Course Attributes

Course attributes are system codes used to categorize sections of courses for purposes such as course scheduling and publishing. The assignment of course attributes is managed by the Office of the University Registrar in coordination with academic units across the University. Many course attributes can be used as search criteria in the Course Catalog and Class Search.

Click the menu headings below for more information on each.

David C. Frederick Honors College
Fredrick Honors Course

Honors courses address the educational needs of talented, motivated, and intellectually curious undergraduates. Honors courses are intended to encourage curricular breadth and/or depth, to emphasize free inquiry as a stimulus to independent thought, and to foster a disciplined intelligence through the critical understanding of ideas and principles. Honors courses have the following five objectives: developing written communication skills; developing oral communication skills; developing the ability to analyze, synthesize, understand, and contribute to scholarly work; helping students become independent and critical thinkers; and deepening students’ historical and cultural awareness, as well as their awareness of the diversity of human societies and cultures.

Learn more: 
Honors Distinction (web)
Starting an Honors Course Attribute Proposal (PDF)

UC for International Studies
African Studies Promotes the interdisciplinary study and research of Africa. Diverse educational activities promote greater understanding and appreciation of Africa and African experiences. Offers opportunities for the study of the continent’s history, demographics, cultures, politics, economies, languages, religions and development. 
Asian Studies Asian Studies courses allow for students to engage with Asian cultures, languages, histories, and economies. Obtain an in-depth grasp of an Asian region, theme, or the relationship between Asian regions. Students will integrate language study with knowledge of the region’s history, culture, development, social transformations, environment and/or political systems. Students will gain a fundamental understanding of the key political, economic, and historical issues facing Asia. 
European and Eurasian Studies With their vast geography, population diversity, and history, Europe and Eurasia continue to play central roles in international politics, economics, and social and cultural trends.  The RELATED CONCENTRATION IN EUROPEAN & EURASIAN STUDIES is particularly appealing to pre-professional students who wish to broaden their international experience while minimizing language requirements.
European Union Studies This program integrates language study with study of EU history, politics and policy.
Global Studies Promotes critical thinking and practical engagement with the world through the interdisciplinary study of globalization -- of transnational processes and the connections, divisions, disruptions, inequalities, and productive possibilities these processes engender across time and space. 
Latin American Studies Latin American Studies courses promote global understanding through support for teaching, learning, & research in and on Latin America, the Caribbean, and the diverse diasporic communities of Latin American and Caribbean origin.
Mediterranean Studies Will examine issues and themes across the Mediterranean world over a broad chronological span – from Antiquity to the present. The region highlights the interconnectedness of North Africa, the Levant, Anatolia, Southern Europe, and the Balkans.
Russian & East European Studies The Russian & East European Studies courses are interdisciplinary,  foreign language training and multidisciplinary. They are intended to develop a broad understanding of the historical and cultural processes shaping states and societies in Eastern Europe, Russia, and Eurasia.
Transnational Asian Studies The study of transnational flows of people, disease, goods, and ideas in and out of Asia have fueled much of the rapid change within the region and its influence abroad. As the world wrestles with issues of global economics, environmental sustainability, public health, and labor migration, Asia’s impact defines a large number of research and social questions spanning academic and professional disciplines.
Transatlantic Studies Primary areas of study include governance, policy and security issues in the context of the transatlantic relationship, the history of colonialism, humanities and culture, and the comparative study of various professional fields such as business and medicine.
Undergraduate Global Health Exploring the transnational processes underpinning the global burden of disease and the social determinants of health, as well as related inequalities in access to high-quality medical care. To understand the global burden of disease, social determinants of health, and treatment disparities from a transnational and historical perspective. Recognize the behavioral and cultural dimensions of health in myriad contexts.
West European Studies Integrates language study with study of the region where the language is spoken. For students who want to internationalize their academic plan and also show potential graduate schools or employers that they have expertise in the history, policies and culture of Europe.
Study Abroad
Study Abroad Intended for development of global skills. From problem solving to cross-cultural communication, international experiences, giving students the opportunity to develop and refine important skills in a unique and enriching environment.
Non-Pitt Class This course is offered as part of a Study Abroad or Study Away program offered by the Global Experiences Office.
Pitt Class This course is offered as part of a Study Abroad or Study Away program offered by the Global Experiences Office.
Interdisciplinary Themes
C4C - Applied Creativity The Center for Creativity seeks to foster connections between and among members of the University community whose scholarly efforts and passions are rooted in “making stuff”: stories, pictures, music, scenes, statements, apps, messes, etc. It provides opportunities for creators to connect outside of their disciplines. Encourages partnerships to establish new creative opportunities for the Pitt community. Supports development of project-based courses taught across disciplines.
Civic Learning

Largely didactic classes that offer students the opportunity to think critically about complex issues, consider differing points of view, and reflect on the capacities necessary to participate with others to improve the quality of life for people and sustainability of the planet. Intentionally prepares students for informed, civic engagement by providing opportunities to develop civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions through learning and practice.

