Understanding Course Categories

A course category groups different courses of a particular field of study together by categorizing them under a defined course category. A student may be required to take a certain number of units in a particular course category to meet the curriculum requirements.

The Course Categories field in the Course service is used to define to which category a course belongs. Since units are stored in the Courses record, using the Course Categories field in the Courses record allows the administrator to see what courses and how many units make up a particular course category by creating a view on the Courses service that lists only a particular course category.

For example, under a course category called Computer Networking the following courses and their units are defined:

Networking Courses


Introduction to Networking


Microcomputer Support and Maintenance


Networking System Administration


Additionally, under the course category called Computer Software Applications the following courses and units are included:

Software Applications Courses


Introduction to MS Powerpoint


Advanced Powerpoint


Intermediate MS Word


Advanced MS Word


The degree or certificate requires that the student take a certain number of units from these course categories, as well as any course categories defined under the curriculum requirements. For example, if the curriculum requires a student to take eight units from each category to satisfy the unit requirements, the student is not mandated to take all the units in each course category. See Creating a Curriculum more information on curriculum requirements.

Course Sub-Categories

If the curriculum requires many areas of study and a certain number of units from each area, course categories can be further divided by creating sub-categories. Sub-categories allow for a hierarchy of course categories to keep track of large numbers of courses.

For example, if the course category Business needs to be broken down into smaller categories, create three sub-categories called Information Technology, Management, and Finance. Creating these sub-categories is possible by entering Business in the Parent field on the Course Category form for each new category.

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