deadlines for the Academic Calendar Year.

    Fiscal Year

    As defined in The University Act (1995), the fiscal year for the university runs from May 1 to April 30.


    A period of time defined in the Academic Calendar, for which a course for credit may be offered. Terms are identified by the year and the month of when they occur (e.g. 200909 is September of 2009). Each term usually allows for a range of 33-39 instructional period hours of instruction per term.

    For graduate students, the year is divided into Graduate Term One, Graduate Term Two and Graduate Term Three.

    • Regular Terms

    Regular terms are the Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer Terms.

    • Fall and Winter (Fall Term 1 and Winter Term 2)

    Each Fall and Winter Term usually allows for 13 weeks of instruction followed by the examination period.

    • Term One (September-December)
    • Term Two (January-April)

    Some professional colleges have longer Fall and/or Winter Terms, and different start and end times.

    • Spring and Summer (Spring Term 1 and Summer Term 2)

    These two terms begin in mid-May and end in mid-August. Instructional periods and times differ from those in the Fall and Winter.

    • Term One (May and June, split into Quarter One and Quarter Two)
    • Term Two (July and August, split into Quarter Three and Quarter Four)
    • Irregular terms

    Some professional colleges and Centre for Continuing and Distance Education (CCDE) have longer terms, and different start and end times.  Several colleges deviate from this terminology – for example, for graduate students, the year is divided into Graduate Term One, Graduate Term Two and Graduate Term Three, while Veterinary Medicine divides its instructional sessions into  "Quarters".


    A division of the University academic year composed of half a term.

    Instructional period

    A scheduled period of time in which a group of students participate in a particular type of instructional activity (laboratory, lecture, discussion, etc) related to a specific subject.

    • Day period  An instructional period currently between 0830 and 1730 hours.
    • Evening period  An instructional period currently between 1730 and 2200 hours.

    Instructional cycle and instructional periods

    For Fall and Winter Term standard day period lecture classes:

    • 50 minute instructional periods starting half-past the hour, on the instructional cycle every Monday, Wednesday and Friday; or 75 minute instructional periods starting at 0830, 1000, 1130, 1300 or 1430, on the instructional cycle every Tuesday and Thursday;
    • Edwards School of Business (ESB) offers Monday/Wednesday classes on a 75 minute instructional period AND the current Instruction Period and Instruction Cycle does not capture the delivery of MBA and MPAcc classes

    For Fall and Winter Term standard evening period lecture classes:

    • 150 minute instructional periods, on the instructional cycle of one evening per week;

    For Spring and Summer terms lecture classes:

    •  presently these are usually taught for two hours per day (110 minutes), five days per week, but this can vary depending on the course requirements.

    Classes can be offered in any day or night instructional period except Sundays.


    Schedule types

    The following types of instruction are for the purposes of tracking the kinds of instruction offered in various classes.

    • Lecture (LEC) an instructional unit in which the instructor is responsible for preparing and presenting the course material.
    • Seminar (SEM) the students usually share some of the responsibility for preparing and presenting course topics. It may include more discussion types of interaction between instructor and students.
    • Tutorial (TUT) It is a mechanism to review in class materials and content with greater student interaction between instructor and students outside of the central lecture.
    • Practicum/Laboratory (PRA or LAB) an instructional unit in which instructors are responsible for instructing, preparing and supervising student investigations, experiments, practicum experiences, etc., usually requiring the use of special equipment or facilities.
    •  Multimode (MM) an instructional unit in which the instructor uses a combination of the above instruction types in a way which makes a breakdown by specific instruction type difficult.
    • Clinical Service (CL) and Teacher Supervision (SUP) an instructional unit in which the students are required to meet with instructors for scheduled instructional periods to perform a professional service while receiving instruction. Examples are clinical classes in the Health Sciences and Student Teaching in Education. (Instruction is typically provided on a one-to-one basis or to very small groups of students).
    • Supervised Self-Instruction (SSI) and Problem Session (PRB ) an instructional unit in which instructors are scheduled to be available for instruction and supervision of a group of students engaged in solving problem assignments; in using programmed or automated instructional materials; or in other supervised activities. A room or facility may be scheduled for this activity. However, the extent to which the individual student takes advantage of the facility or opportunity to meet with the instructor is not known. Problem labs are an example of SSI. The number of students attending each class may vary, therefore assign maximum enrolment limits as an average number in attendance.
    • Co-op Work Experience/Internship (COO, IN1, IN2, IN3) the portion of an instructional unit which comprises the counseling and on-going monitoring contact in a paid work experience class. Only the number of instructor hours for the scheduled supervision by a campus instructor should be reported.
    • Individual Research/Reading (RES or RDG) included in this category are individual research, reading and other studies or projects in which each student works independently under the direction and supervision of an assigned instructor(s). The student and instructor usually meet on an "as required" basis. (Since the number of hours spent by the student and the number of hours of instruction given by the instructor cannot be determined, only the number of students enrolled in the activity are recorded).
    • Web-Based (WEB) A class where either the entire class or a majority of the class is presented to students with a web tool.
    •  Independent Studies (IND) A class offered by a department utilizing non-face to face and non-web based methods of instruction.
    •  Practicum course At the University of Saskatchewan, a practicum is usually a course in which a student works part-time in a workplace for a specified number of hours per week. However, the term is used widely in undergraduate and graduate education to describe all kinds of work-based learning experiences from single courses to lengthy clinical practice experience.