Learn more: 
Civic Learning and Civic Learning + Engagement Course Attributes and Proposal Checklist (PDF)
Starting a Civic Learning Course Attribute Proposal (PDF)

Civic Learning + Engagement

Classes that involve students in mutually-beneficial community engagement with intermediary organizations or members of the broader public. These community engagements offer students the opportunity to improve the quality of life for people and sustainability of the planet.

Learn more: 
Civic Learning and Civic Learning + Engagement Course Attributes and Proposal Checklist (PDF)
Starting a Civic Learning + Engagement Course Attribute Proposal (PDF)

MCSI - Sustainability Focused

Addresses sustainability as an integrated multidisciplinary concept, highlighting the interaction and tradeoffs between ecological, social and economic systems. A sustainability-focused course addresses sustainability as an integrated concept throughout, highlighting the interconnectivity between all three pillars: social, economic, and environmental dimensions. Note that courses can be sustainability-focused or sustainability-related but cannot be both.

Learn more: 
Sustainability Distinction (web)
Starting a Sustainability Course Attribute Proposal (PDF)

MCSI - Sustainability Related

Addresses sustainability as an integrated multidisciplinary concept, highlighting the interaction and tradeoffs between ecological, social and economic systems. A sustainability-related course or program incorporates sustainability as a distinct component or concentrates on the interconnection between two of the three pillars: social, economic, and environmental dimensions. Note that courses can be sustainability-focused or sustainability-related but cannot be both.

Learn more: 
Sustainability Distinction (web)
Starting a Sustainability Course Attribute Proposal (PDF)

