Committee on Courses of Instruction
Policies and Procedures
- General Procedures
- Authority of Academic Senate Committee on
- The Approval Process
- Types of Proposals Needing Senate Committee
- Modifications to a Course Approval
- Requests by Memorandum
- Establishment of Courses
- Level and Emphasis in University
- Scope and Organization of Courses (including
- Course Specifications
- Course Title and Description
- Course Classification and Numbering
- Credit for Courses
- Mode of Grading
- Summer Sessions Offerings
- Expanded Course Description (ECD) Format
- General Education (GE) Certification
- Requests for Approval of Appointment of Associate
Instructors to Teach Upper Division Classes
- Grading Variances
- UC Policy on Minimum Class Size
Outlined below are policies and procedures developed by
the Davis Division of the Academic Senate Committee on Courses of Instruction
pertaining to the development, modification, and cancellation of courses
offered by departments and other academic units on campus. In considering
course requests, each College Committee on Courses as well as the Senate
Committee will be guided by the policies described below, recognizing,
however, that unusual circumstances may justify exceptions.
- GENERAL PROCEDURES
- The Regents have delegated to the Academic Senate responsibility for
authorization and supervision of courses of instruction (Standing
Order of The Regents 105.2-b); in accordance with this delegation, the
Davis Division Committee on Courses must approve all courses or
changes in courses offered on the Davis campus, including University
Extension courses yielding credit, before they may be taught or
information regarding them be announced in any University catalog,
schedule, or other publication. Approved courses are subject to the
Committee's review at any time.
- Departments, divisions, sections, programs, and other units offering
courses (hereafter, the simpler term "department" will be used to
refer to any of these units) may initiate requests for approval of new
courses or changes in existing courses. Requests must be submitting
via the Online
Course Approval Form.
- All requests, except for course cancellations, must be
accompanied by an expanded course description.
- The Remarks section of the online form is crucial. It should
provide a brief rationale for the request, and in the case of
change(s) to an existing course, it should summarize the
change(s). In a case in which a package of several related
requests is submitted, a "cover letter" consisting of remarks
applying to the package as a whole can be placed in the Remarks
section of one of the courses, with the Remarks sections of the
remaining courses simply referring the reader to that of the first
- Each request is reviewed by the dean and the appropriate
agencies of the department's school or college.
- Following dean's-level approval, graduate course requests are in
addition reviewed by the Graduate Council's Subcommittee on
Courses. A graduate group course request must be signed by both
the instructor's department and graduate group chair.
- Approved course requests are forwarded to the Senate Committee
on Courses of Instruction for final action.
- The criteria regarding whether a proposal
needs Committee approval are as follows.
Changes that require Committee approval include:
- Prerequisites, except addition or deletion
- Course title, number, and unit value
- Transfer of course from one academic unit to another
- Catalog description
- Mode of grading
- Any change in learning activity (e.g., substitution of term
paper for discussion section, use of a virtual discussion section,
or substitution of Web notes for lectures) must be approved by the
Committee on Courses before it may be listed in the Class Schedule
and Room Directory. (Departments should keep this requirement in
mind when planning learning activities for new or amended
courses.) Courses with the flexible learning activities
"extensive writing or discussion" (W-D) or "term paper or
discussion" (T-D) do not require special approval when opting for
one or the other, but the department should notify the Office of
the Registrar of their decision as far as possible in advance of
- Changes in the course which affect its General Education status
(e.g., decrease in length of writing assignments below 5 pages in
a block, deletion of material related to social-cultural
Changes that do not require Committee
- Quarter, semester or session.
- Modification of a Course Approval Request
- Courses that have been recently approved may be modified by memo
under very limited circumstances (e.g., minor clerical error,
change in effective date).
- The approval of a new course will not be held up in cases where
further information about the proposed GE designation is needed.
The Committee on Courses may subsequently change or add the GE
designation for the course without the submission of an additional
Online Course Approval Form.
- The department submitting the request will be notified of any
- Requests by Memorandum
- Requests for approval of courses numbered 92, 98, 99, 192, 198,
199, and 396 should be made by memorandum to the college or school
Courses Committee with a copy sent to the Senate Committee on
Courses of Instruction. Electronic mail submissions are also
Course 396 requests should be made by memorandum to the
Committee on Courses of Instruction (see Section III. B., "Course
Classification and Numbering" for descriptions of courses with
these numbers). Electronic mail submissions are also acceptable.