    A unit of study in a subject area defined by a course description, title, and number in the Catalogue. This unit of subject material is normally presented over a term to students in one or more registered classes.

    Registered class

    When a group of one or more students register in a course under the general direction of a particular instructor (s) at a given time. A registered class may consist of one or more instructional units. Registered classes are defined by the label of the course under study and a registered class section number or by the Term and Course Reference Number attached to the class.

    Off-campus class

    Classes are defined as on-campus or off-campus for various reasons, including assessment of fees. An off-campus class is usually a class offered though a Regional College, at a SIAST campus or by an affiliated college such as Gabriel Dumont College.  Occasionally, if an affiliated college is offering a class at the Saskatoon Campus, these would still be considered as "off-campus" classes for the purposes of student fee assessment.  Such classes are offered at a number of locations throughout the province. They are taught by instructors approved by the University's academic departments.

    See also "Off-campus" in Organizational definitions.

    Evening class

    A course offered in the evening instructional period which is an instructional period that begins after 17:30.


    A generally defined set of courses and other requirements described in the Catalogue, which the student must successfully complete to obtain a specific degree, certificate or diploma or other recognized qualification.

    Academic credit unit use in programs

    The academic credit to be allocated in a student program for completion of a course.  Most courses are allocated 3 credit units.  Most three-year degree programs require completion of 30 3-CUE courses, or 90 credit units.

    Educational level:

    The educational level of the student for which the program has been designed. Programs are offered at four educational levels: community, non-degree level, undergraduate, and graduate levels.  See also Appendix One: Course level numbering

    Community level program

    Community Level is used for single, typically non-numbered courses or groups of courses available to the general public. A single course or program of courses, usually unnumbered or numbered with single digits, which are not accepted for credit toward any certificate or degree.

    Non-degree programs

    These programs lead to a diploma of successful completion, a certificate of successful completion or certificate of attendance

    • Non-degree level program  A program consisting of courses which are generally numbered below 100. In some degree-level programs, these courses are treated as cognate courses or can be used towards the completion of a degree-level program.

    Degree program

    Approved by Council, these programs lead to a specific degree or certificate of proficiency or diploma of proficiency at this University. The terms "combined degree" or "second degree" are used by colleges to describe two degree programs containing courses which may be counted toward the requirements of both degrees, so that a student can achieve both degrees in less time than if the programs were taken separately.

    • Undergraduate level  program  A program of courses and other educational experiences intended for students at the University undergraduate level (bachelor degree).
    • Graduate level program  A program of courses and educational experiences intended for students at the graduate level (Post-Graduate Diploma, Masters degree and PhD degree).

    Certificates and Diplomas

    The terminology of "certificate" and "diploma" is used both for degree-level (undergraduate and graduate) programs and for non-degree-level programs. In 2000, the following policy was approved by Council which defined the various levels and kinds of certificates and diplomas.

