Dean's Office contact:  Kevin Mihata or Janet Yale 

The College Curriculum, Practices, and Standards Committee reviews and makes recommendations on all departmental new course and all substantive course change applications. It also carries out initial reviews on new undergraduate major, minor, and degree programs, as well as changes in undergraduate admission and program requirements. It respects the responsibility of departments to shape their curricula, but it acts as required to assure conformity to College and University rules and to coordinate the varied elements in the College curriculum. The Committee may examine issues such as possible duplication of courses; differences among departments offering related courses; space, budget, and other implications of new or revised offerings; and appropriateness of the courses to the department, College, and University curriculum.

The committee also encourages departments to review their curricular offerings in light of the Faculty Senate's Resolution on Cultural and Ethnic Diversity of May 23, 1996: "to ensure the existence of a broad spectrum of courses that contribute to each student's ability to think critically about issues of diversity." The Committee's work requires that full information accompany applications; review will be delayed until that information is provided. Courses and changes approved by the College Curriculum, Practices, and Standards Committee are transmitted to the Curriculum Review Committee of the University for final consideration and approval. Undergraduate Program Changes (majors, minors, admission requirements) are sent to the Faculy Council on Academic Standards for final review. More extensive additional reviews are required for new degree programs. The Committee also reserves the right to review previously approved courses in light of changes in College or University policies and to rescind approval of courses which no longer meet such policies if appropriate changes are not instituted.


Use the "New Course Application" form revised March 1999. You can download the application at the University Curriculum Office web site Submit the signed original to A&S Curriculum, Practices, and Standards Committee, Box 353765. The Curriculum, Practices, and Standards Commitee meets monthly during the academic year. Deadlines for submission are announced annually and are subject to change.

Notification Requirement: If any new course affects the admission or graduation requirements of another department, school, or college, you must notify the affected unit(s) and invite them to submit comments to the College Curriculum, Practices, and Standards Committee. Please attach a copy of the notice to the application.


Heading Information

Prefix and number: Use an existing catalog prefix, unless you have received prior approval to create a new one. The prefix must be no more than 6 characters long, including spaces.

Joint courses: Write the other prefix and number under which the course will be offered. If a course is being offered jointly by more than two departments, write the additional prefixes and numbers in the space to the left of the boxes.

College or School: Arts and Sciences.

Department and Subdepartment: A subdepartment is a curricular unit within a department that offers courses under its own prefix. For example, within the Department of American Ethnic Studies, the subdepartments are Afro-American Studies, Asian American Studies, and Chicano Studies. Leave blank if there is no subdepartment.

The following are the credit codes currently used at the University of Washington:

(5) Course must be offered for 5 credits. Does not allow repeated enrollment for credit

(5, max. 10) Same as above except allows repeated enrollment up to 10 credits per student. Student may apply 10 credits toward a degree.

(3-5) Course may be offered for 3 credits, for 4 credits, or for 5 credits, or course may be offered for 3 to 5 credits with each student, in consultation with instructor or advisor, selecting the desired option. Does not allow repeated enrollment for credit.

(3-5, max. 10) Allows repeated enrollment for up to 10 credits. Student may apply 10 credits to a degree.

(3/5) Course may be offered for 3 credits or for 5 credits, or course may be offered for 3 or 5 credits with each student selecting desired option. Does not allow repeated enrollment for credit.

(3/5, max. 10) Allows repeated enrollment for up to 10 credits.

(-3-) Course is part of a hyphenated sequence. The sequence must be completed before student can obtain credit for first quarter. (Note: a course may be hyphenated to itself or to another course. When a course is hyphenated to itself, a maximum credit must be stated.)

(-3-) Course is part of a hyphenated sequence, but is not first or last in the sequence.

(-3) Course is final course of a hyphenated sequence.

([1-5]-, max.5) Course is part of a hyphenated sequence. Course may be repeated up to a maximum of 5 credits.

(*, max 24) Credit, up to 24 credits, is to be arranged per quarter. Allows duplicate enrollment for a total of up to 24 credits.


Item #1. Purpose of Request

5th Box: If you check "Permanent CR/NC grading only," no section of the course can ever be taught on the numerical grading system. On the other hand, numerically graded courses can be taught CR/NC-only during any quarter, provided the option is shown in the relevant Time Schedule.

