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Office of the Registrar

Dartmouth College
Office of the Registrar
6014 McNutt Hall
Hanover, NH 03755-3541

Phone: (603) 646-2246
Fax: (603) 646-2247
Email: registrar@Dartmouth.EDU
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Expanded Course Numbering System

(used for special topics courses and certain other courses related to each other)

Goal – Each topic has a unique number, title, and description at the Catalog level, so that a distinct record is created, allowing it to have all the attributes and capabilities of a "course." While all special topics courses will use the expanded numbering system, not all courses with expanded numbers are special topics courses, and not all root courses will be rubric courses. The department/program designates this on their course proposal. 

Rubric – Rubrics consist of the two-digit root number (ex. RUSS 050) only and has no extension that follows. Students do not register for a rubric, since it is not a class. The rubric’s description will typically describe the set of topics or related courses with the same root number as the rubric course. The point numbers which share the rubric’s root number (Ex: RUSS 50.01) are known as special topics courses.

System – Each topic has a two-digit "root" number followed by a "point," then a two-digit extension following the point. For example, 40.01, 40.02, 40.03, where "40" is the root course, and "01," "02," and "03" are extensions. The root, point, and extension form a single, unique, course number. Every time the topic is offered the same number is used (it does not vary term to term), and it is listed in the ORC/Catalog and Timetable of Courses with that number.

Examples of a Rubric and Special Topics course:

  • Rubric:
    • CLST-010 Topics in Greek and Roman Literature, Philosophy, and Religion

Description: Courses offered under this rubric explore specific facets of the literature, philosophy, and religion of ancient Greece and Rome.

  • Special Topics:
    • CLST-10.01 Rethinking the Devine

Description: While the stories of mythology were the heritage of all Greeks and Romans, some found that the myths of the gods did not express their conception of a divine being. Philosophers as early as the 6th century B.C.E. offered their own explanations for religious thought and their own alternative accounts of the divine nature: some skeptical, some idealistic, some merely peculiar. The class will read and discuss accounts by Plato, Epicurus, Cicero, Plutarch, and others


  • Expansion of numbering system – some departments and programs have found the two-digit numbering system too restrictive and this provides additional opportunity. It easily allows for course groupings. Numbers can go as high as xx.99.
  • Reporting – course assessment, enrollments, and other types of reports can be more easily tracked over time.
  • Curriculum – it is possible to cross-list individual special topics with specific distribution and/or world culture attributes with courses from other departments/programs.
  • Display – the description for each topic may now be captured and recorded, allowing it to be displayed in the ORC/Catalog, on department/program websites, in DartWorks, Canvas, and other sites.     

Last Updated: 11/1/19