Interdisciplinary Programs
Children's Literature In the “core” courses, students will also learn about the history of children’s and young adult literature, encountering texts from a wide variety of periods, cultures, and genres. Students will hone their ability to perform sustained, nuanced analysis of child-related cultural artifacts such as children’s books, films, and toys. Finally, students will be expected to learn and apply critical and theoretical terms from literary criticism and cultural studies, demonstrating how and why such terms are relevant to the study of youth literature and culture.
Medieval & Renaissance Studies An intellectual interest in a historical time period far removed from our own brings many rewards: the pleasures of pursuing historical difference, of seeing how similar cultural questions received quite different answers, and, perhaps most importantly, of gaining the ability to project oneself imaginatively into another person’s way of life.
Instructional Delivery Method
Hybrid Instruction utilizes both in-classroom and online instruction methods.
Online synchronous Instructors and students participate in learning in real-time, utilizing technology and web applications for facilitation, and the class has required meeting dates and times for engagement.
Online asynchronous Students engage with course material using technology and web applications on their own time to meet standards set forth by the instructor, and there are no required class meeting dates and times.
Course Related Materials
Open Educational Resources Course utilizes publicly-available teaching, learning, and resource materials.
Hillman Library Reserve Materials Course utilizes teaching, learning, and resource materials available through Hillman Library on the Pittsburgh Campus.
UPB Library Reserve Materials Course utilizes teaching, learning, and resource materials available through Hanley Library on the Bradford Campus.
UPG LIbrary Reserve Materials Course utilizes teaching, learning, and resource materials available through Millstein Library on the Greensburg Campus.
SSOE Library Reserve Materials Course utilizes teaching, learning, and resource materials available through the Swanson School of Engineering on the Pittsburgh Campus.
High Impact Practices
Capstone Course Serves as the culminating and integrative experience of an educational program. It may also be referred to as senior seminar or final year project.
First Year Seminar First year seminars introduce first year students to the academic and social foundations and opportunities of their University of Pittsburgh campus.
Undergraduate Internship Academic internships that enhance your education by expanding skill sets and exposure to real world situations.  In order for an internship or an experiential learning activity to be eligible for academic credit, several individuals must work together: the student, an academic advisor, a faculty advisor, and the site supervisor.
Undergraduate Research Designed to teach students how to connect to research and creative projects across disciplines, interests and methodologies. Students will form questions, explore problems, and examine your own experiences, thoughts, and observations through writing. Students will be paired with an expert faculty member, and conduct research within their propsective major or field.
Writing Intensive Course A writing-intensive course is a course in which students engage with writing substantively throughout the term; they write and revise throughout the term (not just at the end); they write a total of 23-25 pages (or equivalent); they get feedback from their teacher and their peers. The craft of writing is a significant focus of class time and instruction.
*UPB General Ed. Requirements
Arts Must include at least one course in the creative, fine, and performing arts.
Behavioral Sciences Courses must be selected from at least two different categories (the categories are behavioral science, economics, and political science).
Cmp Sci or Math Compt Must include one course each in physical sciences and life sciences, one of which must have a laboratory.
Computational SCI Must include one course each in physical sciences and life sciences, one of which must have a laboratory.
Cultures At least one history course is required and at least one course from either of the other two categories (Culture or Philosophical Inquiry)
Economics Courses must be selected from at least two different categories (the categories are behavioral science, economics, and political science).
Global Students are required to complete two courses designated as “Global” part of the human experience curriculum. 
History At least one history course is required and at least one course from either of the other two categories (Culture or Philosophical Inquiry)
Language 3 credits in a second language may be used (ge: language). 
Life Sci Must include one course each in physical sciences and life sciences, one of which must have a laboratory.
Life or Physical Sci Must include one course each in physical sciences and life sciences, one of which must have a laboratory.
Literature | Second Literature Must include at least one course in literature.
Math Competency Math competency is one of the University’s requirements for graduation. Students are required to take College Algebra II or designated higher-level math course, with a minimum grade of C-  to satisfy competency requirements.
Physical Education One course in Physical Education is required (1 credit).
Philosophical Inquiry At least one history course is required and at least one course from either of the other two categories (Culture or Philosophical Inquiry)
Physical Science Must include one course each in physical sciences and life sciences, one of which must have a laboratory.
Political Science Courses must be selected from at least two different categories (the categories are behavioral science, economics, and political science).
*School of Computing and Information General Ed. Requirements
Diversity Diversity courses focus centrally and intensively on issues of diversity, and do so in a manner that promotes understanding of difference. They provide students with analytical skills with which to understand structural inequities and the knowledge to be able to participate more effectively in our increasingly diverse and multicultural society. The courses may address, though not be limited to, such issues as race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, religious difference, ability difference, and/or economic disparity.
Expression: Communication | Expression: Intro Composition | Expression: Tech/Bus/Res writ Communication in its various forms is central to all disciplines and professions. The approved courses will assist students in developing the skills to express thoughts and ideas as appropriate for professional or graduate education or for professional employment.
Pmathic Ctext: Ethical/Pol It is crucial for students engaging in computing-and information-related studies to develop an awareness of the interplay between technology, computing, ethics, and societal implications. Approved courses emphasize close and critical reading of theories about knowledge, reality, humanity, and values. Courses could focus on human nature; scientific reasoning; theories of cognition and consciousness; human/social rights; competing systems of belief; morality; concepts of freedom; theories of justice; social obligations/constraints; or ethics, including applied or professional ethics.
Pmathic Ctext: Global&Cr. Cult Approved courses examine significant issues that are global in scale. Courses could address, for example, globalization, the global and cultural impact of climate change/sustainability; the effects of and resistances to colonialism; or worldwide issues related to health, gender, ethnicity, race, technology, labor, law, or the economy. Other approved courses will focus on an understanding of cultures, traditions, and societies that differ substantially from those that prevail in North America and Europe.