6th Box: When an application affects other courses in the curriculum, all proposals should be submitted at the same time. For example, if a new course replaces one or more existing courses, submit both the new course application and applications to drop the existing courses at the same time. The committee will delay consideration of proposals until related changes are received. Although the related applications should be submitted together, the effective date for the drop should be one quarter earlier than the effective date for the new course: a drop should be completed before a new course takes its place. Please do not staple related applications together.

Syllabus (Course Outline): No syllabus is required for a graduate seminar (e.g., a group of supervised students doing research or advanced study). For a special topics course, please provide a list of sample topics, at least one of which is developed in a paragraph or more of description.

For a new course, attach a detailed syllabus and reading list. For a course change that involves increasing credits and/or changing the course number to a higher level (e.g., 300- to 400-level), include a syllabus for the new version of the course, and the old one (if available).

The committee has found that when the syllabus is too short, it is hard to evaluate all the issues necessary to make a decision on the course. Therefore, the committee suggests that each syllabus include a week-by-week schedule (with readings) of lectures, labs, and discussion sections. This should include an explanation of how the labs and discussion sections are related to the lectures. Describe what student work will be used for evaluation (e.g., exams, quizzes, written assignments).

The committee has seen a number of syllabi that base grades on attendance as a criterion. As a general rule, academic grades may not be based on nonacademic criteria. It is not appropriate to base grading on attendance. On the other hand, participation in class discussion may well be a factor in grading, and may be so stated in the syllabus. In other words, grades should be given only on assessment of a student's performance, which may include participation. In certain clinical and laboratory situations, attendance may be a legitimate evaluation criterion, provided learning can be linked to presence in the lab or clinic.


Item #2. Justification

Explain the educational objective of the course. What do you expect students to gain from taking the course? How does it relate to the rest of your curriculum? For example: "The proposed course will offer students in botany, other biological sciences, and related physical sciences an opportunity to assess the historical record of our modern terrestrial flora and contrast our present ecosystems with those of the past. Currently no broadly based course in paleobiology is offered."


Item #3. Catalog Data

General education requirements: Virtually all Arts & Sciences undergraduate courses (except those related to internships, independent study and the like) are accepted toward one or more of the general education areas: Visual, Literary and Performing Arts (VLPA), Individuals and Societies (I&S), Natural World (NW). Check the appropriate space to recommend how your course should be counted toward general education; the College makes the final decision on this matter.

Catalog description: Write in descriptive phrases rather than complete sentences. Stress major themes or topics. Avoid unnecessarily specialized terms, jargon, or slang. The description should outline the academic content of the course, including its major themes, and should be written in the present tense. It should not include information on the format of the course (e.g., lectures, labs, quizzes), papers or exams required, or other such details. Any joint offering must be shown as part of the description.

Example: "MYTH 424 American Mythology, Beginnings to 1900 (5) VLPA, I&S Development of mythology in the United States, beginnings to 1900, including the process of developing a national mythology. Historical evolution of major figures in American mythology. Relationship of mythological figures to social, political, and economic trends in American society. Credit/no credit only. Prerequisite: MYTH 190. Offered: jointly with DREAM 400. Offered: A, W, S."

The description cannot exceed 50 words. The word count begins immediately following the General Education indicators and ends right before the quarters offered. Credit/no credit only, prerequisites and joint status are included in the 50-word limit. Slashed words (e.g., "front/back") count as one word, as do hyphenated words. A course prefix and its number are also counted as one word.

Prerequisites: All prerequisites listed in undergraduate course descriptions are enforced through STAR, i.e., students who don't have the prerequisites are not allowed to register for the course. 300-level and higher courses assume some background in the field, so general prerequisites (e.g., junior standing) need not be stated. If such a restriction is to be enforced, it should be done through the Time Schedule.

Prerequisites must refer to specific courses or groups of courses the computer can check by number, (e.g., "ANTH 200, 350.") Please do not list prerequisites of a prerequisite. For example, if MATH 126 is required, do not also list MATH 124 and 125.

The computer can't count credits. A prerequisite such as "10 credits of 200-level ANTH courses" would not be appropriate. The computer doesn't check for courses that are listed as "recommended." Therefore, more general statements can be made as recommendations.