Note: these requests need to be approved at the college level
- Changes to prerequisites resulting from revisions of courses
included in the current prerequisites may also be made by
memorandum to the college or school committee with a copy to the
Committee on Courses of Instruction. For example, renumbering of
courses in an introductory physics sequence results in a different
physics course being appropriate as a prerequisite.
- ESTABLISHMENT OF COURSES
- Level and Emphasis in University Courses
- A University course should present an integrated body of
knowledge, with primary emphasis upon elucidation of principles
and theories rather than upon development of skills and
- Courses of the type normally required for admission to the
University and those taught by vocational schools should not be
offered for credit. The University does, however, have use for
courses in which development of skills and techniques is
emphasized for the following reasons:
- As a necessary and integral part of professional training
accomplished in courses which comprise a recognized
- As a means of learning, analyzing, and criticizing theories
- Scope and Organization of Courses (including cross-listing)
- Without seeking to determine educational policy or infringe upon
departmental judgement regarding course content, the Davis
Division Committee on Courses of Instruction will employ the
following criteria in evaluating course requests:
- Each course should have a clear and important place in the
department's curriculum, either filling a gap or strengthening
the program without duplication or needless overlap.
- There should not be a proliferation of courses, nor should
course content be so limited, specialized, or narrow in scope
that it could be better incorporated into others.
- The content of each course should represent a unified and
integral body of subject matter.
- When proposed new courses include material generally recognized
as falling within the province of another department, the
Committee will consult the related department regarding the
proposed course, the instructor, and any undesirable overlap of
course with their offerings. Course requests coming to the
Committee can avoid delays if a statement outlining the results of
consultation on overlap with related departments is included in
the Remarks section of the Online Course Approval Form.
- Requests to cross-list courses will require strong
justification, in the Remarks section of the Online Course
Approval Form, which shows that cross-listing is preferable to
traditional means of simply requiring or recommending a course
offered by a specific department, program, or graduate group.
Any combination of such units may request cross-listing. It
must be shown that the course cannot be presented without a
significant commitment of resources from each of the cross-listing
units. Expanded course descriptions should be reasonably detailed,
specifying the obligations of the units involved in the
presentation of the course. The specific conditions that must be
met for the approval of cross-listing courses are:
(Please note that B.3. was revised 4/99)
- Course approval forms must be submitted at the same time by
the collaborating units. These proposals must be identical in
all respects except for the three-letter identifier (subject)
code (and the course number if a common number is not
- The course proposed for cross-listing must be integral to
all of the cross-listing programs.
- The course proposed for cross-listing must:
- Be regularly taught collaboratively by the units, or
- Be regularly offered by the cross-listing units in
- Be offered by an instructor who is a member of all the
units that wish to cross-list, or
- Be regularly supported through a significant commitment
(e.g., equipment, TAs, staff assistance, etc.) by the
- COURSE SPECIFICATIONS
Much of the information required in the Online Course Approval Form
will be included in the General Catalog listings of approved
courses. In preparing the form, departments should adhere to the following
- Course Title and Description
- The course title should be in English and should be brief and
- A description of the course of no more than 40 words should be
included unless the course title is fully descriptive of the
- The use of identical titles for courses offered by different
departments (excluding honors, tutorials, directed group study,
special study, seminar, and research courses discussed in
paragraphs III-B-4, 5, 6, 7, 10, and 14 below) should be avoided.
- If two or more courses offered by one department have identical
titles, they must have different descriptions.
- The preferred course designation and numbering for courses which
cover a broad general subject area but have different sections is
"Topics in ____" with A, B, C, etc., used to indicate the
individual course segments. These section titles should be listed
on the course approval form and will appear in the General
Catalog and on the students' transcripts.
- Course Classification and Numbering
- UC Davis courses are classified and numbered as follows:
- Lower division courses are numbered 1-99.
- Upper division courses are numbered 100-199.
