Course Descriptions

Course Numbering System

All Del Mar College courses are identified with letter abbreviations followed by a set of numbers. Courses are alphabetized in this catalog according to their abbreviations; see the Index of Courses in the back of this Catalog to locate a specific subject. The numbers in parentheses after the course title indicates the number of lecture hours, lab hours and credits respectively. For example, CHEM 1411, General Inorganic Chemistry I (3-3-4) meets for three lecture hours and three lab hours a week in a regular semester and awards four semester hours of credit.

Four-Digit Numbers

Del Mar College has adopted the Texas Common Course Numbering System for most academic courses and the Workforce Education Course Numbering System for occupational and technical courses. These four-digit numbers were developed to simplify the process of transferring credits from Del Mar College to other Texas colleges and universities and to ensure the maximum credit possible for each transfer student. These numbers are approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

In the four-digit common course numbers the first digit usually indicates the level of the course: 0 - developmental, 1 - freshman and 2 - sophomore level. Some exceptions to this rule exist. The second digit indicates the credit value in semester hours. The third and fourth digits are used to differentiate courses or as an indicator of course sequence.

Assessment Levels

The Del Mar College faculty has established specific Assessment Levels for every college-level course. These levels refer to diagnosed abilities in the basic skills of reading, writing and English, and mathematics. They are listed as prerequisite Assessment Levels at the end of most course descriptions. Using Biology 1406. Biological Concepts I - Cellular And Molecular as an example, R3, E3, M2 means this course requires the student to have reading and English Assessment Levels of 3 (college level), while mathematics assessment may be at level 2 (intermediate developmental level). Level 1 denotes basic developmental level. If no R, E, or M is listed, the assessment level defaults to Level 1.

Students must meet the assessment levels shown for each course either by placement testing or by previous course work.


ACT and SAT scores more than five years old will not be used for course placement in English, reading, or math.

Please refer to the Assessment Levels chart on the following page to see how scores are used.

Texas Success Initiative (TSI)

All new students are required to take a placement test to determine if developmental courses are needed in reading, writing and mathematics as required by the Texas Success Initiative.

The purpose of the Texas Success Initiative (TSI), mandated by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board is to grant institutions of higher education the flexibility and responsibility to improve individualized programs and ensure the success of students in higher education. All students must meet placement requirements before enrolling in restricted courses.

** The following examinations all qualify to satisfy the TSI requirement*:

ACT - American College Test

TAKS - Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills

SAT - Scholastic Aptitude Test

STAAR (EOC) - State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness

*NOTE: Please see the Exemptions chart for more information.

Assessment Levels Chart

(R1) (R2) (R3)
TSI Assessment 341 and Below 342-350 351+
ACT (Reading) 0-14 15-18 19+
SAT taken prior to March 2016 (Reading) 200-419 420-499 500+
SAT taken on or after March 5, 2016
(Evidence-Based Reading and Writing)
200-402  403-479   480+
(E1) (E2) (E3)
TSI Assessment Essay 0-3 and 353
and Below
Essay 0-3 and 354+ 340+ and Essay 4 or 
Essay 5 and ABE
Diagnostic of 4+
ACT (English) 0-14 15-18 19+
SAT taken prior to March 2016 (Reading) 200-419 420-499 500+
SAT taken on or after March 5, 2016 
(Evidence-Based Reading and Writing)
200-402   403-479  480+
(MO) (M1) (M2) (M3)
TSI Assessment 335 and Below 336-345 346-349 350+
ACT (Mathematics) 0-12 13-15 16-19 20+
SAT taken prior to
March 2016 (Mathematics)
200-310 311-459 460-499 500+
SAT taken on or after March 5, 2016 
200-329 300-486 487-529 530+
Exempt from Reading and Writing Exempt from Mathematics
ACT taken within 5 years from the testing date Must be exempt from ALL parts with a composite of 23+, English 19+,
AND Mathematics 19+.
SAT (taken prior to March 2016) taken within 5 years from the testing date  Must be exempt from ALL parts with score of Reading 500+, Mathematics 500+, AND a combined total of 1070+
SAT (taken on or after March 5, 2016) taken within 5 years from the testing date  Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (EBRW) 480+ Mathematics 530+ 
11th Grade TAKS within 5 years from the testing date ELA 2200+ with writing sample 3+ Mathematics 2200+
STAAR (EOC) for graduates Level 2 ENGL 3 Level 2 Algebra 2
Writing 2000+ 4000+
Reading 2000+
Earned Degrees A student who has graduated with an associate or baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution of higher learning.

Scores are subject to change without notice. Please refer to the online catalog for updates.

TSI Exemptions*

All students taking college-level courses must satisfy Texas Success Initiative (TSI) requirements, unless they qualify for a TSI exemption, waiver or exception.

Official documents must be submitted to the Student Enrollment Center for determining exemption. Exemptions are permanent and do not need to be renewed each semester.

Score Exempt

Students who meet qualifying standards on the SAT, ACT, STAAR, or TAKS test may be eligible for an exemption. Please reference the preceding assessment chart to verify your eligibility for a score exemption or contact the Student Enrollment Center at (361) 698-1290.

Degree Exempt

Students who have earned an associate or baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited post-secondary institution are exempt from all Texas Success Initiative requirements.

Transfer Exempt/Passed

Students whose previous Texas public college or university has determined that they have met minimum passing standards in reading, writing and English, and/or math are exempt in the curricular area/s indicated, but must develop and pursue an Academic Success Plan in any remaining area/s. An official transcript or other appropriate documentation of status must be submitted.

Private/Out-of-state Transfer Exempt

Students who transfer from a regionally accredited college or university and have earned at least three semester hours of college-level credit (ANY course) are exempt at entry. (The private/out-of-state institution must be the last institution attended). An official transcript must be submitted.

Course Exempt

Students who have completed a restricted course from a regionally accredited college or university earning a grade of C or higher are exempt in the curricular area of that course, but must develop and pursue an academic success plan with an advisor in any remaining area/s.

Veteran Exempt

A student who on or after August 1, 1990, was honorably discharged, retired or released from active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States or the Texas National Guard or service as a member of the reserve component of the armed forces of the United States may be exempted. The veteran must provide a valid DD214.

Military Exempt

A student who is serving on active duty as a member of the armed forces of the United States, The Texas National Guard or as a member of a reserve component of the armed forces of the United States and has been serving for at least three years preceding enrollment may be exempted. The service member must provide a valid statement of service from his or her unit of assignment.

Certificate Level 1

A student who is enrolled in a certificate program of one year or less (Level-1 certificates, 42 or fewer semester credit hours or the equivalent) at a public junior college, a public technical institute, or a public state college is waived from the TSI requirement. TSI requirements apply if you change your major or take courses outside of your Level 1 Certificate Plan.

International Students

If you are an international student whose primary language is other than English, and you are taking only English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes, you will take the Comprehensive English Language Test (CELT) to determine your placement into ESOL classes.

Certification/Licensing Exams

There are special licensing/certification/registry exams that students may be required to take upon completion of specific occupational degree programs. Check with your departmental advisor for additional information upon completion of your degree requirements.

Other Examinations/Exam Proctoring Services

Del Mar College employs exam proctoring services, as appropriate, to verify student identity in hybrid and online courses.