New Course Submission Guidelines

A proposal for a new course requires:

  • Subject Code and Number:  UCalgary courses are classified and numbered as follows:

    100’s and 200’s – Junior courses
    300’s and 400’s – Senior courses
    500’s – Upper level undergraduate courses (some graduate courses may be numbered 500)
    600’s and 700’s – Graduate courses
    The use of 800 level course numbers requires the permission of the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and must be renewed each year.

  • Course Title: The course title should be concise and clearly describe the course. For the purposes of the Schedule of Classes and the student’s Transcript of Record, course titles must not exceed 33 characters (including spaces between words). 
  • Course Description: These should be no longer than 30 words (or approximately 4 lines).

    They should accurately reflect the course content and to remove redundant or superfluous phrases or statements. Detailed information regarding how the course will be taught should be reserved for the course syllabi. Some example phrases which should be omitted are: “This course …”, “An introductory course in …” (usually evident by course number), “...will include lectures, literature review sessions and a self-directed project … “ (more suited to the course syllabus) 

  • Course Weight and Contact Hours: We are transitioning to a unit system to match People Soft. A half-course equivalent course will be now 3.00 units. A full-course equivalent will be 6.00 units. Therefore, instead of H(3-0), use: 3.00 units (3-0) or F(1.5-1.5S) would become: 6.00 units (1.5-1.5S).

    The following are guidelines for determining units:

    6.00 = full course (more than 39 hours/term)
    3.00 = half course (3 lecture hours/week; or 39 hours/term)
    1.50 = quarter course (less than 39 hours/term)
    0.75 = eighth course (10 hours/term)

    We use a vector to describe the distribution of the contact hours. From left to right, the following applicable information is entered: lecture, seminar, lab, tutorial.  The lecture and labs are represented by a number only (e.g., 3-2). The seminar or tutorial is represented by S or T, which are always capitalized:  3S-0; 3-1T.

    Whenever a course in the course description specifies that it is a seminar course, that should be reflected in the contact hours by the use of a seminar, rather than a lecture.

    The definition of the components:

    • Lecture:  A discourse given before an audience upon a given subject, for the purpose of instruction.
    • Laboratory:  Students perform experiments, are doing research or a project related to the class.
    • Tutorial:  A period of individual instruction given by an instructor to students, either singly or in small groups to go over assignments, ask questions and prepare for exams.
    • Seminar:  A professor and a small group of students that meets for systematic study.
  • Prerequisites, Corequisites and Antirequisites: It is important to write prerequisites/corequisites/antirequisites to be clear and avoid any misinterpretation.  As an example, a course with the prerequisite written as: “Philosophy 329 or Business and Environment 561 and Computer Science 429.” This can be interpreted two ways – one of Philosophy 329 or Business and Environment 561 required with Computer Science 429 OR Philosophy 329 required or both Business and Environment 561 and Computer Science 429 required. It usually works best to state the required course(s) first and then if there is a choice to be made precede that with “one of”. The above example should be written as either: Computer Science 429 and one of Philosophy 329 or Business and Environment 561 OR Philosophy 329 or both Business and Environment 561 and Computer Science 429.

    Where it will help clarify, use semi-colons to separate groups of courses. For example,  Geology 313 lists as its prerequisite:  Geology 201; Geology 202 or 203; Chemistry 201 or 211; Chemistry 203 or 213; Mathematics 253 or 283 or 267 or 277 or Applied Mathematics 219; Physics 223.

  • Notes: These are for information only, such as a recommendations or suggestions.  They are not enforceable in the student system.
  • Grading: Unless stated otherwise, the assumption is that a course will be graded and included in GPA. If this is not the case include notes such as: NOT INCLUDED IN GPA or This course is graded CR/F. See F. Academic Regulations for more details on the grading systems.

    A recommendation not to use letter-grades in a course must be presented to Calendar and Curriculum Subcommittee at the same time as all other changes. This decision may not be made by a department or an instructor after the publication of the Calendar. This is necessary in order to protect students who are not allowed non-letter graded courses for their degrees from unknowingly registering in such courses.

Other Course Information

  • Cross-listed Courses: Two courses from different teaching units that carry the same title, description and number. Any proposed changes to such courses must be included in the Calendar submissions from both academic units. One or both of the units offering a cross-listed course has the right to request discontinuation of the cross-listing. Cross-listing of topics courses is not permitted, due to the structure of topics courses and the lack of institutional oversight.. Cross-listing is indicated on the transcript of record. Example: English 381 (Linguistics 381) The History of English.

    The general principal established by GFC some time ago is that courses should only be cross-listed on pedagogical rather than territorial grounds.  That is both units should be involved in the teaching and evaluation of the course.  Simply requesting cross-listing to show a program of study is not normally permitted.

    Cross-listed courses CANNOT be decimalized. Any proposed changes in such courses must be included in both faculties’ submissions to CCS. One or both of the units offering a cross-listed course also has the right to request discontinuation of the cross-listing at any time.

  • Concurrently Offered Courses: It is not necessary to include concurrently offered information in the Calendar description of the course, as it is strictly a scheduling issue.

    Two or more courses that may carry different numbers, titles, and descriptions and sometimes prefixes that are offered at the same time in the same classroom.

    It is understood that there is a pedagogical advantage of having two different groups of students interacting with each other to enhance the educational experience. Teaching units are permitted to offer multiple courses in the same room, at the same time, with the understanding that students will have different assignments and examinations depending upon the course in which the student is registered. If this is not taking place there is a need for only one course to be offered to different groups of students. The Calendar and Curriculum Subcommittee and/or the Registrar’s Office when presented with such concurrent offerings will not only require approval from the Dean(s) of the teaching faculty(s) where different but may also require proof in the form of course outlines to show the different assignments and examinations.

  • Topics Courses: There are two types of topics courses: formal and informal.
    • Formal topics courses have the topic titles listed in the calendar  (for example, see Art 661). The topic course cannot have their own course description or prerequisite. The “mother” course can have a course description and prerequisite. The faculty cannot add new topics to a formal decimalized course whenever they wish – they must be submitted as a change and go through the formal approval process and are treated like regular courses. 
    • The informal topics courses do not have the topics listed in the calendar  (for example, see Art 605) and, consequently, the faculty can add new topics as they wish – they only have to be timetabled. They have “MAY BE REPEATED FOR CREDIT” printed under the prerequisites and notes.

Formal topics courses never have the MAY BE REPEATED FOR CREDIT added to them. Only the informal topics courses have that statement. The formal topics courses, would have the titles listed in the body of the course description

Courses at the 200 level are not allowed to be topics courses. 

Effective Fall 2011, courses at the 300 level can never be informal topics courses - only formal topics courses. Any existing 300-level informal topics courses to remains, but the creation of new ones will not be allowed.

PeopleSoft can enforce prerequisite, corequisite or antirequisite rules only when a formal topics course is involved. For informal topics courses, this information may be included, but there is no power in PeopleSoft to stop students from violating these rules. 

  • Block Week Courses: Block Week courses are offered for five days prior to the start of Fall and Winter terms. These are for senior courses only. For more information, see B.6 Block Week Courses in the Academic Regulations section of the University Calendar.
  • Pre-Session Study: Courses in the Spring and Summer may require students to complete some work prior to the first day of lectures. Registration for these courses closes early to allow students time to complete the work.