    • Certificate of Proficiency and Post-Graduate Diplomas  Approved by Council, these certificates and diplomas signify the completion of a recognized program of degree-level courses and imply the attainment of a degree-level standard of proficiency, achievement, or promotion.
    •  Diploma in Agronomy and Diploma in Agribusiness  Approved by Council, this program includes university-level courses, and completion implies the attainment of a university-level standard of achievement which is fully transferable into certain degree-level programs.
    •  Certificate of Successful Completion These programs are approved by the Vice-President Academic & Provost following consultation with the Registrar and the Academic Programs Committee. This term is used to signify the successful completion of a course or program of courses appropriate for post-secondary training but not classified as degree-level courses. The topics covered in these courses may be similar to topics covered in degree-level courses, but the distinguishing features are normally differences in the breadth and depth of understanding required for successful completion. Implies the attainment of a standard of proficiency, achievement or promotion appropriate for post-secondary training. Certificates of Successful Completion not under the authority of a College shall fall under the authority of Centre for Continuing and Distance Education (CCDE).
    •  Certificate of Attendance These programs are approved by the Executive Director of CCDE or the Dean of a college, after consultation with the Provost & Vice-President (Academic). This term is used to certify satisfactory attendance at a community-level course or program of courses sponsored by CCDE or a college at the University of Saskatchewan. It does not imply attainment of a standard of proficiency, achievement or promotion.

    Academic program type

    A prescribed set of requirements related to Fields of Study within a program


    Designing the program and courses of Diploma or Certificate (non-degree) and Degree programs such that students may transfer between them.  Typically, a student would complete one or two years in the Certificate program and then transfer to the second or third year of the degree program.

    Field of study

    A Field of Study usually requires completion of a number of prescribed courses in a subject or discipline (and perhaps in cognate subjects). Programs may permit several Fields of Study.

    Depth of study

    The level of study describes the depth at which a field of study is investigated. The four recognized levels are minor, major, honours and Concentration. Each prescribe a certain number of courses in a Field of Study and usually requires a certain scholastic standing in these courses.


    Academic areas of study, research and scholarly work are described at many universities as "disciplines" and terms like "disciplinary", "interdisciplinary" and so forth are used worldwide. In considering descriptive terminology for programs and curriculum at the University of Saskatchewan, however, the term "Field of Study", as defined above, is a more inclusive term to describe student programs.


    Specific sets of courses or other requirements which are provided within the general requirements of a program. Colleges refer to these internally as options, streams, areas of focus  etc..

    Interdisciplinary program

    An interdisciplinary program is a Field of Study which permits students to study beyond the boundaries of traditional disciplines, to explore the relationships among disciplines in depth, and to integrate knowledge gained into a central theme. It may be cross-departmental or cross-college in nature.

    Work experience program options

    •  Professional Internship program A supervised, practical training period for a student, usually endorsed by a professional association or accreditation body.
    •  Cooperative Education program A program which allows a student to combine academic study with work experience by combining terms on campus with terms working full-time in a job related to the Field of Study.

    Cross-college minor

    The Resource College will retain academic authority for all related Minors within this Depth of Study.  In most cases, the Resource Unit will have academic, resource and administrative responsibilities for the majority of the courses included in the Minor, and will be the sole academic authority for this Depth of Study.  The Resource College will approve any Minors prior to their being presented to the Academic Programs Committee.

    The Adopting College will work with the Resource Unit to define the specific content of the Minor that will be completed by students within the Adopting College.   Under procedures approved by Council in April, 2002, minors in new Fields of Study are approved by the Academic Programs Committee.

    Resource unit

    The resource unit may be a college, department, school or interdisciplinary group, and is the academic unit with primary expertise for a Field of Study.

    Resource college

    The resource unit, in the event that it is a department or interdisciplinary group, will reside within an identified resource college.

    Adopting college

    The adopting college is the college responsible for the degree program to which the minor is attached

    Mutually-exclusive course

    Courses that are not entirely equivalent but possess similar or overlapping content.

    Nomenclature Policies

    University Catalogue

    Formerly known as the University Calendar, the University Catalogue is an online document that at a minimum consists of the Course & Program Catalogue and the Academic Calendar as well as information pertaining to Tuition & Fees and Registration and Admissions policies.  The nature, extent and format of information contained in the University Catalogue are determined by the Registrar in accordance with national and international professional standards, normal practice in higher education, and practical systems.

