About the Catalog

A Guide to Using the 2023-24 APU Catalog

The university’s Catalog is a comprehensive source of information to help students throughout their college experience. This guide helps students navigate the catalog by offering a glossary defining, in common language, the various academic terms and acronyms used throughout the catalog.

University Structure

Classroom faculty at APU hold positions in academic departments, which are organized within either a college, a school, or both. View the University Structure list to see each academic department, college, and school to learn about the programs of study offered in each. 


A degree is an academic rank that the university confers on a student who satisfactorily completes a designated program of study. APU grants the following undergraduate (also called baccalaureate degrees), master's and doctoral degrees:

  • Bachelor of Arts (BA)
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA)
  • Bachelor of Music (BM)
  • Bachelor of Science (BS)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN)
  • Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)
  • Master of Arts (MA)
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Business Management (MBM)
  • Master of Divinity (MDiv)
  • Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
  • Master of Music (MM)
  • Master of Public Administration (MPA)
  • Master of Public Health (MPH)
  • Master of Science (MS)
  • Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)
  • Master of Social Work (MSW)
  • Educational Specialist (EdS)
  • Doctor of Divinity (DMin)
  • Doctor of Education (EdD)
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT)
  • Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)


A major is an undergraduate program of study that provides students with the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to pursue a specific career or advanced study and leads to an undergraduate degree in that subject. Each major is offered in an academic department or program. Undergraduate applicants to APU can select a major at the time they apply for admission.

For more information and advice regarding academic programs, see the Academic Resources catalog entry.


A minor is a supplemental undergraduate program of study, in a field different from a student’s major, that provides educational breadth. 

Concentrations, Emphases, and Tracks

These are groups of courses within a degree program designed to provide specialized knowledge.


Course descriptions explain the content and scope of each course. The course prefix (an abbreviation that represents the subject or offering department), course number, prerequisites, unit value, and other pertinent information can be accessed by clicking on the hyperlinked course number (e.g., MATH 110), which produces a pop-up window with the full description. Alternatively, view a full list of course options under the school, college, or department level by selecting the “Courses tab.


These are courses that students can choose from within the parameters set by their departments.

The General Education (GE) Program

The GE program comprises a common set of requirements and provides a common foundation of knowledge for all undergraduate programs. The specific requirements for a particular major degree program are listed under the academic department or program that offers the major.


Prerequisites are one or more courses that must be completed—or other knowledge, skills, or standards that must be demonstrated—before a student is permitted to take certain courses. Prerequisites (if any) for a course are listed in the course’s description in the catalog.

Some prerequisites have their own prerequisites, forming a string of courses that must be taken in sequence. The catalog course description shows only the last course in the prerequisite string of courses. For example, MATH 460 Topology has a prerequisite of MATH 450 Real Analysis. MATH 450 requires MATH 280 Discrete Mathematics and Proof, which requires MATH 165 Calculus I, which requires MATH 150 Precalculus or an appropriate score on the APU math placement assessment or MATH 149 Fundamentals of Precalculus (which may be taken concurrently; see next paragraph). It is important that students are aware of these prerequisite strings to ensure timely completion of all requirements.

Statements in the catalog course descriptions may also contain the word “concurrently,” which means that two or more courses may be taken in the same term, or “corequisite,” which means that the course or courses must be taken in the same term (or some prior term) as that of the course being described.

If a student does not meet a prerequisite as outlined in a course’s description, but through alternative means can demonstrate to the department offering the course that he or she possesses the necessary knowledge or skills, the department may grant the student permission to enroll in the course with consent of the department chair.

Cross-Listed Courses

These are courses that are shared by two or more academic departments and have identical titles, descriptions, units, and modes of instruction. They are interchangeable for degree requirements. They cannot be repeated for degree credit under separate prefixes.

Topic Courses

Topic courses are shown in the catalog with generic titles and are repeatable with different topics. Specific topic titles appear in the Schedule of Classes and on students’ transcripts. Example: HIST 368 A Year in Time is repeatable with different topics; in this case, the topic varies each term with a focus on different years (e.g., 1492, 1776, 1865, 1968).

Credit Hour

A credit hour—the amount of work established by stated student learning outcomes and achievement—is approximately one hour (or 50-55 minutes) of classroom or direct faculty instruction, plus a minimum of two hours (for undergraduate) or three hours (for graduate) of out-of-class work, each week for a 16-week term (or the equivalent amount of work for a term of a different length). Classroom or direct faculty instruction and out-of-class student work leading to the award of credit hours may vary for courses that require laboratory work, internships, practica, studio work, online work, research, guided study, study away, and other academic work to achieve the identified student learning outcomes. In addition, student workload may vary based upon program expectations established by national or regional accrediting bodies.