- Graduate courses are numbered 200-299. Courses in the 200
series are designed to help students develop as scholars,
researchers, and creative artists, with the potential to
create new knowledge in their fields. Courses have a strong
foundation in the theory, methods and principles used in
research or in the production of scholarly or creative
works. Courses focus on understanding and assessing
the current state of knowledge, on research and creative work,
and on methodology, as appropriate considering the nature of
- Professional courses for teachers and courses intended for
TA training are numbered 300-399. Courses in the 300 series
are designed to help students become teachers and educators.
Courses address problems and challenges facing educators and
focus on methodology in teaching, research on teaching, and
current teaching practices. Courses may
emphasize the development of clear written and verbal
communication skills. Courses designed to educate graduate
students as teaching assistants should be numbered 390.
- Other professional courses (e.g., Law, Medicine) which
emphasize material appropriate to a specific professional
curriculum are numbered 400-499. Courses in the 400 series
are designed to help students become practitioners in their
fields. Courses prepare students for critical analysis of
problems and the use of theory to solve problems in
professional practice, other than teaching.
Course may emphasize aspects of the profession such as ethics,
presentation skills, and information gathering techniques.
Ordinarily, the content of professional courses is guided by
requirements imposed by an appropriate extramural
- Any change from upper to lower division (or vice versa) requires
a description of the changes in course content which justify the
change in numbering. This information must also be provided for
proposed changes from graduate to undergraduate (or vice versa).
- The suffix "N" should be used when an existing course is being
cancelled and a course with a different content is to be given its
number. When a department believes students will no longer be
affected (after a minimum of four years), a request can be made to
the Office of the Registrar to remove the "N" suffix.
- A laboratory course associated with another course should be
identified by an "L" added to its course number (e.g.,
Biochemistry 101 and 101L). Courses in sequence with "A" and "B"
designations should also use the "L" to indicate a parallel
- A lower division course which gives an overview of a field of
study for nonmajors should be numbered 10. Normally, this number
should be reserved for this purpose.
- Lower division seminar courses should be similarly numbered
90-91 or 93-96. Upper division seminar courses should be numbered
190. If more than one course of this type is offered, the
additional numbers 191, 193, 194, 195, and 196 may be used. Lower
division seminars consisting of special topics examined in a small
group setting are numbered 90X; upper division equivalents are
numbered 190X. Undergraduate seminars which function as research
group conferences should be numbered 190C. These courses are
limited to one unit of credit and are to be graded P/NP only (no
grading variances are permitted). 190C courses may be repeated for
- Certain variable unit courses for groups of lower and upper
division undergraduates are to be numbered 98 or 198,
respectively, and given the title "Directed Group Study." These
designations are reserved for courses whose content is not
specified to any degree from one quarter to another.
- Lower division individual undergraduate special-study courses
are numbered 99 and titled either "Special Study for
Undergraduates" or "Independent Study." Similarly, upper division
courses are numbered 199 and titled "Special Study for Advanced
- A special study course for an honors program should be numbered
194H and titled "Special Study for Honors Students." This type of
course is open only to honors students. Additional similar honors
courses are to be numbered 195H-196H but each course should have a
separate title. A regular course having special requirements for
honors students must be identified in the course description and
designated by both the regular number and the honors number (e.g.,
165, 165H) or be listed as two courses.
- Internship courses should be numbered 92 or 192. Internships
should have a substantial academic component. They are intended to
provide students with an in-the-field educational experience as a
complement to their traditional academic study.
- Special variable unit courses in which advanced students may
receive credit for tutoring other undergraduate students should be
numbered 197T (Tutoring). Tutoring in the community should be
- Graduate seminar courses are numbered 290 and titled "Seminar"
when the general subject varies from quarter to quarter. Graduate
seminars which function as research group conferences should be
numbered 290C, limited to one unit of credit, and graded S/U only
(no grading variances are permitted). All 290 courses may be
repeated for credit.
- A seminar in which the area of study is variable but restricted
to some broad subsection of the general field should be given a
number in the 291-297 range (preferably the lowest one available).
The course title should indicate the general limitation in the
field of study (e.g., Pomology 291- Seminar in Postharvest
Physiology); titles for such courses need not include the words
- A seminar course which has the same general content each time it
is offered should not use "Seminar" in its title. The fact that it
is a seminar can be conveyed in the course description.
- Graduate courses that involve variable-subject group study but
are not conducted as seminars should be given the number 298 and
the title "Group Study."
