Scheduling courses is a lengthy process that needs to begin early in the calendar year. Your assistant can do a lot of the organizing, compiling, and checking for you, but be prepared to do the negotiating that goes along with figuring out who teaches what when! Classes are scheduled two years out, so remember that your task each January is to firm up the offerings for the upcoming academic year and to sketch out as clearly as possible courses for the subsequent academic year. You should check to make sure required courses are in sequence, don’t overlap and that department and program requirements are not in conflict, etc.

Scheduling involves instructors, courses, time slots, and actual classroom assignments. While the Registrar’s Office allows departments a first fling at scheduling time and place, keep in mind that final scheduling of rooms is in the hands of the Registrar, who works within the constraints of limited space. The Registrar will try to respect your preferences, but it may not always be possible to do so.

Scheduling Courses

Following is a detailed description of a scheduling process that, according to chairs and the Registrar’s and Provost’s Offices, works.

  • Next year’s schedule and catalog copy – In March, you will be asked to submit next year’s schedule and catalog copy to the Registrar’s Office.
    • After careful scrutiny of the information by all members of the department, the department assistant will make changes/corrections directly to the course scheduling website. Only the department assistants can make edits to this page. Once it is done, they export it to excel and print it.
    • When you submit the paper copy, be sure that:
      • room preferences, class size and instructor information is included,
      • faculty are not scheduled to teach two courses at the same time,
      • required courses are not in conflict. Be mindful of courses offered by supporting departments or in relevant minors,
      • the writing rich (WR2), IDS, IS and QRE courses have been noted,
      • “extra time” has been noted,
      • sophomore priority has been noted,
      • pertinent course information has been noted,
      • comments pertinent to this course are noted,
      • ACE course designation.

The Registrar’s Office will enter the updated schedule information for next year into the Colleague system. When the Colleague data entry is completed, the Web page maintained by your assistant will be removed from the system and the Registrar’s ENROLL system will be the information of record. Changes can be made by informing the Registrar’s office. Web versions of the catalog will be available in late August.

  • Check with department faculty to determine when and where they want to teach their courses for next year. The Registrar’s Office will provide a packet of information for your use in preparing the schedule and catalog copy for next year (all three terms). Your assistant entered preliminary information into the Registrar’s website last spring which can be printed out for your use.

Following are several suggestions and things for you to think about when planning the schedule for next year:


  • Determine which courses will be offered and during which terms.
  • Be sure to have enough sections of introductory courses, courses necessary for the major, etc. If you hope to add sections, make sure to submit your requests for approval by March 1.
  • Be sure required courses are not in conflict. Be mindful of courses offered by supporting departments or in relevant minors. Other departments’ tentative offerings are accessible at the above named web page.
  • A list of previously used course numbers will be provided. If you are adding a new course, keep in mind that course numbers should not be reused for four years from the last offering.
  • Identify and include Off-Campus Study course offerings. Remember that if most of your majors are on an OCS program, it may not make sense to schedule a senior seminar.
  • Complete new course proposal. New course proposal forms must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office for approval online. We suggest that course descriptions are no longer than 100 words in length.
    • Be sure to indicate overlays (WR2, IDS, IS, QRE and ACE designation), if appropriate.
    • Include how the course can apply to major or minor requirements.
    • Changes to course descriptions, prerequisites, and curricular exploration (but not overlays) must submitted on a new course proposal form.


  • Determine which faculty will be teaching and during which terms.
    • Faculty who teach an “Argument and Inquiry seminar” may also serve as an academic adviser to the students in that seminar. Most faculty who have done this find it makes advising more meaningful. If you can free an instructor teaching a seminar from most major advising (for a two-year stint) that is very helpful.
  • New team-taught courses are unlikely to be approved, but have faculty call Associate Provost David Liben-Nowell.
  • As you develop individual teaching assignments, pay particular attention to avoiding possible pitfalls for junior faculty. Be careful not to overload faculty with too many new or “killer” courses. Be sure to protect untenured faculty from too quick a succession of new courses; allow them time to improve some courses over time, so they will not have to scramble for survival several years in a row. It is particularly important to give young faculty a favorable teaching schedule during their fifth year and the fall of the sixth when they’re being reviewed for tenure.
  • If you are still in the process of hiring at the time of the Registrar’s deadlines, your department will need to decide which courses need to be taught and list them as staff until you have finalized your hiring. The department should only list courses it is sure can be offered.
  • Make sure that faculty have the right qualifications to teach whatever courses you assign them to.


