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A course equivalency means that the content of one course is equivalent to the content of another course.  There are two ways that equivalencies are represented in curriculum-related systems.

Course identifier

When a course is entered to ECAS, it is assigned a unique system (Course ID) identifier that stays with the course through all subsequent modifications. 

Example:  COMP 1120 was changed to WRIT 1120.

The subject prefix was changed, but the course ID stayed the same and systems (ECAS, PCAS, APAS) will continue to deal with the course in the same way. 

  • UMD notifies students of the equivalency in the prerequisite text, and in the class schedule which reads "Credit will not be granted if credit received for: [Comp 1120].    
  • If a student who has taken Comp 1120 attempts to register for Writ 1120, he/she will get this message:  "Course previously taken and may be subject to institutional repeat policy.  The repeatable limit as established on the Course Catalog has been exceeded.  It should be verified that this class will apply toward the course of study."  This message will not prevent the student from registering; it is a warning only. 


When an established course changes the subject prefix or course number,the following appears for the "new" course:

  • Catalog reads:  Credit will not be granted if already received for ....
  • Schedule reads:  Credit will not be granted if already received for...


Equivalency code

The second way that equivalent courses are handled is with an equivalency code.  When two distinct courses with different course ID's that cover the same content are considered to be equivalent, an equivalency is coded in the ECAS system. 

Example:  SpEd 4250 and SpEd 5250 cover the same content (but requirements and/or performance expectations are higher for the graduate level course). 

  • In this case, students will receive a warning at the point of registration indicating the course has an equivalent which they have already taken. 

Equivalency codes are used when the contents of two courses are equal to each other.  It is important to understand:

  • If an equivalency code defines Course A = Course B;
  • And another equivalency code defines Course B = Course C;
  • Then, Course A will = Course C.

Course equivalencies will create substitutions in majors and minors. If this is not appropriate for your program, do not request an equivalency between two courses, rather write the option into your program requirements.   

Equivalency codes CANNOT be used to prevent registration in a course that has similar but perceived less rigorous coverage of the content. 

Example:  Students should not get credit for CHEM 1102 if they have already received credit for 1153. If CHEM 1102 was set up as an equivalency to CHEM 1153, then CHEM 1102 would satisfy requirements in a program that requires 1153.  The alternative is to add text to the course prerequisite text; however, students will not be warned at registration, and the equivalency will not be enforced in APAS.


When a course equivalency has been established, it appears as follows:

  • Catalog reads:  =[SUBJ xxx] before the prerequisite statement. 
  • Schedule reads:  Credit will not be granted if already received for...

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Last modified on 11/08/11 10:08 AM
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