- Special study or research courses for individual graduate
students are to be numbered 299 or 299D. Normally, 299D should be
reserved for students who have advanced to candidacy and who are
involved in dissertation research.
- Generally, courses 92, 98, 99, 190C, 192, 197T, 197TC, 198, 199,
290, 290C may be repeated for credit when the subject matter
differs. All other courses that may be repeated for credit should
indicate this in the catalog description.
- For single lower division auto-tutorial courses, the letters AT
should follow the course number, e.g., 15AT; for sequential lower
division courses, such as the Spanish 1 series and the Religious
Studies 31 series, the following number and letter arrangement
must be used: Spanish 1ATA, 1ATB, 1ATC. Because only five
characters are provided on the transcript for recording course
numbers, the following number and letter arrangement should be
adopted for sequential upper division courses: 101AT, 102AT,
- "Teaching Assistant Training Practicum" courses should be
numbered 396. Such a course is intended for use by active
teaching assistants. It is a variable-unit course, allowing
registration for 1 to 4 units. The Prerequisite is graduate
standing, and the course is to be graded S/U only. Departments may
request the creation of such a course by memo to the Committee on
- Credit for Courses
- Units of credit are assigned to courses based on the "Carnegie
rule" which specifies one unit of credit for three hours of work
by the student per week. Usually this involves one hour of lecture
or discussion led by the instructor and two hours of outside
preparation by the student.
- Normally two hours of laboratory or studio time (plus an
hour of outside preparation) are required for each unit of
credit. Proposals for these courses will require assurance in
the expanded course descriptions that the Carnegie unit
standard is being followed.
- If the number of lecture or discussion hours specified in
the General Catalog is less than the number of units of
credit assigned to the course, some form of additional
non-classroom work, such as a substantial term paper, is
required of the student. Requests for courses with fewer
contact hours than the number of units awarded (e.g., a 4-unit
course that meets three hours per week) must be accompanied by
- Repeating a course for credit: Normally a given course
cannot be taken a second time for degree credit. When a course
offering is designed to allow for substantial changes in
content (typically, these are "topics" courses) it may be
repeated for credit. These circumstances should be explained
in the Remarks section of the Online Course Approval Form.
The number of times a course may be repeated for credit must
be specified in the form in the course description and will be
published in the General Catalog description.
- The approved credit range for variable unit courses is as
||1-2 or 1-4
||1-2 or 1-4
- A department may offer more than one section of a group-study
course (198 or 298) during a quarter. Unless the course
description states otherwise, a student may receive credit for
more than one section of a 198 or 298 course in the same quarter.
- Senate Regulation 762, "Credit in Courses," states, "No student,
by merely performing additional work, may receive upper division
credit for a lower division course or graduate credit for an
undergraduate course. Related courses may share lectures,
laboratories or other common content but must have clearly
differentiated and unique performance criteria, requirements, and
goals." On occasion, it may seem desirable for different but
related upper and lower division courses or different but related
upper division and graduate courses to share some lectures,
laboratories, or other common content. (In no case may an
identical course be given credit at both levels.) A request for
such an arrangement may be approved by the Committee only if
accompanied by strong justification which clearly shows that the
courses in question have differential goals and requirements as
evidenced by the activities of both the students and the faculty
- The prerequisites for a course must be approved by the Committee
on Courses. The enforcement of prerequisites is the responsibility
of the instructor and the department.
- If no prerequisites are stated for a lower division course,
it is understood that the course is open to any matriculated
student whose standing is appropriate for the course.
- Consent of instructor is an implied prerequisite for any
individual study course and need not be listed.
- The Regulations of the Academic Senate specify that ordinarily
the minimum prerequisite for any upper division course is junior
standing or completion of at least one lower division course in
the same department. Upper division courses may be listed in the
General Catalog with no stated prerequisite if this minimum
prerequisite is sufficient. Ordinarily, it is not necessary to
state "Consent of instructor" as a prerequisite.
- When a two- or three-quarter sequence course is designated by
the same number and is shown as a single listing (e.g., Design
160A-160B-160C), each is presumed to be prerequisite to the one
that follows unless the contrary is stated. When each course is
listed separately (e.g., Economics 100A and Economics 100B), one
course is not considered prerequisite to another unless
specifically mentioned in the prerequisite list.
