101 (topic)

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101 ("one-o-one") is a topic for beginners in any area. It has all the basic principles and concepts that are expected in a particular field.

In American university course numbering systems, the number 101 is often used for an introductory course at a beginner's level in a department's subject area. This common numbering system was designed to make transfer between colleges easier. In theory, any numbered course in one academic institution should bring a student to the same standard as a similarly numbered course at other institutions.[1]


The term was first introduced by the University of Buffalo in 1929.[2] It was used as a course catalog, the first known usage of the term by Oxford English Dictionary.[3]

Based on this usage, the term "101" has been extended to mean an introductory level of learning or a collection of introductory materials to a topic.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Forest, J.J.F. (2002) Higher education in the United States: an encyclopedia p.73. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 1-57607-248-7. Retrieved October 2011
  2. ^ Engber, Daniel (6 September 2006). "101 101". Slate. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  3. ^ Engber, Daniel (September 6, 2006). "Why are introductory classes called "101"?". Slate Magazine.

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