Courses_02

Florida’s Statewide Course Numbering System

Courses in this catalog are identified by prefixes and numbers that were assigned by Florida’s Statewide Course Numbering System (SCNS). This numbering system is used by all public post-secondary institutions in Florida and 27 participating non-public institutions. The major purpose of this system is to facilitate the transfer of courses between participating institutions. Students and administrators can use the online Statewide Course Numbering System to obtain course descriptions and specific information about course transfer between participating Florida institutions. This information is at the SCNS website at http://scns.fldoe.org.

Each participating institution controls the title, credit, and content of its own courses and recommends 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 or specialization.

The course prefix and each digit in the course number have a meaning in the Statewide Course Numbering System (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 “statewide course profiles.”

Example of Course Identifier

Prefix  Level Code Century Digit Decade Digit   Unit Digit  Lab Code  
  (first digit) 

(second digit)  (third digit)  (fourth digit)  
 ENC  1  1 0 1  
English Composition Lower (Freshman) Level at this institution Freshman Composition Freshman Composition Skills Freshman Composition Skills I No Laboratory Component in this course
Example of course Identifier

General Rule for Course Equivalencies

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 participating institutions that offer the course, with a few exceptions, as listed below in Exceptions to the General Rule for Equivalency.

For example, a freshman composition skills course is offered by 59 different postsecondary institutions.  Each institution uses “ENC_101” to identify its freshman composition skills course. The level code is the first digit and represents the year in which students normally take the course at a specific institution.  In the SCNS taxonomy, “ENC” means “English Composition,” the century digit “1” represents "Freshman Composition," the decade digit “0” represents “Freshman Composition Skills,” and the unit digit “1” represents “Freshman Composition Skills I.”

In the sciences and certain 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 equivalent to one offered by the receiving institution. Equivalencies are established by the same prefix and last three digits and comparable faculty credentials at both institutions. For example, ENC 1101 is offered at a community college. The same course is offered at a state university as ENC 2101.  A student who has successfully completed ENC 1101 at the community college is guaranteed to receive transfer credit for ENC 2101 at the state university if the student transfers. The student cannot be required to take ENC 2101 again since ENC 1101 is equivalent to ENC 2101. 

 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 the native students.  It is the prerogative of the receiving institution, however, to offer transfer credit for courses successfully completed that have not been designated as equivalent.

 NOTE: Credit generated at institutions on the quarter-term system may not transfer the equivalent number of credits to institutions on semester-term systems. For example, 4.0 quarter hours often transfers as 2.67 semester hours.

The Course Prefix

The course prefix is a three-letter designator 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 to identify the course.

Authority for Acceptance of Equivalent Courses

Section 1007.24(7), Florida Statutes, states:

Any student who transfers among postsecondary institutions that are fully accredited by a regional or national accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education and that participate in the statewide course numbering system shall be awarded credit by the receiving institution for courses satisfactorily completed by the student at the previous institutions. Credit shall be awarded if the courses are judged by the appropriate statewide course numbering system faculty committees representing school districts, public postsecondary educational institutions, and participating non public postsecondary educational institutions to be academically equivalent to courses offered at the receiving institution, including equivalency of faculty credentials, regardless of the public or nonpublic control of the previous institution. The Department of Education shall ensure that credits to be accepted by a receiving institution are generated in courses for which the faculty possess credentials that are comparable to those required by the accrediting association of the receiving institution. The award of credit may be limited to courses that are entered in the statewide course numbering system. Credits awarded pursuant to this subsection shall satisfy institutional requirements on the same basis as credits awarded to native students.

Exceptions to the General Rule for Equivalency

 Since the initial implementation of the SCNS, specific disciplines or types of courses have been excepted from the guarantee of transfer for equivalent courses. These include varying topics courses that must be evaluated individually, or applied courses in which the student must be evaluated for mastery of skill and technique. The following courses are exceptions to the general rule for course equivalencies and may not transfer. Transferability is at the discretion of the receiving institution.

  1. Courses not offered by the receiving institution.
  2. For courses at non-regionally accredited institutions, courses offered prior to the established transfer date of the course in question.
  3. Courses in the _900-999 series are not automatically transferable, and must be evaluated individually. These include such courses as Special Topics, Internships, Apprenticeships, Practica, Study Abroad, Theses, and Dissertations.
  4. Applied academics for adult education courses.
  5. Graduate courses.
  6. Internships, apprenticeships, practica, clinical experiences and study abroad courses with numbers other than those ranging from 900-999.
  7. Applied courses in the performing arts (Art, Dance, Interior Design, Music, and Theatre) and skills courses in Criminal Justice (academy certificate courses) are not guaranteed as transferable. These courses need evidence of achievement (i.e., portfolio, audition, interview, etc.).

Courses at Nonregionally Accredited Institutions

The Statewide Course Numbering System makes available on its home page (http://scns.fldoe.org) a report entitled “Courses at Nonregionally Accredited Institutions” that contains a comprehensive listing of all nonpublic institution courses in the SCNS inventory, as well as each course’s transfer level and transfer effective date. This report is updated monthly.

Questions about the Statewide Course Numbering System and appeals regarding course credit transfer decisions should be directed to the Florida Department of Education, Office of Articulation, 1401 Turlington Building, 325 West Gaines Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400. Special reports and technical information may be requested by calling the Statewide Course Numbering System office at (850) 245-0427 or at http://scns.fldoe.org .