- Mode of Grading
The Committee may request additional information on grading
procedures where nonstandard teaching practices and/or assignments are
involved. As options to the usual letter grade system, the following
approaches may be used, as appropriate:
- For undergraduates--P/NP (Passed/Not Passed). Grading in
undergraduate variable unit courses shall be on a P/NP only basis
unless approval for letter grading in specific cases is requested
by the department and given by the Committee. (Note: grading
variances are not permitted for 190C.) A proposal to grade a
regular course on a P/NP basis only must be approved by the
Committee. A letter grade variance for 198
courses may be granted when the certain minimum criteria are met.
- For graduate students--S/U (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory). With
the consent of the appropriate department or graduate group and
approval of the Graduate Council and the Committee on Courses of
Instruction, the grades assigned in specific graduate courses may
be S/U only. Regulations of the Davis Division also specify that
290C, 299, 299D courses shall be graded S/U only.
- For the School of Medicine: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory.
- Deferred grading: In general, requests for deferred grading will
be considered only for sequential courses and only where it is
difficult or academically inadvisable to assign grades for each
quarter of the sequence. Such courses should carry the designation
"deferred grading" in the course description.
- The qualifications required of persons responsible for courses
or assisting in them (including readers) are specified in
paragraph 750 of the Academic Senate Regulations. Any exceptions
must be approved by the Committee on Courses.
- A request for course approval may be denied if it does not list
the name of a qualified instructor or contain a statement to the
effect that the University budget includes a provision for
- SUMMER SESSION OFFERINGS
Courses approved for offering during the regular academic year may be
offered in a summer session without further approval from the Committee on
Courses provided that there are no changes in the course specifications
other than an appropriate adjustment of class meeting hours per week or a
change of instructor. The number of such a summer session course is the
same as for the regular session course, with the addition of the prefix
EXPANDED COURSE DESCRIPTION*
In order to facilitate the work of the College and Divisional Courses
Committees, every request for approval of a new course, restoration of a
course, or substantial revisions of an existing course must be accompanied by
an expanded course description. This expanded course description should
include at least the following information.
- COURSE GOALS. Provide a brief statement of what the
course is intended to accomplish.
- ENTRY LEVEL. Explain what subject background and/or
courses the student should be familiar with in order to comprehend the
material presented in this course. Also indicate if the student should
have upper or lower division standing in a specific area (e.g., upper
division standing in biological sciences). Indicate if a course is
intended for majors or non-majors. State or explain special restrictions,
prerequisites, and requirements (e.g., senior honors students only; or
second-year standing in the School of Veterinary Medicine; or completion
of the Subject A requirement; or proficiency in a foreign language or
computer programming language).
- TOPICAL OUTLINE. Provide a list of major topics to be
covered in the course. It is recognized that the specific combination of
topics may vary to some degree from quarter to quarter and from instructor
to instructor; this list should include those topics most likely to be
covered in all offerings of the course.
- GRADING PERCENTAGES AND COURSE REOUIREMENTS. Explain
the basis for determining grades. Note the relative weight of components
of the course (as percentages) in assigning the final grade (For example,
"Letter grade based on homework 15%, midterm 15%, project 20%, laboratory
25%, final exam 25%.") The Committee generally is reluctant to approve
weights which are unusually high, say 50% for a final exam or 25% for
Specify the length and type of written assignments or projects. (For
example: Research paper of 10-12 pages in length; eight 3- to 4-page
essays; programming project requiring approximately 25 hours; lab and
field project over 80 hours.)
Explain grading procedures in cases where nonstandard teaching
practices and/or assignments are involved.
If the course is to be graded P/NP (undergraduates) or S/U (graduate),
a statement about how these grades will be determined must be provided.
This statement is not required for the following courses: 98, 99, 198,
199, 290, 299.
- READING. List the text(s) and/or some of the key
readings that will be required. A full bibliography is not necessary.
Where applicable, indicate films and audio tapes used, or computer use.
- EXPLANATION OF POTENTIAL COURSE OVERLAP. Any
significant overlap between this course and others (whether or not offered
by the same teaching unit) must be listed and justified, by citing
significant differences in prerequisites, emphasis, depth of coverage and
If no overlap is foreseen, this should be explicitly indicated.
