Florida’s Statewide Course Numbering System
Courses in this Catalog are identified by prefixes and numbers that are assigned by Florida’s Statewide Course Numbering System (SCNS). This numbering system is used by all public postsecondary institutions in Florida and by participating nonpublic institutions. The major purpose of this system is to facilitate the transfer of courses between participating institutions. Students and administrators can use the online SCNS to obtain course descriptions and specific information about course transfer between participating Florida institutions. This information is available through the SCNS website (http://scns.fldoe.org).
Each participating institution controls the title, credit value, and content of its own courses; the institution recommends the first digit of the course number to indicate the level at which students normally take the course. The course prefix and the last three digits of the course number are assigned by faculty members within 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 SCNS. The listing of prefixes and associated courses is referred to as the “SCNS taxonomy.” Content descriptions for courses are referred to as “statewide course profiles.”
Example of Course Identifier
||Level Code (first digit)
||Century Digit (second digit)
||Decade Digit (third digit)
||Unit Digit (fourth digit)
Level at this institution
component in this course
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: these are guaranteed to be transferable between participating institutions that offer the course (i.e., 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 84 different public and nonpublic 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 laboratory part of a course that has the same prefix and course number but 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 a Florida College System institution 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 the semester-term system. 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 subcategory 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 used 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 nonpublic 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 exempted from the guarantee of transfer for equivalent courses. These include courses that must be evaluated individually or courses in which the student must be evaluated for mastery of skills and techniques. The following courses are exceptions to the general rule for course equivalencies and may not transfer, as transferability is at the discretion of the receiving institution.
- Courses not offered by the receiving institution.
- Courses taken at non-regionally accredited institution.
- Courses offered prior to the established transfer date of the course in question.
- Courses in the 900-999 series are not automatically transferable and must be evaluated individually. These include offerings such as Special Topics courses, internships, apprenticeships, practicum courses, Study Abroad courses, thesis coursework, and dissertation sessions.
- Applied academic course work for adult education courses.
- Graduate courses.
- Applied courses in the performing arts (e.g., Art, Dance, Interior Design, Music, and Theatre) and skills courses in Criminal Justice (e.g. academy certificate courses) are not guaranteed as transferable. These courses need evidence of achievement (e.g., portfolio, audition, interview).
Courses at Non-Regionally Accredited Institutions
The SCNS home page (http://scns.fldoe.org) provides a Courses at Non-regionally Accredited Institutions Report that contains a comprehensive listing of all non-public 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 SCNS and appeals regarding course credit transfer decisions should be directed to the Office of the Registrar or to the Florida Department of Education, Office of Articulation, 1401 Turlington Building, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-0400. Special reports and technical information may be requested by calling the SCNS Office (850.245.0427) or by visiting the website (http://scns.fldoe.org).