Semesters and Semester Units

Azusa Pacific is on the semester (term) system, offering three semesters (terms) per calendar year:

  • Fall: September through December
  • Spring: January through May
  • Summer: May through August

Many graduate and undergraduate programs also employ 2, eight-week sessions in each of these terms.

For undergraduates, 24 units per year is considered full time, though a student must average 15 units per semester (30 per year) to complete the 120 total units required for graduation in a traditional four-year period.

For full-time graduate status, refer to the Study Load page in this catalog.

Many institutions are organized in quarters with quarter units. To convert APU semester units to quarter units, multiply by 1.5. For example, 6 APU semester units x 1.5 = 9 quarter units.

To convert quarter units to APU semester units, multiply by .667. For example, 9 quarter units x .667 = 6 semester units.

View the most current Academic Calendar for more information. For answers to questions not answered here, contact the Academic Success Center.

Course Numbering System

Courses are generally numbered according to the following structure:

  • 010-099: Nondegree credit or precollege courses
  • 100-299: Courses primarily for freshman and sophomore students
  • 300-399: Courses primarily for advanced undergraduate students, usually with prerequisite coursework
  • 400-499: Courses for advanced undergraduates.
  • 500-599: Master’s and credential-level courses
  • 600-699: Master’s and doctoral-level courses
  • 700-799: Doctoral-level courses

Course Subject Code System

Courses are identified by a subject abbreviation followed by a course number. 

ABA Applied Behavioral Analysis
ACCT Accounting
AES Applied Exercise Science
ALCI American Language and Culture Institute
ALNG Ancient Languages
ANIM Animation
ASL American Sign Language
AT Athletic Training
ATHL Athletics
BIOC Biochemistry
BIOL Biology
BIOT Biotechnology
BUSI Business Administration
CCSD College Counseling and Student Development
CHEM Chemistry
CHIN Chinese
CINE Cinematic Arts
CJ Criminal Justice
CMUS Commercial Music
COMM Communication Studies
CS Computer Science
DSGN Design
ECON Economics
EDCO Educational Counseling
EDL Educational Leadership
EDLS Education – Liberal Studies
EDPY Educational Psychology
EDTC Educational Technology
EDUC Education
ENGL English
ENGR Engineering
ENTR Entrepreneurship
ETHN Ethnic Studies
FFL Fitness for Life
FIN Finance
FREN French
GAME Gaming
GBBL Biblical Studies: Graduate
GDMN Doctoral Ministry
GE General Education
GERM German
GINS Graduate Integrative Studies
GLBL Global Studies
GMIN Graduate Ministry
GMUS Graduate Music
GNRS Graduate Nursing
GRAD Faculty Development
GRKB Greek (Biblical)
GRKC Greek (Classical)
GSPH Public Health
GTHE Graduate Theology
GURS Urban and Multicultural Programs
HEBB Hebrew (Biblical)
HED Higher Education
HEDL Higher Education Leadership
HIST History
HON Honors
HROD Human Resource and Organizational Development
HUM Humanities
IBUS International Business
JAPA Japanese
JOUR Journalism
KIN Kinesiology
LDRS Leadership Studies
LTN Latin
MATH Mathematics
MGMT Management
MHA Healthcare Administration
MIN Ministry
MINC Christian Ministries
MINY Youth Ministry
MKTG Marketing
MNCE Ministry: Cultural Engagement
MODL Modern Languages
MUS Music
OPSY Organizational Psychology
PADM Public Administration
PCLS Psychology: Child Life Specialist
PE Physical Education
PHIL Philosophy
PHYC Physics
POLI Political Science
PPSY Clinical Psychology
PRAR Art: Professional
PRBA Business: Professional
PRBI Biology: Professional
PRBL Biblical Studies: Professional
PRCH Chemistry: Professional
PRCJ Criminal Justice: Professional
PRCO Communication Studies: Professional
PREN English: Professional
PRGL Global Studies: Professional
PRHI History: Professional
PRLD Leadership: Professional
PRMA Math: Professional
PRMI Ministry: Professional
PRMU Music: Professional
PRPH Philosophy: Professional
PRPO Politcial Science: Professional
PRPS Psychology: Professional
PRPY Physics: Professional
PRRS Religious Studies: Professional
PRSO Sociology: Professional
PRSW Social Work: Professional
PRTH Theology: Professional
PRWR Writing: Professional
PSYC Psychology
PT Physical Therapy
PUBR Public Relations
RELG Religion
RMS Rehabilitation and Movement Science
RNRS Nursing: Professional
SCW Screenwriting
SOC Sociology
SOCW Social Work
SPAN Spanish
SPED Special Education
STAT Statistics
TEP Teacher Education Program
TESL Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
TESP Teacher Education: Special Education
THEO Theology: Undergraduate
THTR Theater Arts
TUL Transformational Urban Leadership
UBBL Undergraduate Biblical Studies
UNRS Undergraduate Nursing
VOC Vocation
WEB Website and Information Technology
WRIT Writing