Pmathic Ctext: Humanistic Generally covering courses focusing on literature, the arts, and creative work. This requirement exposes students to courses that introduce the techniques and methods of textual analysis and develop critical perspectives on a variety of forms of cultural expression. Additionally, courses may cover modes of analysis appropriate to music, theatre, or the visual and plastic arts. Finally, some approved courses will result in the production of some form of creative work, training students in the techniques and modes of its production. These courses could be situated in theatre, studio arts, writing, visual arts (including photography, film), music, and dance; or it may be a course that engages in innovative or original work in relation to written, oral, or visual material, new media, social media, and other contemporary forms of communication and representation.
Pmathic Ctext: Science Seq | Pmathic Ctext: Science Nonseq. The following requirements facilitate the development of a multidisciplinary approach to knowledge creation, information management, and computing by immersing students in a variety of intellectual contexts that are crucial to understanding problems at the confluence of natural, social, and engineered systems to which computing and information skills can be brought to bear. These courses introduce students to scientific principles and concepts rather than offering a simple codification of facts in a discipline or a history of a discipline.
Pmathic Ctext: Soc/Behav Approved courses treat topics considered of significant importance in the social or behavioral sciences (including social psychology). Courses will introduce students to the subject matter and methodology of a particular discipline and will involve them in the modes of investigation, analysis, and judgment characteristically applied by practitioners. Other approved courses focus on significant cultural, social, economic, or political accounts of the past. The course may focus on pivotal moments of change, or important transitions over longer periods of time. Courses could explore developments in science, technology, literature, or art, and the ideas around them, or examine critical historical shifts by analyzing various data or cultural forms.
Quantitative: Mathematics | Quantitative: Statistics Quantitative skills are the bedrock for success in the computing and information fields. Approved courses will provide an introduction to university-level mathematics and statistics.
*Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences General Ed. Requirements
Algebra Students must complete the algebra requirement, MATH 0031 College Algebra or its equivalent, with a minimum grade of C- by the end of their first year of study. Part-time students should complete the requirement within their first 30 credits.  Transfer students must complete this requirement within their first 15 credits.
The Arts This course introduces students to modes of analysis appropriate to music, theatre, or the visual and plastic arts. It may take the form of a survey, the study of a genre or period, or may focus on a particular artist.
Cross-Cultural Awareness This course, through cross-cultural perspective, will promote knowledge of and reflection upon the cultures of Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, or the indigenous peoples of the world past and present. Students will develop an understanding of cultures, traditions, and societies that differ substantially from those that prevail in North America and Europe.
Creative Work In this course students are expected to produce some form of creative work, and they will also be trained in the techniques and modes of its production. The course could be situated in theatre, studio arts, writing, visual arts (including photography, film), music, and dance; or it may be a course that engages in innovative or original work in relation to written, oral, or visual material, new media, social media, and other contemporary forms of communication and representation.
Diversity Diversity courses focus centrally and intensively on issues of diversity, and do so in a manner that promotes understanding of difference. They provide students with analytical skills with which to understand structural inequities and the knowledge to be able to participate more effectively in our increasingly diverse and multicultural society. The courses may address, though not be limited to, such issues as race, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, religious difference, ability difference, and/or economic disparity.
Global Issues This course will examine significant issues that are global in scale. Courses could address, for example: globalization; the global and cultural impact of climate change/sustainability; the effects of and resistances to colonialism; or worldwide issues related to health, gender, ethnicity, race, technology, labor, law, or the economy.
Geographic Region This course will be an in depth study and analysis of a particular region or locality outside of the United States.
Historical Analysis In this course, students will develop skills and methods by which to understand significant cultural, social, economic, or political accounts of the past. The course may focus on pivotal moments of change, or important transitions over longer periods of time. Courses could explore developments in science, technology, literature, or art, and the ideas around them, or examine critical historical shifts by analyzing various data or cultural forms.
Literature By studying a range of literary and other texts in this course, students will be introduced to the techniques and methods of textual analysis and will develop critical perspectives on a variety of forms of cultural expression.
Natural Science These will be courses that introduce students to scientific principles and concepts rather than offering a simple codification of facts in a discipline or a history of a discipline. The courses may be interdisciplinary, and no more than two courses may have the same primary departmental sponsor.
Phil. Thinking or Ethics This course will emphasize close and critical reading of theories about knowledge, reality, humanity, and values. Courses could focus on human nature; scientific reasoning; theories of cognition and consciousness; human/social rights; competing systems of belief; morality; concepts of freedom; theories of justice; social obligations/constraints; or ethics, including applied or professional ethics.
Quant.-Formal Reasoning All students are required to take and pass with a minimum grade of C- at least one course in university-level mathematics (other than trigonometry) for which algebra is a prerequisite, or an approved course in statistics or mathematical or formal logic in a department of the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences.
Seminar in Composition Students must complete the composition requirement, ENGCMP 0200 Seminar in Composition or its equivalent, with a minimum grade of C- by the end of their first year of study. Part-time students should complete the requirement within their first 30 credits. Transfer students must complete this requirement within their first 15 credits.
Second Language All students are required to complete with a grade of C- or better two terms of university-level study in a second language other than English.
Social Science A course that treats topics considered of significant importance in the social or behavioral sciences (including social psychology). Courses will introduce students to the subject matter and methodology of a particular discipline and will involve them in the modes of investigation, analysis, and judgment characteristically applied by practitioners.
Workshop in Composition Based on placement, students may be required to complete ENGCMP 0150 Workshop in Composition (or its equivalent) prior to enrolling in ENGCMP 0200.