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Course Number System

Florida's Statewide Course Numbering System

Courses offered are identified by prefixes and numbers that are assigned by Florida's Statewide Course Numbering System (SCNS). This common numbering system is used by all public post-secondary institutions in Florida and by two participating private institutions. The major purpose of this system is to facilitate the transfer of courses between participating institutions. 

Each participating institution controls the title, credit, and content of its own courses and assigns the first digit of the course number to indicate the level at which students normally take the course. Course prefixes and the last three digits of the course numbers are assigned by members of faculty discipline committees appointed for that purpose by the Florida Department of Education in Tallahassee. Individuals nominated to serve on these committees are selected to maintain a representative balance as to type of institution and discipline field specialization.

The course prefix and each digit in the course number have meaning in the SCNS. The list of course prefixes and numbers, along with their generic titles, is referred to as the "SCNS taxonomy." Descriptions of the content of courses are referred to as "course equivalency profiles."

Equivalent courses at different institutions are identified by the same prefixes and same last three digits of the course number and are guaranteed to be transferable between the participating institutions that offer the course, with a few exceptions (exceptions are listed below).

For example, each institution uses "ORH 0803" to identify its general horticultural course. The level code is the first digit and represents the year in which students normally take this course at a specific institution. In SCNS taxonomy, "ORH 0803" means "general horticultural," the century digit "8" represents "Landscaping," the decade digit "0" represents "Intro Course," and the unit digit "3' represents "Specialist."

General Rule for Course Equivalencies

                                             EXAMPLE OF COURSE IDENTIFIER
ORH 0 8 0 3  
Horticultural General Vocational Land-scaping Intro Course Specialist Lab Component


In science and other areas, a "C" or "L" after the course number is known as a lab indicator. The "C" represents a combined lecture and laboratory course that meets in the same place at the same time. The "L" represents a laboratory course or the laboratory part of a course, having the same prefix and course number without a lab indicator, which meets at a different time or place.

Transfer of any successfully completed course from one participating institution to another is guaranteed in cases where the course to be transferred is offered by the receiving institution and is identified by the same prefix and last three digits at both institutions. Transfer credit must be awarded for successfully completed equivalent courses and used by the receiving institution to determine satisfaction of requirements by transfer students on the same basis as credit awarded to native students. It is the prerogative of the receiving institution, however, to offer transfer credit for courses successfully completed which have not been designated as equivalent. 

The Course Prefix

The course prefix is a three-letter disgnator for a major division of an academic discipline, subject matter area, or sub-category of knowledge. The prefix is not intended to identify the department in which a course is offered. Rather, the content of a course determines the assigned prefix used to identify the course.

Authority for Acceptance of Equivalent Courses

State Board of Education Rule 6-A-10.024(17), Florida Administrative Code, reads: When a student transfers among institutions that participate in the common course designation and numbering system, the receiving institution shall award credit for courses satisfactorily completed at the previous participating institutions when the courses are judged by the appropriate common course designation and number system faculty task foreces to be equivalent to courses offered at the receiving institution and are entered in the course numbering system. Credit so awarded can be used by transfer students to satisfy requirements in these institutions on the same basis as native students. 

Exceptions to the General Rule for Equivalency 

The following courses are exceptions to the general rule for course equivalencies and may not be transferable. Transferability is at the discretion of the receiving institution:

  • Courses in the _900 - _999 series (e.g., ART 2905).
  • Internships, practicum, clinical experiences, and study abroad courses.
  • Performance or studio courses in Art, Dance, Theater, and Music.
  • Skills courses in Criminal Justice.
  • Graduate courses.

College preparatory and vocational preparatory courses may not be used to meet degree requirements and are not transferable.

Questions about the Statewide Course Numbering System and appeals regarding course credit transfer decisions should be directed to the Principal or the Florida Department of Education, Bureau of Instruction and Innovation, 325 West Gaines St., Suite 434, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400. Special reports and technical information may be requested by calling (850)245-9868.