A department may decide against stating prerequisites for any course. History, for example, provides general guidelines at the beginning of the History course descriptions in the General Catalog. The drawback to this approach is that many students use the online catalog to check one course description at a time, and won't see this information.

Normally restrictions such as "majors only" or "seniors only" are not included in course descriptions. Any wording that appears in the course description is binding for the department. So, a department that includes such restrictions must put them in the Time Schedule every quarter the course is taught. A non-binding statement, such as "Recommended: major standing" can convey the appropriate caveat, while still allowing flexibility in restrictions imposed through the Time Schedule from quarter to quarter.

"Permission of instructor" is not used as a prerequisite in course descriptions because it cannot be programmed into the prerequisite checking system. You can use the Time Schedule worksheet to put an entry code on a course which will require students to obtain permission before registering.

Abbreviated title: This title, limited to 19 characters and spaces, must be comprehensible in the Time Schedule and on transcripts, where it is the only clue to content in the absence of a catalog. The department or program name need not be included since it appears as a prefix to the course number. With a long course title, it is better to abbreviate only the key concepts than to list an incomprehensible set of abbreviations. With a short title, use complete words. Only words that appear in the complete title may be used in the abbreviated title.

Instructors: Include curriculum vitae for any instructors not now on the University faculty or the application cannot be considered.


Item #4. Credits and Hours

Undergraduate Courses

Academic credit is assigned to a course based on an estimate of the total hours of student effort necessary to complete the course satisfactorily, and includes both class hours and hours of outside preparation or other required activity. The following guideline should be followed when assigning credit for undergraduate courses.

One (1) credit represents an average total time commitment of three hours each week in a ten-week quarter, or a total time commitment of thirty hours per quarter, for a typical undergraduate student.

Examples of applying the guidelines follow:

  • 5 scheduled lectures each week and 10 hours per week of reading, exercises, writing, review, etc. (i.e., lecture-based class) 5 credits
  • 2 scheduled individual conference or seminar hours and 13 hours per week of field work, study, writing (i.e., seminar-based class) 5 credits
  • 3 scheduled lectures each week and 6 hours per week of reading, exercises, writing, review, etc. 3 credits
  • 3 scheduled laboratory hours each week, with little or no work required outside class (i.e., laboratory-based class) 1 credit

Credits need not always match contact hours. Nevertheless, the basic credit formula for undergraduate lecture courses is one hour of lecture and two hours of assigned work for each credit hour (or three hours of laboratory with little outside work for each credit hour or two hours of laboratory with one additional hour of outside work for each credit hour). The committee may consider and approve exceptions to the basic credit formula. Examples of such exceptions might include:

  • 3 scheduled lecture hours each week and 12 hours of reading and writing each week. 5 credits
  • 3 scheduled lecture hours each week plus a 1 hour problem solving session, 1 hour of scheduled recitation, and 7 hours of outside work each week. 4 credits
  • 6 supervised studio hours each week and 9 independent hours working in the studio each week. 5 credits
  • 3 scheduled lectures each week during the first 6 weeks of the quarter, plus an average of 6 hours outside study per week for the same period, no scheduled lectures after the first six weeks of the quarter but 9 hours of outside study, field work or writing during the remainder of the quarter. 3 credits

In situations where nontraditional methods of instruction are employed (internships, field work courses, independent study, courses with unusually heavy reading assignments, remote learning, computer-based instruction, or other work assigned outside class), the committee will need additional information to evaluate a proposed credit assignment. Kinds of information most helpful in making a proper evaluation include:

  • A syllabus which describes required student activities in enough detail to allow fair assessment of the probable number of student hours necessary to complete the course satisfactorily;
  • Descriptions of typical student projects, assignments, and/or other activities that will be required;
  • A discussion of how student work will be evaluated (particularly if the required work is largely reading or field work involving little contact with the instructor).

Courses in which contact hours are fewer than credit hours are usually more appropriate at the upper-division level (junior or senior) and graduate level than the lower-division level.

