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COURSE SECTION Table - Data Element Index . Tables and Data Elements . Student Records Data Home . Data Warehouse Home




Contains term-specific information about a course section, such as the course ID, ownership (school, department, etc.), cross-listing, credit, enrollment, scheduler information, etc. A course may have one course section, usually a lecture or seminar, or it may have several course sections, for example a lecture section and several recitation sections. One record exists for each term the course is offered at Penn, and for every section of the course in that term. Students enroll in course sections, not in courses. (See the ENROLLMENT table) Similarly, faculty teach course sections. Different instructors can be teaching the various sections of a course, or the same instructor might teach all the sections. (see the COURSE SECTION INSTRUCTOR table) If the course has multiple sections and has a co-requisite requirement, students will be enrolled in multiple course sections for the same course, for example the lecture and one of the recitation sections.

Common Uses

  • Finding latest statistics for particular course sections for a term. ("How many students are currently registered for my class?")
  • Listing a department's offered course sections. ("Create a report of the sections our department is offering this term.")
  • Reporting on courses of a particular type. ("List all lecture courses taught in Spring 1995 in the Mathematics department.")
  • Finding courses with a particular tuition schol ("Which courses are being taught this term where my school is getting 50% of the tuition?)


    Primary Key Indexed Data Elements Related Tables



  • Information in COURSE_SECTION is specific to the term indicated (Term). For any particular course section, the values may change from term to term. For course section information that is constant from term to term, see the COURSE_INVENTORY Table.
  • The title of an indiviual course section in any term can vary. Title can be the title from the Course Inventory, or an extended title on the section, or a subtitle, or any combination of those concatenated together. Note that if the title in the Course Inventory changes *after* the term in which the course section was offered, the concatenated title on the course section will NOT change in the warehouse because the term is over and it is unlikely the course section will be re-extracted and refreshed, which means there are situations in which the course title in the warehouse is out-of-sync with the course title that appears on student's transcripts.
  • Effective June 2006: The Tuition_School in COURSE_SECTION is derived from the tuition school codes that are given a percentage of the tuition credit on SRS screen 132. When a school has 100% of the tuition for a course section, the Tuition_School column will have that school's code. When the tuition is split across two or more schools, the Tuition_School column will have the value 'XX'. Also, there are now 13 additional columns in COURSE_SECTION. They are:
    representing each of the 13 schools/centers that can receive all or part of the tuition credit for a course section. When a school has 100% of the tuition for a course section, '100' will be in the associated school 'PCT' column for that school. When the tuition is split across two or more schools, each will have their percentage in the associated school 'PCT' columns. (Note: prior to Summer 2006, there was only one Tuition_School, and it appeared on screen 129. When the change was made in June 2006, the change was retro-active: in terms prior to 2006B, the school 'PCT' column was populated with 100% for whatever school was the Tuition_School for each course section.)
  • Use Section_ID to restrict queries rather than Subject_Area or Course_Id since Section_Id is indexed, unlike the others. For example, use "WHERE Section_Id between 'PSYC' and 'PSYC9999999" or "WHERE Section_Id like 'PSYC%' rather than "WHERE Subject_Area = 'PSYC'".
  • One of the trickiest aspects of course sections is cross-listing. Cross-listing allows students to enroll for one course section under two or more different Section_IDs, usually each one offered by a different department. When course sections are cross-listed (forming one 'cross-list group'), one course section in the cross-list group is known as the primary course section, and the others in that group are secondary course sections.
  • At Penn, some schools use a different "course currency" -- The Law School uses Semester Hours (SH) and Dentel and Vet use Course Credits (CR). See the Credit_Type column for a description. When including courses across schools that use different currency, consider using the "Course Units Converted" object in the Degree Term folder of the STDTCANQ universe.

    An important distinction to make is whether the query you are creating should count all the course sections in a cross-list group as a single course section -- which amounts to counting the number of unique primary course sections -- or whether it should count each course section as a separate course section -- regardless of its cross-list status. See also Xlist and Xlist-Primary in the COURSE_SECTION Table.

  • Some course sections have been offered in SRS for terms that are outside the range defined by the Start and End terms in the COURSE_INVENTORY. This is a known problem, and affects over 600 historical records.

COURSE SECTION Table - Data Element Index . Tables and Data Elements . Student Records Data Home . Data Warehouse Home


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Information Systems and Computing
University of Pennsylvania
Information Systems and Computing, University of Pennsylvania