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 (5 Year Rule)

The University Senate encourages department heads to allow the Office of the Registrar to archive courses that have not been offered in the past 5 years. The courses continue to be stored in the Student Administration System, but they can no longer be viewed and will not appear in the Undergraduate or Graduate Catalog.

A department head can later contact the Curriculum Services division of the Office of the Registrar and have the course restored and ready to offer immediately. No further approval processes will be required.

Use of the 5 Year Rule diminishes students’ confusion when they are planning their program studies. There are many listed courses that academic departments are not able to support. When staffing and resources change, each course will easily be returned to its original status upon request.