- GENERAL EDUCATION DESIGNATION. If the course is
intended as a GE course, additional information is required. See Guidelines for GE Designation of a Course.
One copy of this expanded course description should be submitted with the
request for course approval. The "Remarks" section in the Online Course
Approval Form should be used to explain special grading procedures,
discrepancies between course units and contact hours, and other procedural
matters, rather than to duplicate material in the expanded course
*These are minimum guidelines. College level committees may require
GENERAL EDUCATION (GE) CERTIFICATION OF A COURSE
The Representative Assembly of the Academic Senate passed legislation in
the fall of 1995 which establishes new General Education requirements for all
UCD undergraduates, effective in the 1996-97 academic year. In brief, the new
Davis Division Regulation 522 redefines General Education as having three
components: topical breadth, social-cultural diversity, and writing
The new legislation also charges the Committee on Courses of Instruction
with the responsibility for certifying all courses that will fulfill the new
GE requirements and assigning each certified course to one or more of the
three GE components.
Departments and programs that wish to propose an existing
course for GE certification should send a brief memorandum to the Committee
that explains the requested change. Submission of a new Online Course Approval
Form is not necessary; however, the current Expanded Course Description of
the course must be submitted along with the memorandum. Departments and
programs that wish to propose a new course for GE
certification must submit an Online Course Approval Form and an Expanded
Following the clauses of Regulation 522 defining the three components of GE
(in italics) are guidelines for their implementation.
- H. A course in the topical breadth component is
characterized by the following features:
- It addresses broad subject matter areas that are important to
a student's general knowledge.
- It takes a critical, analytical perspective on knowledge,
considering how knowledge has been acquired, and the assumptions,
theories or paradigms that guide its interpretation.
- It requires readings from a range of theories.
The three topical breadth subject matter areas are 1) science and
engineering, 2) social sciences, and 3) arts and humanities. An upper division
course with a relatively specialized focus may receive a GE certification when
it deals with principles or paradigms that have broad implications. Some
courses with a heavy "applied" emphasis may not be given GE certification. In
cases where a given course bridges two or more of these general areas, the
department or program should recommend which of the above three subject matter
areas seems most appropriate. When a sufficient claim can be made that a
course should be certified in more than one topical breadth area, this will be
- I. A course in the social-cultural diversity component is any
course that deals with issues such as race, ethnicity, social class,
gender, sexuality, or religion.
To be certified as meeting the diversity requirement, a course must have a
substantial emphasis on issues, topics, or perspectives on race, ethnicity,
social class, gender, sexuality, or religion that have been traditionally
under-represented in programs of study. Analysis of the effects of race,
ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality, or religion on interactions among
people must be central and essential to the course content and
goals. A description of how the course meets this guideline must be
included in the expanded course description. (Revised February 12, 1998.)
- J. A course in writing experience normally requires a minimum of
five pages of writing in a block, which will be evaluated not only for
content, but also for organization, style,use of language, and logical
coherence. The Committee on Courses of Instruction may, however, approve
for General Education Credit some other form of satisfying the writing
requirement if, in its judgment, the alternative meets the goals of
encouraging students to think critically and communicate
The Committee will make exceptions to the strict interpretation of this
requirement when it can be shown that alternative writing assignments meet the
spirit of this provision. In all instances where it is recommended that a
course be certified in this category, please explain briefly the nature of the
writing assignment(s) involved. Additional specific policies are as follows:
1. The five pages of writing stipulated in the legislation is interpreted to
be 1500 words. 2. Writing experience courses must be in English. 3. Poetry
courses will not satisfy the writing experience requirement unless there are
prose writing assignments as well. The legislation allows a given course to be
certified under more than one of the components described in (H), (I), and (J)
above. For example, an upper division course in Geology that requires an eight
page term paper could be certified as meeting both the topical breadth in
science and the writing experience requirements.
Additional Committee on Courses Policies
- Topical Breadth and Social-Cultural Diversity GE courses must be at
least three units of credit. Writing GE courses may be two units of
credit. (Revised 3/27/98)
- GE courses may be either lower or upper division courses and they may
- Mode of grading must be letter.
