L&S: Proposing New Courses & Changing Existing Courses

This document provides L&S guidance for proposing a new course and requesting changes to existing courses.


New course proposals and requests to change existing courses move sequentially through three governance bodies: a department committee overseeing curriculum, a school / college curriculum committee, and the University Curriculum Committee. After a proposal has been submitted and department approval is indicated in the online course proposal system, the Letters & Science Curriculum Committee will review the course. The L&S Curriculum Committee and the Dean must approve all new courses and course changes in L&S departments. After the L&S Curriculum Committee indicates approval online, the University Curriculum Committee is notified the course is ready for review.

Course proposals must be submitted through Lumen Courses (you can also it in the Lumen widget in MyUW).

Liberal Arts and Science Courses

In addition to reviewing course proposals for all departments and centers in the College of Letters & Science, the L&S Curriculum Committee reviews all university courses requesting the L&S breadth designations. The committee also reviews proposals from non-L&S departments seeking approval for "Liberal Arts and Science" (LAS) credit. When requesting breadth and LAS designations, the course proposal will prompt the proposer to describing how the course meets L&S "Criteria for Liberal Arts and Science Courses" or to consider the question, "Criteria for L&S breadth course designations ".

Contact person: Kimbrin Cornelius coordinate course proposal review for L&S. Please contact her at kimbrin.cornelius@wisc.edu if you have questions or need further guidance. It will also be helpful to understand how course proposals are reviewed, and expectations of L&S staff and Curriculum Committee when reviewing the proposals: [Doc is unavailable at this time.]

Syllabus. Does the submitted syllabus...

Course Description. Is it....

  • Free of information that has an ‘official’ place in another field?  (e.g., credits, title, requirements it meets, etc.)
  • Up-to-date?
  • Broad enough that it will accurately reflect the course through the next several offerings? (e.g., free of overly specific information like meeting times or assignments)
  • Aligned with the general advice on course descriptions provided by the University Curriculum Committee?
A reminder: undergraduate students tell us they use the course title and description when deciding whether to enroll in a course.

Prerequisites will be enforced on the course by the Registrar's Office. Are the prerequisites. . .

  • Included on all undergraduate courses that have an intermediate or advanced level? (See course criteria for level designations)
  • Enforceable?  Inclusive of all possible prerequisites, including those from other departments? Aligned with other campus guidelines on prerequisites?
  • Articulated in such a way that graduate students will be able to enroll, if they are an expected audience?
    (Graduate students are unlikely to have taken undergraduate prerequisite coursework on campus, and may be blocked if only undergraduate courses are included. Adding "or graduate or professional standing" can help with courses numbered under 700. For courses numbered 700+, departments may wish to articulate 'recommendations' in the course description if the prerequisite courses are most likely to have been taken as an undergraduate at another institution.)

If the course has Graduate Attribute because undergraduates and graduates are assessed separately...

  • Does the proposal/syllabus include information about how students are assessed separately, and make clear that the work/assignments for the graduate students have higher, graduate-level rigor? (Read more about campus policy regarding the graduate course attribute)
    • In particular, does the syllabus include both separate learning outcomes and separate assignments/work for undergraduates and graduates?
  • Does the course have prerequisites that allow graduate students to enroll? (See more information about this above, in the 'prerequisites' section.)

Consultation with other departments:

  • L&S does not receive proposals until all cross-listed departments have approved the course.
  • The L&S Curriculum Committee expects departments to consult with other areas offering similar/related courses, especially for new proposals. Departments should add appropriate departments via the course proposal system; this will allow the L&S Curriculum Committee to see the right departments have been consulted.
Please contact Kimbrin Cornelius at kimbrin.cornelius@wisc.edu with any questions.

See Also:

Keywords:course proposal, change course, new course, propose, curriculum, change, new   Doc ID:19984
Owner:Kimbrin C.Group:L&S Administrative Gateway
Created:2011-08-25 13:26 CSTUpdated:2019-10-30 14:12 CST
Sites:L&S Administrative Gateway
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