    Catalogue format for programs

    All Programs shown in the Course and Program Catalogue  should list all degree requirements, including specified and elective courses, required averages for graduation, and any other requirements.

    Double-listing of courses

    Double listing of courses is allowed with some caveats, as historically double listing caused additional administrative difficulties as well as confusion to students. Proposed double-listings should be circulated through the University Course Challenge process and submitted to the Academic Programs Committee for approval.  The following guidelines apply to double listings:

    •  Once a student has completed the course then that course label is the one for which they receive credit.  However, equivalencies for double listed courses would apply in the event of program changes.
    •  The course must be delivered at the same credit units and level for both course labels.
    •  It must be explicitly stated in the Course and Program Catalogue  and on the syllabus that it is a double listed course.
    •  Content resource and administrative authority for the double listed course should be clearly explained and each authority must track back to a single unit.  By default these authorities would reside with the unit of the faculty member who is delivering that section of the course.

    Cross-college minors

    When a cross-college minor is being proposed for a degree program, the Adopting College and the Resource College will forward a joint submission to Academic Programs Committee.  For the purposes of this policy, a cross-college minor would be considered as a new Field of study within the adopting college.

    Interdisciplinary use of subject codes

    Each Subject Code is under the specified authority of an identified unit (see Appendix Two:  Approved Subject Code Authority). The specified authority may permit the use of a course label under its authority by another unit for a specific course or courses upon agreement by the specified authority, with the secondary unit then having administrative, content and/or resource authority for this specific course.  This arrangement requires the agreement of the specified authority and is contingent upon consultation with the Registrar and the approval of APC via the course challenge process.  This arrangement would allow for specific classes to be delivered and administered by faculty from another department (a different resource authority), which is important and desirable for both inter- and multi-disciplinary programs.  This would mirror the cross-college minor system where both colleges must agree to the minor for it to be delivered.

    Students must be informed of the department which is responsible for such a course on their syllabus.

    Course numbers

    Course numbers are used according to the conventional practices established by the University for course numbering, as adapted by each college within the academic structure of its programs.

    Consistent with the usual university practice, colleges and departments may develop their own numbering schemes in consultation with the Registrar for new and revised courses, based on numbers available and on the order in which they want to have their courses appear in the Catalogue.

    Course numbers are used as follows (see Appendix One:  Course Level Numbering):

    Course numbering will usually follow the conventional practice as described below and shown in the Course Levels chart.

    •  Community level courses: The numbers 01-09 are used for tracking membership in community-level classes and are not used for university credit towards a degree, diploma, or certificate.
    • Non-degree courses: The numbers 010-099 are used for courses developed for non-degree level programs.
    •  Undergraduate courses: The numbers 100-109 are used for general introductory courses which are not usually acceptable as a preparation for more advanced work in the subject area.  In some specialized cases, 200-level courses may be considered introductory courses.

    The numbers 110-199 are used for courses that introduce a subject area and which could serve as prerequisite to senior-level courses in that subject. These are often referred to as junior undergraduate courses. Usually these are taught in direct-entry programs.

    Courses numbered 200 to 699 are also referred to as senior undergraduate courses, including courses in the first year of a non-direct-entry program.  Some post-baccalaureate certificates requirements are comprised of 500 level courses. (E.g. The Special Education Certificate)

    200-level courses usually have 100-level prerequisites, while 300-level and 400-level courses often have 200-level prerequisites. The 300- and 400-level courses are usually senior-level courses taken in the third and fourth years of a program

    •  Graduate courses: The numbers from 700 to 999 are used for graduate-level courses.  The 800 series is usually for senior graduate courses which require undergraduate degree completion. The 900 series has been reserved for graduate research and seminar courses.

    Consistent with the above scheme, colleges and departments may develop their own numbering schemes in consultation with the Registrar for new and revised courses, based on numbers available and on the order in which they want to have their courses appear in the Calendar. The numbers x98 and x99 are reserved by the university for Special Topics courses, 990 for graduate level seminar requirements, 992 for Masters level project-based program requirements, 994 for Masters level thesis-based program requirements and 996 for PhD level thesis requirements.