Graduate Courses

At the graduate level, in contrast to the undergraduate level, contact hours are more frequently fewer than credit hours; however, the number of credits assigned to a course or seminar at the 500 level is ordinarily no more than 50% higher than the number of contact hours per week. Normally, this means, for example, a maximum of 3 credits for a course meeting 2 hours per week, 4 credits for a course meeting 3 hours per week, or 6 credits for a course meeting 4 hours per week. Seminars may have more flexibility.

Undergraduate and Graduate Courses

"Other" hours, a category rarely used, must be explained, with such explanation providing a substantive pedagogical justification. Since "contact hours" means hours spent instructing a class rather than one individual out of an entire class, an instructor's office hours should not be listed. On the other hand, if an instructor meets each member of a class individually for an hour each week, that should be listed as "1" under "other" hours.

In some instances, where the number of credits differs substantially from the traditional equivalence, only temporary approval will be given. This is often the case for experimental courses.

Certain uses of credit are considered inappropriate by the College. Among these are the assignment of credit for service performed by students which does not have a strong educational function, credit for study not under the direct supervision of members of the University faculty (aside from established internships and foreign study programs), credit to represent general field experience not associated with supervised course work, and credit assigned to reflect the high cost of a course to the student or the University.

A number of departments have proposed graduate-level courses on teaching. Substantive courses on the teaching of material in individual disciplines will be judged on their merits, using the same criteria as for courses on the subject matter itself, and giving due weight to the desires of departments to include such offerings in their graduate curriculum.

Granting credit for various forms of "practical" teaching seminars and discussion groups presents different issues, especially when requests for multi-year ongoing and not obviously progressive participation is requested, by asking for credit in the form (1, max 6) or (1 max 9). In such cases, the practice of the Committee has been to approve such requests with a three credit maximum.

The Committee, it should be noted, has taken a similar stance with respect to repetitive research practica: once an initial exposure to a research methodology has been achieved, further development is regarded as being part of the dissertation work/training, unless a compelling argument can be made otherwise.

Should a program wish to make a case for a larger number of credits, issues to be discussed will include: the role of the proposed courses in the overall educational program, and the nature and content of the courses themselves. Courses offering different educational experiences may certainly be offered, and it is up to the individual department to ascertain how such courses do or do not lead to fulfilling degree requirements

Item 4c must be completed or the application will be returned.


Item #5. Students

Since courses of 100 students or more normally require additional resources, if you anticipate a quarterly enrollment of 100 or more, you must complete Item #6, either stating the source of additional support or explaining how the course can be supported from current resources. No matter what the class size, include a statement here indicating whether additional resources will be required.


Item #6. Resources

If new resources are required, state both the exact support needed and the source of that support.

When a course is to be added to the curriculum or changed in a way that requires additional resources, the director or chair of the department is required to attach a memorandum which explains how the department will provide these resources. In cases where such resources are not available through the department, the approval of the application is contingent on formal provision of funding through whatever sources the department has at its disposal.


Item #7. Joint Course

When a joint course is created, the department responsible for administering the course submits a New Course Application, signed by the chairs of both departments. If the other department involved is outside the College of Arts and Sciences, that department also submits a New Course Application, signed by both chairs, through the appropriate committee in that college. Both applications must reach the University Curriculum Office before they can be acted on.

When a joint listing is added to a course currently being offered within the College of Arts and Sciences, the department currently offering the course submits a Course Change Application, signed by both department chairs.

However, when the existing course is offered by a school or college other than Arts and Sciences, the Arts and Sciences department adding the joint listing should submit a New Course Application, signed by both chairs. The other department should submit a course change application adding the joint listing, also signed by the chairs of both departments, through the appropriate committee in that college. Again, both applications must reach the University Curriculum Office before they can be acted on.

Justification for offering a course through two departments must accompany each such application.

Joint courses should carry identical numbers following the different prefixes. In those rare instances when identical numbers are not feasible, the numbers must be at the same level (e.g., 432 and 457). Make sure the title, credit, grading, description, and prerequisites are the same for both courses.


Item #8. Other Colleges, Schools, or Departments Affected

If the new course being proposed includes subject matter currently dealt with by any other unit or involves faculty from other units as instructors, the proposing department must obtain signatures from all such units before submitting the application. (This is in addition to the responsibility to notify units whose admission or graduation requirements are affected.) The Curriculum, Practices, and Standards Committee is advised, but not bound, by the recommendations of affected departments, either for or against the course.


