Frequently Asked Questions
1. What does “common-course numbering” mean?
Common-course numbering, or CCN is the shorthand used to describe the process used to implement Board of Regents Policy 301.5.5, Equivalent Course Identification and Numbering. Under this policy, all undergraduate courses offered at MUS campuses are reviewed and assigned to their respective agreed-upon discipline prefixes; courses that are determined by faculty in the field to be equivalent will share the same prefix, number, and title. Courses that are unique to a single campus are assigned different number and title within that disciplinary category. All courses assigned the same prefix, number, and title must be accepted in transfer as if they had been taken on the receiving campus—No questions asked!
2. If a course on my transcript doesn’t match a similar one on the campus I’m transferring to, does that mean my credits won’t or can’t transfer?
Not at all. It only means there isn’t a close-enough equivalent of your course on the new campus for its transferability to be automatic. At the discretion of the receiving campus, the course may transfer merely as an elective, or may actually substitute for a similar categorical requirement in the major into which you’re transferring. Regents’ policy guarantees that all courses successfully completed at any accredited Montana institution of higher education will transfer as electives (at least)—and they may count for more than just electives.
3. How do I determine which courses listed on my transcript transfer, and to which other Montana campuses? I’m returning to school after a few years off. How do I figure out what the old course identifiers have changed to?
Each campus lists articulations of its courses with other campuses, but for a single view of how courses transfer among all campuses in the system, go to the transfer page of the website for the Montana University System (MUS): http://mus.edu/Qtools/CCN/ccn_default.asp. There you can search by campus and by subject area (discipline) for courses that have been identified as being equivalent to courses at other campuses. If your courses use older identifiers (if you took those courses some time ago), begin your search at the MUS Campus Search dialog box; that search shows the label formerly used by the newly labeled (CCN) course.
4. What is the Montana University System “Transferable Core”?
General education (“core”) requirements are set by the individual campuses. The MUS Transferable Core represents an agreement among the MUS campuses to transfer each other’s lower division core as a block—despite differences among them. The MUS Transferable Core itself comprises an array of course requirements that may be used in transfer as a substitute for the campus’s core. It is intended to provide an easier path to completing general education requirements.
5. What is the Montana University System “Choices that Count Pathway”?
The Choices that Count (CTC) Pathway document is an advising tool designed to help students (especially those beginning their studies at a COT) choose courses in their General Education Core that also will be required in their major. This advising tool was developed to help reduce situations in which students take lower division courses to complete their core requirements, but then have to double-up on other lower-division courses in a given category because the course they took didn’t work as, for instance, a prerequisite to further study in the major.
6. Who do I contact at different MUS campuses about transferring?
Transfer advising contact information for each campus can be found at OCHE’s website, at www.mus.edu/transfer/advising.asp.
7. I transferred to my current campus last year and was required to take courses that I think I’ve already completed, and they turned out to be a waste of my time. Who do I talk to about this?
Start by discussing the situation with the department offering the course(s); next, contact the transfer advising staff listed above; and if you’re still not getting satisfactory answers, contact OCHE’s Director of Transferability Initiatives.
8. A course at my campus is listed with the same prefix, number, and title as one at the campus I’m transferring to, but my course was worth 4 credits, and the one at the new campus is worth 3 credits. What happens to the extra credit I bring with me?
Campuses have always treated such minor discrepancies in credits assigned to equivalent courses as assets or debits on your transcript: if your course transfers successfully, but brings with it one credit more than the course on the new campus requires, you carry one credit toward meeting your open electives. If the reverse is true, and your course transfers but with one fewer credit than other students at the new campus would have earned, you will need to make up the extra credit in order to graduate. That might be accomplished through general electives, independent studies, or other electives in your major.
9. What is an “integrated lab”?
Especially in the sciences, some campuses take great care to give separate identity to laboratory co-requisites, while other campuses are just as emphatic about melding laboratory work into the structure of a course. To ensure that such formalities don’t distort or impede the identification of equivalent course units (lecture + lab), the CCN array identifies all lecture + lab combinations as separate units, but indicates which campuses integrate their lab work together with the lecture portion of the course.
10. The course identifiers for my course work have changed. Does this mean they no longer count towards my degree?
The CCN re-labeling effort produced no changes in the courses themselves—only the identifiers (prefix, number, title) changed. If a course previously counted toward your degree with the old identifier, it should also count toward your degree with its new, CCN, identifier.
11. Do courses taken online through one campus transfer to another campus if they share the same prefix, number, and title?
Faculty who reviewed courses for equivalency took the mode of course delivery into account before affirming equivalencies among courses, so if a course shares the prefix, number, and title with another course, it has been reviewed and affirmed as being equivalent.