counselor resources


DARS Resources - Reading and Understanding the DARS Report

The DARS report generally shows degree requirements in the same order they appear in the College catalog or on a program planner sheet.  The following topics explain the components of the DARS audit report. 

Student and Major information

The top of the report displays information about the student (name, student number) and the major for which the audit was run (Banner program major code, title of program, catalog year/term).  There may be a message such as an announcement about upcoming registration dates, withdrawal deadlines, etc.  Next there is a line stating whether all requirements for the program have been completed or not.

Course subject and number

DARS uses a standard system of eight characters to represent courses: four characters for the subject area and four for the course number.  Many Tri-C departments are abbreviated with less than four letters, so DARS inserts a space or two between these subjects and numbers.  Departments with four-character abbreviations have no space between the subject and course number.  Examples:

IT  1010

ENG 1010


Some requirements allow the student to choose from many courses in a given subject, so DARS may use “wildcards” or ranges – examples include:

HIST**** – this means any HIST course may be taken

ENG 2*** – this means any 2000 level ENG course may be taken

MATH1060 TO 2999 – this means any MATH course in the range numbered from 1060 to 2999 (inclusive) may be taken.

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Requirements are separated from each other by a pair of lines.  Each requirement has a title line that identifies the name of the requirement and shows the completion status.  “OK” means that the requirement has been completed.  “NO” shows that the requirement is not yet met – more courses or credit hours must be taken.

Some requirements consist of several parts or subrequirements.  For example, a program may require that a list of courses be completed, and an additional elective must be chosen from another list.  The report will generally show these subrequirements numbered “1” and “2” as shown below:

NO Specific Grad Requirement-Social Science

  -  1) Complete the following course:

         NEEDS:    1 COURSE

        SELECT FROM: ECON2610

  -  2) Complete one of the following courses:

         NEEDS:    1 COURSE

        SELECT FROM: ANTH1010  POL 1010  SOC 1010

When subrequirements are used, there will be completion status indicator at the left of the subrequirement number.  A plus sign (“+”) shows the subrequirement has been completed.  A minus sign (“-”) shows that the subrequirement is not yet met – more courses or credit hours must be taken.

Some subrequirements may be listed as alternatives to each other.  For example, a requirement may require the student to take a particular course or to take a different option.  The report will show a subrequirement number for the first option and the word “OR” rather than a number for the second option:

NO  Health or Physical Education Requirement

       Complete one option

  -  1) Health Education option:

         NEEDS:     1 COURSE

        SELECT FROM: HLTH1100

  - OR) Physical Education option:

         NEEDS:     2.00 HOURS

        SELECT FROM: PE  ****

In the example above, the student can complete subrequirement 1 either by taking HLTH1100 or instead by taking two credit hours of PE.  Each of the options shows the completion status indicator to be “-“  since neither of the options has been completed yet.

Sometimes when there are multiple subrequirements, some may be required while the others are optional:

NO   Gen Ed: Communication Requirement

         Complete 9 cr. hr.  Students are REQUIRED to complete

          6 cr. hr. in composition and/or literature.

-->  NEEDS:   9.00 HOURS

  -R 1) The following courses are composition and/or literature

        NEEDS:   6.00 HOURS

        SELECT FROM: ENG 1010,101H,1020,102H,2010 TO 2820

  -  2) Additional hours (if needed) may be chosen from the

        list above or from the following (excluding

        developmental English or Speech and ESL courses):

        -> NOT FROM: ENG 09**  ESL ****  SPCH09**

        SELECT FROM: ASL ****  CHIN****  ENG 1070 FREN****

           GER ****  ITAL****  JAPN****  JMC ****  LAT ****

           RUSS****  SPAN****  SPCH****

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The student needs nine hours overall; six hours must be taken in composition and/or literature so subrequirement 1 is preceded by letter “R” to show it is required.  Subrequirement 2 is not necessarily required – if nine hours are taken from courses listed in subrequirement 1, no additional hours are needed.  Marking subrequirement 1 with the “R” tells DARS that even if nine hours are taken in courses listed in subrequirement 2 (e.g., nine hours of SPCH), the student has not met the Communication Requirement because the required composition and/or lit has not been taken.


If a requirement or subrequirement has not been met, the report will include a line beginning with the word “NEEDS.”  This message informs the student how many courses or credit hours must be taken to fulfill the requirement.


The courses or subject areas that fulfill a requirement (or subrequirement) are shown in a list.  For example, the report may state that 2 courses must be completed, followed by a list showing those two courses.  In some cases the list may show more choices than the number of courses or credit hours that must be completed – this means the student can choose the required number of courses or credit hours from any of the courses in the list.

Certain degree requirements may state that particular courses cannot be used.  In those cases the report may display a “NOT FROM” list to remind the student of the courses that won’t count for this requirement.

A “SELECT FROM” list may indicate that one of the courses on the list is required, while the others are choices:

  -  5) Sociology 1010 and one additional course in Sociology

        or Anthropology (Special Topics cannot be used here)

         NEEDS:     2 COURSES

        SELECT FROM: SOC 1010REQ  ANTH****  SOC ****

In the example above, two courses are needed.  The “SELECT FROM” list shows SOC 1010 is required by adding the letters “REQ” that course.  The second course can be chosen either from any ANTH or any SOC course.

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Courses completed

When a student has taken courses that apply to a requirement, those courses are displayed on the report.  Each course is listed with the date taken (term/year), the subject abbreviation and course number, credit hours earned, grade, and title. 

Additional information is displayed if the course was taken at Tri-C under the quarter system, transferred from another college, or if a semester course has had its subject and/or number changed since the student completed the course.

  • Tri-C quarter courses show the original course taken but the quarter credit hours are converted to semester hours (multiplied by 0.67 per the Tri-C standard).  Below that line are two lines showing it was a quarter course and indicating the semester course it was “PROCESSED AS.”  In this way, DARS shows how quarter classes are matched to their semester replacements. 

    Some quarter-to-semester conversions are not one-to-one replacements; e.g. PSY 101 and 102 were replaced by 1010.  These are identified by a single plus sign (“+”) to the left of the first quarter course in the pair or series and a double plus sign (“++”) to the right of that same line.  Even though more than one quarter course was taken, DARS only displays the full information for the first quarter course.  The next two lines show the quarter-to-semester conversion that was applied.  In these cases you may also see a symbol where the grade is shown – the ampersand (“&”) indicates that more than one course was completed and there were different grades earned in them.

  • Transfer courses are shown by a line that displays the transfer course as it was evaluated in Banner (the equivalent Tri-C course number).  DARS includes a second line to indicate the Banner institution code from which the course was transferred.  As with all Banner transfer credit, please remember that the date on these courses is the term/year the transcript was processed at Tri-C, not necessarily the date the course was actually taken.  Non-equivalent transfer courses use the word “AREA” or a code such as “T100” in the course number position.  Transfer course grades use the letter “T.”  Courses transferred in Fall 1998 or after are graded TA, TB, or TC;  courses evaluated prior to that show only a grade of T. 

    Transfer courses that were processed while Tri-C was on quarters must be converted to their semester replacements; these courses have the extra “PROCESSED AS” line like Tri-C quarter courses.

  • Semester courses may have had a subject or number change after the student completed the course.  If so, DARS will display the original course as taken followed by a line identifying the course with a “# CHANGE” and a line showing what the course was “PROCESSED AS.”

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Last updated on: 02/02/2012
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