  • The Registrar’s Office adheres to the policy that a maximum of 12% of a department’s offerings can be at each period and no more than 50% can be on either the “A” (9:50-11:00MWF, 11:10-12:20MWF, 12:30-1:40MWF, 1:50-3:00MWF) or the “C” (T,TH 8:15-10:00, 10:10-11:55, 1:15-3:00, 3:10-4:55, MWF 8:30-9:40, 3:10-4:20) schedule. This helps to balance course offerings both for students and for classroom usage. This means that while the Registrar will try to respect your preferences, it may not always be possible to do so.
  • Appropriate meeting times should be determined. EPC (the predecessor of ECC) developed these guidelines several years ago:
    • Late afternoon slots (i.e. 3:10-4:20 MWF or 3:10-4:55 T,Th) should be used only for courses with multiple sections and for non-required courses so that students can participate in sports or musical ensembles, and that
    • Scheduling morning T,Th courses for first-year students should be avoided as much as possible. Students taking introductory language courses meet five days a week on a 70-minute MWF schedule thus creating potential conflicts with two T,Th classes.
  • Note that students who need foreign language five days a week and a science lab one afternoon a week have notoriously few scheduling options. Also many faculty members have found that first-year students have more difficulty dealing with “T,Th” schedule courses than with courses meeting three times a week.

Class Sizes

Check your proposed capacity ceilings for accuracy.  As a reminder, the default class sizes by class level are:

Language Courses:
  • 100 level – 16 students
  • 200 level – 20 students
  • 300 level – 25 students
Most Other Courses:
  • 100 level – 30 students, 25 students in WR2                       
  • 200 level – 25 students
  • 300 level – 15-20 students
Science Courses:
  • dependent upon facilities and equipment
Methods Courses:
  • dependent upon number of majors


  • Information about Classroom Technology can be found on-line on the PEPS website
    Faculty classroom requests are honored if possible, but it is assumed, for example, that if a seminar room is requested, any similarly sized seminar room is acceptable.
  • Faculty should not expect to be in the same classroom if they choose to teach back-to-back periods.

Additional Information

  • Writing Rich Courses – Faculty who wish to offer their courses for the writing requirement should consult with George Cusack, Director of the Writing Program.
  • Sophomore Priority – Sophomore priority courses will give registration priority first to Sophomores, then to First-year Students, then to Seniors and finally to Juniors. College policy dictates that courses offered previously under sophomore priority option must continue to be offered under that option.
  • Extra time – Courses where faculty will require additional meeting times need to be noted.
  • Overlays: QRE (Quantitative Reasoning) IS (International Studies) and IDS (Intercultural Domestic Studies) should be noted.
  • Note courses that should be included as an Academic Civic Engagement course, by noting ACE Applied or ACE Theoretical in the comments section.
  • Proof next year’s hard copy course schedule.
    • A preliminary course schedule will be sent to you by the Registrar after they have completed their data input. Please review the entire preliminary listing to determine whether courses from other departments should be listed as pertinent to your department, program, major or minor.
  • Changes, corrections, additions and deletions to the information should be submitted to the Registrar as soon as possible.
  • Review catalog departmental text and course descriptions.
    • Make changes, corrections and deletions to the catalog departmental text.
  • Compare faculty and term information to next year’s schedule copy before submitting catalog text to the Registrar’s Office.
  • Courses not offered for the last three years will be deleted from the catalog.
  • Any changes to course descriptions (including prerequisite changes) must be made on an online course proposal form.
  • Review your department’s AP and IB policy text, make changes and corrections directly on the paper copy.
  • In April, you will need to determine courses and terms for the year after next year.
    • By May of each year your department should determine which courses will be offered the year after next year and during which terms. For some departments required courses and electives are rotated.
  • Your department assistant will input this tentative information onto the Web for your department.
  • Report any changes, additions, deletions, or corrections to the Registrar’s Office. Please proof all items carefully.
  • The ENROLL program on the Web will have the most up-to-date information.
  • New course approval forms need to be submitted no later than mid-term preceding the term the course is being offered.

Please adhere to the deadlines as requested by the Registrar.


  • Monitor enrollment figures – In February, May and November, you will need to monitor your department’s enrollment figures daily by checking the ENROLL program on the Web. Courses with fewer than six students can be cancelled. If you see a problem developing, contact Associate Provost David Liben-Nowell. Sometimes it is possible to add a section while registration is in progress. Please also monitor enrollments in August to ensure there are enough spaces available in courses for first-year students.


  • Grades are due at the end of each term at the published deadline. The Registrar may enlist your help in contacting faculty whose grades haven’t been submitted. At the end of spring term, senior grades are due no later than the Wednesday before commencement at 8:30 a.m. so that ASC may prepare for its senior review meeting.
  • Reportgrades for Integrative Exercise and major requirements.
    • In April the Registrar’s Office will send out the Integrative Exercise Results and Major Requirements reporting form. You will be asked to report a grade of “S” “NC” or “DIST” for each senior’s Integrative Exercise. You will also be asked to indicate if the senior has:
      • completed all requirements for the major,
      • will complete all major requirements by the end of spring term and which courses they are registered for during spring term to complete the requirement, or
      • will not complete the requirements for the major and which course they will not complete.
      • For off-phase seniors you will be asked for similar information during their final term.


In May, you should assign advisees to faculty members. During the first week of their sixth term, usually spring term, sophomores will be asked to declare their major. The Registrar’s Office will provide you with a list of current advising assignments for faculty in your department to assist you in assigning new advisers. Return advisee list to Registrar, noting new adviser assignments. After all students have declared, electronic advising folders will be reassigned.