Course Approval Process

Because they are 3000 or 4000-level, not General Education requirements, and use regular grading, more than 60% of all undergraduate course changes require only the approval of the academic department and school or college.

The following table shows all approvals required for other courses. General Education courses include all that have been approved to fulfill a Content Area and those that have a skill code of Q or W.

Undergraduate Course General Education Oversight Committee University Senate C&C followed by review of Full Senate
0000-0999 Level NO Only if S/U Graded
1000-2000 Level Only if Gen Ed Requirement YES
3000-4000 Level Only if Gen Ed Requirement Only if Gen Ed or S/U Graded
W or Q or E (any level) YES YES
Content Area (any level) YES YES
S/U Grading (0000-4000 Level and 5000-Level PHRX) NO YES

Because they are 5000 or 6000-level, most graduate course changes require only the approval of the academic department and school or college.

Graduate Course University Senate C&C Committee Graduate Executive Committee
5000-6000 Level NO Only if S/U Graded

Types of Changes

The following types of changes are subject to the approval process outlined above:

  • Add or drop courses
  • Change prerequisites, consents, credits, offering patterns
  • Make changes to title or course description
  • Change course number (guidelines)


A limited number of changes may be made with only the approval of the academic department. Documentation is still required, though this can often be in the form of an email. The following types of changes can be requested in this manner:

  • Archive courses
  • Research and experiential course proposals (see the REC Form available on this site)
  • Corrections and editorial changes*

* Only corrections to errors made by the Office of the Registrar can be made in this manner. Errors in minutes or other documentation submitted to the Registrar can only be corrected with subsequent documentation that includes the corrected information. Exactly what constitutes an editorial change is left to the discretion of the chairperson of the curricula and courses committee of the school or college that offers the course and the Office of the Registrar. Most changes, however, require approval actions.

Course Action Request Workflow Form

All course proposals must be submitted via the online Course Action Request Form. The system is designed to automatically route proposals to the appropriate parties for approval at each step of the process as illustrated in this chart. The online form also provides a way to track the progress of each CAR.

Proposals to add, drop, or change courses are submitted via this form. As approvals are made by the academic departments and schools, colleges, or UICC, notations are made.

If further actions to undergraduate courses are required, the Curricula Action Requests are routed to the General Education Oversight Committee or Senate Curricula and Courses Committee as needed. Approvals made by GEOC are routed to the Senate C&C Committee for further approval. Finally, a report of all of those approvals is presented at a full Senate meeting. All of these proposals are considered fully approved once the Senate has accepted the committee’s report.

Graduate course proposals are routed directly to the Registrar’s Office. If they are requests for┬áS/U grading, they are forwarded to the Graduate School’s Executive Committee for review. When approved, the Registrar enters the change. All other course action requests are processed directly by the Registrar.

Link to the Senate C & C Guidelines.

Syllabi References

The Provost’s Office maintains a website that offers appropriate references for use on undergraduate and graduate course syllabi.

Rules for Certain Types of Courses

Cross-Listed Courses

Adding, dropping, or changing a cross-listed course requires approval by all departments and schools sponsoring a subject area offering of the course. A cross-listed course is a single course (with one identification number in the Student Administration System) that is offered under two or more subject areas. The approval process is otherwise identical to that for any other course.

Special Topics Courses

Adding, dropping, or changing special topics courses is governed by the approval process outlined above. To add a topic to an existing 1000- or 2000-level special topics course, Senate approval is required. New topics for 3000 through 6000-level topics courses require school or college approval if the courses belong to the College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, or are administered by the University Interdisciplinary Courses Committee.

UICC Governed Courses

UNIV, INTD, AIRF, and MISI courses must be approved by the University Interdisciplinary Courses Committee plus any of the additional approvals outlined above if they meet the conditions described above.

Archiving courses

On December 4, 2023, the University Senate approved a recommendation by the Senate Curricula and Courses Committee regarding the archiving of courses that have not been offered in at least four years. The policy is meant to ensure that the courses published in the Undergraduate and Graduate catalog continue to be offered by the University so that students have accurate and up-to-date information when planning their studies. When a course is archived, it is inactivated so that it is not published in the course catalog.

Beginning in the 2024-25 academic year, a course will be automatically archived by the Registrar’s Office if it meets the following criteria:

  • The course has existed in the catalog for at least four years;
  • The course has never been offered, or has not been offered in at least four years;
  • The course is not an experiential or research course, nor any other kind of specialized course “shell” such as a special or variable topics course.


Prior to the start of each academic year, the Registrar’s Office will publish a report of all active courses that meet the criteria for automatic archiving. If a department has plans in the upcoming academic year to offer a course that is otherwise subject to automatic archiving based on these criteria, the course may be excluded from the process with the approval of the department head or designee. Those courses not approved to be excluded will be archived.

If a department plans to offer a previously archived course, the department head or designee may reactivate the course by submitting a request in writing to do so to the Registrar’s Office. If the course is not offered in that academic year, it will become subject to automatic archiving the following year.