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101 101

What's the origin of the term "101", as in "Software Development 101"? It's something to do with the American education system, right?

Also, how does the sequence progress after that?

Trivia Buff
Thursday, January 8, 2004

In most colleges, the courses are numbered.  Every college has a different numbering system, but 101 is usually the lowest number, reserved for the most introductory, fundamental classes.  The next semester would usually be 102; the next year would be 201 and 202.  However, courses "off the beaten track" usually have some random number -- where I went to school, for example, Linear Algebra was MATH 223. 

Upperclassmen courses are numbered in the 300s and 400s, post grad is 500 and beyond. 

Thursday, January 8, 2004

In general in US Universities, a three-digit course code denotes course level followed by a sequence/index number.

1xx = 1st year
2xx = 2nd year

So "101" is the first course in the first year of instruction, or the absolute introduction to a subject.


Thursday, January 8, 2004

Great, thanks for that.

Trivia Buff
Thursday, January 8, 2004

This is clearly in reference to the Depeche Mode live album "101", which was a recording of their concert at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena California in 1988. You can read more about it at

Thanks, and I hope this was enlightening!

Depeche Mode Troll
Thursday, January 8, 2004

The initial 1 or 2 or 3 o 4 is the number of the year or semester depending on how things are organized.

Then the other numbers are assigned so that each course has a unique number. The 101 will generally be the introductory course to the major, since the department the student majors in will have first place in the pecking order.

Where you have preparatory years you have 001 and 002. Some of the community colleges here found the 001 course they'd taken from the university to be much too difficult, so they are  now doing an English 000 course!

Stephen Jones
Thursday, January 8, 2004

I thought it was a reference to the IQ of the students at the time they took the class?

The highest class I took as CS 565
Thursday, January 8, 2004

Nothing valuable to add, just that I love the title of this thread  :-)

Matt Foley
Friday, January 9, 2004

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