Item #9. Approval

The only signature required in this section when the application is submitted is that of the chair of the department.



Use the "Course Change Application" form revised March 99. You can download the application at the University Curriculum Office web site Please use a separate form for each course you are changing, unless the courses were originally proposed on the same form, or the changes are identical. Separate forms are needed if there are different changes for different courses (e.g., multiple title changes).

Submit the signed original to A&S Curriculum, Practices, and Standards Commitee, Box 353765. Course change applications are used for changes to present curriculum offerings. Such changes may involve title, abbreviated title, course number, credits or contact hours, course description, change in grading systems, and dropping a course.

If you are changing prerequisites for a course, and are using a course outside the department as a prerequisite, submit a Course Change Application with the signature of the other department's chair under item 8 (Other Colleges, Schools or Departments Affected).

Notification Requirement. If this change affects the admission or graduation requirements of another department, school or college, you must notify the affected unit(s) and invite them to submit comments to the College Curriculum, Practices, and Standards Committee. Please attach a copy of the notice to the application.



Heading Information

If the course number, prefix, title, or number of credits is to be changed, enter the new data here. See additional notes under New Course Applications.

Item #1. Purpose of Request The "Current Data" and "New Data" columns need to be filled out only for those items that are being changed.

If you are requesting an increase in the number of credits or course level (e.g. 200 to 300), or a substantial change in content, you must attach a course outline and reading list as for a New Course Application. (Please also attach the previous version of the course outline for comparison.)

Item #2 through #9.

See corresponding notes under New Course Applications above.


A proposal to revise an existing undergraduate major or minor program, or to change admission requirements for an undergraduate major, or to establish a minor, goes first to the College Curriculum, Practices, and Standards Committee, then must be endorsed by the Faculty Council on Academic Standards (FCAS) before being sent to the Provost, then the President for final approval.

A proposal to establish a new undergraduate degree program follows the procedures outlined on the enclosed chart.

A proposal for a new undergraduate degree option (e.g., an area of study within an existing degree program that is less than one-half of the total credits needed for the major) follows the procedures outlined in the enclosed chart, but typically requires only cursory state review.

Use UW form 1503 (Revised 1/09) - New or Revised Undergraduate Admission or Program Requirements - to make such proposals. Submit the signed original to A&S Curriculum, Practices, and Standards Committee, Box 353765.

Proposals for graduate degree programs or revisions should be sent directly to the Graduate School, with an informational copy to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

Notification Requirement. If, as a result of the proposed new or revised requirements, a course offered by another department, school, or college will be added or deleted as an admission or degree requirement in your unit, please notify the program(s) and invite them to submit comments to the College Curriculum, Practices, and Standards Committee. Please attach a copy of the notice to this form. This notice must give the other unit an estimate of the change in the number of students for that course. Proposals will not be considered until comments from affected departments are received by the Curriculum, Practices, and Standards Committee.



UWired provides, among other things, assistance to faculty who wish to incorporate technology relevant to the discipline and subject into their courses. They offer a wide variety of services to interested faculty and the committee encourages faculty who are interested in revising their courses to contact them.

The most recent UWired resource for faculty is Catalyst, a web-based, integrated collection of resources, training, tools, templates, and support to help UW educators make effective use of technology in teaching. Catalyst includes a set of on-line instructional practice portfolios so that faculty can see how others have successfully incorporated various aspects of technology such as email, discussion groups, and peer review into their courses. A literature review is included as well as a discussion of the pedagogical issues surrounding the uses of new technologies. Catalyst can be a valuable resource for those who are just beginning to consider the use of technology for teaching as well as those who have been doing so for some time. Catalyst is available using this web address:

In addition to computer-based assistance from Catalyst, around the clock seven days a week human assistance is available at the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology located in the Odegaard Undergraduate Library. Staff at the Center can provide technical assistance to those who already know how they would like to transform their courses. They also consult with faculty who wish to incorporate some aspect of technology into their course but need help in deciding how best to proceed given their discipline and subject. The Center also offers a number of drop-in workshops for faculty, teaching assistants, and librarians who wish to learn basic skills or augment the skills they already have. The UWired home page at provides an easy way to access a current list of these workshops as well as additional information about the Center.

