Collegiate Timeline

Course Approval requests should be directed to departmental administrative staff for processing.

Course Approval Forms received in the Dean's Office workflow are added to the agenda of an upcoming Executive Council meeting. One week for review prior to the meeting is required. Meetings are scheduled every other week. 


The current course approval process requires faculty, program, departmental and collegiate activity. The process begins with a faculty or program initiated proposal, discussed and approved by the other program faculty, followed by DEO review and evaluation. If recommended for approval by the DEO, the proposal goes to the Dean’s Office for review by the Executive Council. Graduate level course approvals are then sent to the Graduate College for review. If approved, they are forwarded to the Registrar’s Office. This final step of the approval process takes about one week. It is preferable to process course approvals about one year before the semester in which the change takes effect.

Departments and DEOs would be well-served by an evaluation procedure that provides the information necessary to reach the best decisions about adding, revising or deleting courses. Some of the important factors to be considered in the decision making process are as follows.

  • Fit to program, department, and/or college goals and mission: why is the course needed or no longer needed, connection to self-studies, reviews, plans, etc.
  • Appropriate course numbering and fit to course sequences
  • Fit to approved program requirements, Department of Education guidelines, accreditation guidelines, etc.
  • Other program and departmental curricular issues: to be specified by faculty and DEO
  • Description of students who would be served by the course: who needs the course and why
  • Responsiveness to student needs and value to students: what evidence is there that the course will meet student needs
  • Demand for the course: will sufficient numbers of students enroll in the course
  • Adequacy and appropriateness of staffing: what are the qualifications of the persons who will teach the course; what other courses will not be taught if this course is taught
  • Duplication and overlap with other departments, complementarity versus redundancy: for courses that are being dropped, what will be the impact on students in other departments; for new courses, are there other ways that student needs can be met with existing curricula in the college or university
  • Individual faculty, program and department load issues: how does this course fit with faculty development plans, how does it affect load equity issues in the program and department

In general, new graduate courses can be offered initially using an existing course number. If the course is successful and will become part of the recurring curriculum, then the faculty or program can propose a “new” course with its own unique number. A typical new course proposal addresses the most important of the above-listed issues and includes an illustrative syllabus, reading list, and schedule.

As new courses are added or courses are dropped, departments and programs need to review and revise their course scheduling plans so that the needs of students are best met.

(October 2019)