Academic Scheduling and Catalog

Late each January, chairs and directors will be asked to prepare their department’s or program’s Schedule of Classes and update their Catalog copy. You should first review the principles and direction of the Office of the Provost. On this page we will discuss guidelines and practical matters that build upon the information provided by the Provost. If you have questions about the Academic Scheduling process, please contact Ann May in the Registrar’s Office.

To find out more about making Catalog Changes, visit the Catalog Preparation page.

Schedule of Classes

Every March, departments and programs are asked to provide a detailed schedule for the upcoming year and a proposed schedule for the year after that. Departmental Administrative Assistants will be able to add this information to the proposed schedule site for each department. Shortly after the upcoming year’s schedule is completed by the Registrar’s Office, that schedule will be deleted from the Tentative Schedule site and the next year’s schedule information will become available.

If you are making changes to your courses or proposing new courses for the coming year, this is when you should submit those changes via our course proposal forms. Course numbers should not be reused for four years from the last offering. If the course requires Extra Time or has an ACE component, please note that on the new course proposal form. Also indicate if the course may apply to majors or minors. 

When constructing your schedule of classes, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Consider enrollment patterns and the five course workload; not everyone in a department can have a one course term in the same term.
  • Keeping in mind the recommended times for A&I seminars, departmental offerings must be spread over all class periods with a maximum of 12% in each period. This allocation will balance courses 50% on the MWF schedule, and 50% on the TTh schedule (refer to minutes of EPC January 25, 1983 for discussion of these guidelines.) Deviations from this, or use of the 5,6a period (1:50-3:35MW) option, will require approval of the Associate Provost. 6a courses must have multiple sections and 5,6c courses cannot be required courses unless they have multiple sections.
  • Remember that each course may only meet one area of our Curricular Exploration graduation requirements.
  • Be sure to note overlays (WR2, QRE, IS, or IDS) that apply to particular course sections. If you have multiple sections of courses, please be sure the overlay codes are correct for each of them. Courses may have multiple overlays, but may not be both IS and IDS. Changes to overlays require a Course Proposal Form.
  • Be sure to indicate sophomore priority sections. College policy dictates that courses offered previously under sophomore priority option must continue to be offered under this option. Your list of previously offered courses shows the sophomore priority courses with a reg restriction of RGC.FRSO.
  • Courses requiring Extra Time should be noted as such on your schedule copy in the Comments section. This may also be noted in the catalog description. “Extra time” may include additional scheduled class meetings, Service Learning components, evening film screenings, etc.
  • Language departments offering courses In Translation should note this in the Comments section.
  • Please identify courses that should be included as an Academic Civic Engagement course by noting ACE Applied or ACE Theoretical in the comments section.

As a reminder, the default class sizes by class level are:

Course Type100 Level200 Level300 Level
Language Courses16 Students20 Students25 Students
Most Other Courses30 Students/
25 for WR2 Courses
25 Students15-20 Students
Science CoursesDependent upon facilities and equipment
Methods CoursesDependent upon facilities and equipment

See the standard class timetable

Standard lab times are: 

  • M 8-12 or 1-5 (occasionally 2-6) 
  • T 8-12 or 1-5 (occasionally 1:30-5:30) 
  • W 8-12 or 1-5 (occasionally 2-6) 
  • TH 8-12 or 1-5 
  • F 8-12
  • 2 credit PSYC/CGSC/NEUR labs meet 12:30-3:30 or 1-4 or 2-5


Please let us know if a member of your department prefers a particular classroom. Available classroom equipment can be accessed via the PEPS website. Instructors who choose to teach consecutive periods should not expect rooms in the same building.

Most classes are assigned to a room from a general pool of classrooms that are scheduled by the Registrar’s Office, and usually at the point of building the schedule of classes. Due to space constraints, classrooms are generally assigned based on previous enrollments, using that number rather than the class size assigned by the College.

Some departments need specific classrooms, especially in the sciences, and those departments coordinate among themselves how to appropriately schedule their shared spaces, then report the results to the Registrar’s Office for scheduling. 

We review classroom usage by enrollment at least three times each term to ensure enrollments are abiding by fire code capacities. If a section has outgrown its room, we will work to find them a new location.


Under the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, Carleton is required to make available a list of all assigned textbooks and required course materials by the time of registration for that term. Please be sure to respond promptly to requests by the Carleton Bookstore to help students budget and plan accordingly and to keep us in compliance with this regulation.

Argument and Inquiry Seminars

A&I seminars are designed to introduce first-year students to the meaning and value of a liberal arts education, as well as to how scholars ask questions, and find, use, and evaluate information effectively and ethically in constructing arguments. Students satisfy the WR1 graduation requirement by successfully completing an A&I seminar, and thus all such courses are expected to meet the guidelines for a writing-rich course. These courses offer students other important opportunities, including working on critical reading and thinking skills, engaging in classroom discussion, and collaborating with their peers and professor.

Due to the continued increasing demand to teach A&I seminars, chairs and program directors must notify Associate Provost of their interest, the range (minimum number and maximum number) of sections their department or program could potentially offer for 2022-23, as well as proposed instructors and seminar topics. The deadline for this is usually the second Monday in February.

ECC recommends that A&I seminars be offered on the MWF schedule whenever possible. When not possible, TTh courses offered in the afternoon are preferable to morning offerings; one morning T/Th course “knocks out” two MTWThF morning slots, creating scheduling problems for first-year students in language courses.

An A&I instructor may serve as the academic adviser to the students in their seminar. Most faculty who have done this work find it makes advising more meaningful. Once a seminar has been decided and settled in the catalog, it would be very helpful if departments can free the instructor from most major advising.

Prior Credit Policy

Review your department’s current prematriculation (AP, IB, PSEO, etc) policy and revise if necessary. This information will be included at the end of your department’s catalog copy in the Google doc.