The committee realizes that the incorporation of technology into the curriculum is not for all, and should most definitely not be an end in itself. However, for faculty who feel that some aspect of the emerging technology would help them teach their courses more effectively and thus help their students learn the material, the committee urges you to use Catalyst and the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology as resources to help with any questions or problems.




1. Contact the Office of Undergraduate Education for an overview before beginning the process. This assures the program is on the HECB master calendar as early as possible.

1. None

2. Academic department designs program and makes preliminary proposal to the Dean

2. Letter to Dean (and/or contact with appropriate Divisional dean)

3. Dean discusses preliminary proposal with the Provost

3. None

4. Provost verbally endorses program in discussion with Dean

4. None

5. Dean approves the development of a formal degree proposal from department

5. Letter to department

6. Department submits official proposal to Dean and college curriculum committee

6. a. For new options* within existing programs: UW Form 1503 (New or Revised Undergraduate Admission or Program Requirements)

6. b. For new majors or degrees: Contact the Office of Undergaduate Education for information on required documentation. Requires Higher Education Coordinating Board (HECB) review.

7. College-approved proposal goes to Faculty Council on Academic Standards (FCAS) for review

7. College-approved UW Form 1503

8. FCAS-approved proposals go to Provost for referral to HECB if it is a new degree or major. If it is a new option* within an existing major, the Provost refers to the HECB for agreement that it is a new option* and not a new major. If HECB agrees, the proposal is sent to the President for approval.

8. a. For a new option* within an existing program: FCAS-approved UW Form 1503

b. For a new major or degree otion: FCAS-approved UW Form 1503 and HECB-required documentation

9. HECB-approved new majors within an existing degree go to President for final approval

9. None

10. HECB-approved new degrees go to Regents for approval.

10. None

  • An option is an area of study within an existing degree program that is less than one-half of the total credits needed for the major.



Non-substantive course changes are not reviewed by the Curriculum, Practices, and Standards Committee. Instead, the divisional deans act on these changes.

The categories of changes we consider non-substantive include:

  • Change in title, but not content, for example, from Lilliputian Literature to Themes in the Literature of Lilliput
  • Change in Abbreviated Title, for example, from Lilliput Literature to Themes Lit Lilliput
  • Change in prefix, for example, from SIS to SISLI
  • Non-substantive change in course descriptionThis includes changes made to clarify or update a course description; for example, a change from Readings from the giants of Lilliputian literature, with focus on points usually lost in translation to Readings from the exemplars of Lilliputian literature, with focus on such issues as Lilliputian identity before and after European contact.
  • Change in number at same or lower level, for example, from LILL 426 to LILL 499 -- both at 400-level; or from LILL 343 to LILL 205 -- from 300-level to 200-level
  • Decrease in credits, for example, from (10) to (5).
  • Drop course, dropping any course as long as it doesn't affect another department's requirements
  • Change in joint status, for example, from LILL 555 to LILL/MICRO 555. (Please submit a Course Change Application from each department if joint listing is being dropped.)
  • Change in effective date, for example, changing the effective date for the new course LILL 100 from AUT 99 to SPR 99 after the CPS committee has already approved the course. This change requires a memo from the chair of the department rather than a course change application. Changing a course from temporary to permanent requires a New Course Application, however.
  • Non-substantive program changes, for example, changing requirements for minor in Lilliputian Studies from Three courses from LILL 301, 305, 399, 420, or 440 to Three courses from LILL 301, 305, 399, 420, 440 or 469, as long as the course added is similar to the others.

If you are requesting a change that will affect requirements in another department or the demand for another department's course(s), please get the agreement of the department(s) involved in advance.

Once course changes have been approved at the college level by the divisional deans, they automatically go to the University Curriculum Review Committee for final action.

You can change a prerequisite on the web at, provided the prerequisite is in your department. If the course is taught jointly, please indicate whether the joint department agrees with the change.

To add a prerequisite from outside your department, use a Course Change Application and obtain a signoff from the department involved. Submit original to Kevin Mihata. If you are requesting a minimum grade above 2.0 in a prerequisite, submit the orginal Course Change Application so it can be reviewed by the Curriculum, Practices, and Standards Committee. The application should include a justification for the grade requirement.

Revised 8/01