REQUEST FOR APPROVAL OF APPOINTMENT OF ASSOCIATE INSTRUCTORS
TO TEACH UPPER DIVISION CLASSES
Approval must be obtained from the Committee on Courses of Instruction
prior to the appointment of Associate Instructors (also known as "AIs" or
"Associates-In") for upper division courses. In order to avoid delays in
approval, the following guidelines should be followed:
- Letter of request-The letter should note the course to
be taught and briefly describe the academic qualifications and relevant
background of the person being recommended as the instructor. If the
individual has been approved to teach the course previously, this should
- Curriculum vitae-A current CV is helpful in most cases.
If it appears that the CV may not fully support the claim of academic
qualifications, an explanation should be given in the letter of request.
- Evidence of teaching ability-Summaries of teaching
evaluations, if available, should be enclosed. If the candidate has
served as a teaching assistant for the course he/she is to teach, this
evaluation summary would be particularly helpful. In most instances, it
is not necessary to send the evaluations themselves. In cases where this
material appears to indicate marginal performance in some area(s), an
explanation should be given. When teaching evaluations are not available,
the letter of request should offer other information concerning teaching
Use of AIs to teach upper-division courses is intended as a temporary
remedy to short-term staffing shortages. The Committee strongly discourages
departments or other teaching units from routinely heavy reliances on AIs for
upper-division courses, and may deny requests in such cases.
Undergraduate variable-unit courses are graded on a Passed/Not Passed basis
unless a request for a specific variance is received and approved
by the Committee on Courses of Instruction. Committee approval is
also necessary to change the grading of those variable-unit graduate courses
which are graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory and those which are
letter-graded. The Committee will forward approved variances to the Office of
the Registrar. Approval is not automatic.
In every request for a grading variance, the instructor must provide the
For variances from a P/NP or S/U grade to a letter grade the instructor must
also provide the following:
- The course number, section, course title, term, and CRN.
- An explanation of the reason for the request.
- Assurance that the tests, assignments, papers, and other classwork
required of the students are comparable to the work done in regularly
- A description of an appropriate basis for determining letter
Requests for grading variances may be made in one of two
- Before the class meets.
Requests must be received by the Committee on Courses before the first
In addition to the items mentioned above, the instructor must submit a
copy of the course syllabus, in which it is stated explicitly that the
mode of grading will be other than that listed in the General
Catalog and (if the course is listed as P/NP or S/U) that each student
have the option of reinstating the original grading mode in the following
way. By the usual P/NP (or S/U) deadline (the 25th day of instruction)
the student must take a copy of the syllabus to the Office of the
Registrar and file a 'Grading Variance Exception' petition there. Grading
variance exceptions cannot be made through RSVP.
- After the class has met.
Requests must be received by the Committee on Courses by the fifteenth
day of instruction. In addition to the items mentioned above, a list
containing the students' names and signatures must be appended to the
request. All students enrolled in the course must indicate (by signature)
their agreement with the change in the mode of grading from that stated in
the General Catalog.
If the course is listed as P/NP or S/U, the agreement must note that
each student has the option of reinstating the original grading mode in
the following way. By the usual P/NP (or S/U) deadline (the 25th day of
instruction) the student must take a copy of the syllabus to the Office of
the Registrar and file a 'Grading Variance Exception' petition there.
Grading variance exceptions cannot be made through RSVP.
UC POLICY ON MINIMUM CLASS SIZE
The Academic Senate Office receives a number of calls each year asking for
guidance on the University's policy on minimum class size. Although this
matter in not within the purview of the Committee on Courses, this information
is provided here as a convenience to departments. The full account of the
policy on minimum class size norms is available in President Hitch's 3/14/73
memo to Chancellors (available in the Senate Office). What follows is an
excerpt of the key points.
|Minimum class size norms for lower division courses:
|Minimum class size norms for upper division courses:
|Minimum class size norms for graduate courses:
Exceptions to these norms may be allowed in certain circumstances,
- The course is required for the degree and cancellation would delay the
graduation of students who wish to enroll.
- The course is required for the degree and it must be offered at a
specified time in order to maintain a proper sequence of courses.
- It is a new course and the enrollment potential remains to be developed.
If enrollment in a class falls below the norm for two successive
offerings, it should only be offered again after review and serious
consideration by the department chair.
These policies do not apply to independent study, research courses, or
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Last Modified: 1/08/00