    After a course is deleted, that course number cannot be reused for a different course for a minimum of ten years. This avoids confusion for students in registration and transcripts.

    Class scheduling for common components

    Components of two different courses can be taught in common – for example, sometimes two courses will be scheduled to share lectures, or laboratories, or seminars. In this circumstance, the course requirements for completion of each course are different.

    Selected Topics courses

    Regular course offerings approved by University Course Challenge that allow for the subject of offering to change at the discretion of the Instructor. Typically, these courses are approved with a general topic area, for example, "Topics in Literary and Cultural Theory".

    Special Topics courses

    These courses are offered on a special case basis, to allow colleges and schools some latitude in mounting course offerings when confronted by special circumstances. These courses must be approved by the faculty of the college responsible for the course and should be numbered 298, 398, 498, 598, 898 or 299, 399, 499, 599, or 899. The maximum number of times a single topic can be offered is twice in five years except when approved by the Academic Programs Committee.  . While colleges will determine the maximum number of credit units in special topics courses that could be applied to a program, the Academic Programs Committee expects the total exceed 6 credit units only in exceptional circumstances. Special Topics courses are not normally used to substitute for required courses in a program.

    Nomenclature Standards

    Catalogue  format for courses

    The format for presenting consistent course information in all formats includes:

    1) the course label (consisting of a subject code of 4 characters and a 3 digit numeric code)
    2) the full title of the course (in English)
    3) the course academic credit unit value
    4) prerequisites, corequisites, permissions and restrictions if any
    5) course description of 50 words or less
    6) additional information about transferability, duplication, or loss of credit

    Title, label, and credit unit value identify the courses used to meet requirements for graduate and undergraduate degrees. Typically credit units are attached to these courses. Courses offered to meet either degree or certificate requirements follow the same identification system as degree-level courses. Courses offered exclusively to meet the requirements for non-degree level diplomas and certificates of Attendance and courses offered for community interest are identified by title and sometimes by label and number, with some having credit units assigned as determined by the college (or in the case of community interest, by the centre) concerned.

    Course titles

    Effective communication should be the primary consideration determining appropriate titles. Short titles must be limited to 40 characters in length so they can reasonably appear on transcripts and in the student information system. Longer titles should be of a reasonable length (up to 100 characters) and can be shown in the Course and Program Catalogue.

    Section numbers

    Classes are identified by section numbers which may contain information about the delivery mode. Classes can be offered in various delivery modes. Some section numbers are accompanied by additional letter codes, as follows:

    "A" sections – are taught in a mixture of delivery modes at off-campus sites
    "C" sections – are taught in person at off-campus sites
    "E" sections – are courses taught for contracting agencies
    "V" sections – are taught by television at off-campus sites
    "W" sections – are taught by online or web-based delivery
    "X" sections – are taught by Independent Studies


    • Fall and Winter Terms:

    Term One (September to December)

    Term Two (January to April)

    •  Spring and Summer Terms:

    Term One (May and June, split into Quarter One and Quarter Two)

    Term Two (July and August, split into Quarter Three and Quarter Four)

    Several colleges and Centre for Continuing and Distance Education (CCDE) deviate from this terminology and use irregular terms.

    The value of establishing common term dates for most of the students on campus ensures consistency for both students and faculty who may be taking or offering courses in several colleges, and allows implementation of campus-wide deadlines for policies, such as withdrawal from classes, which have significant impact on student decision-making and academic progress. Variance of course offerings from established term dates is acceptable when it is justified by the demands of the program and when the variance has been approved by Council.

    Instructional activity codes

     Abbreviations are used to describe instruction type and modes of delivery.

    IND  Independent Studies
    LIVE  Live Face To Face
    MULTI  MultiMode
    PRINT  Print Based
    TELE  Televised
    WEB  Web Based
    XHIGH  High School (Admin Only)
    XINA  Instructional Mode Not Applicable


    Appendix One: Course Level Numbering

    Appendix Two: Approved Subject Code Authority

    Supplementary Material: Academic Programs at the University of Saskatchewan