A laboratory is a facility characterized by special purpose equipment or a specific space configuration that limits instructional or research activities to a particular discipline or a closely related group of disciplines. These activities may be individual or group in nature, with or without supervision. Laboratories may be found in all fields of study including letters, humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, vocational and technical disciplines, etc.
Laboratory facilities can be subdivided into three categories: class, open, and research/nonclass laboratory. A class laboratory is used for scheduled instruction. An open laboratory supports instruction but is not formally scheduled. A research/nonclass laboratory is used for research, experimentation, observation, research training, or structured creative activity that supports extension of a field of knowledge. Institutions may wish to further distinguish various types of class, open, and research/nonclass laboratories through the use of extension or special codes.