University of Minnesota
College of Liberal Arts Office of Undergraduate Programs

College of Liberal Arts Office of Undergraduate Programs

Contact Information

Nanette Hanks
Assistant Dean for Curriculum

115 Johnston Hall
101 Pleasant St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Proposing New CLA Courses

New course proposals for undergraduate and graduate courses are reviewed by the college's Course Review Committee, the Assistant Dean for Curriculum and the Campus Curriculum Committee. In order to ensure a complete and thorough review, the Committee asks that proposals be submitted according to the following instructions:

  1. Complete all fields for new course proposals in the Electronic Course Authorization System (ECAS).
  2. All new course proposals, with the exception of new topics courses, must upload a student-ready syllabus into ECAS, and email a PDF or Word version to Nanette Hanks.
  3. If the undergraduate course is designed to meet any of the Twin Cities liberal education requirements and/or writing intensive, complete the appropriate portion(s) in ECAS. Refer to the detailed descriptions of liberal education and writing intensive requirements for additional information. Please note that a course must be approved by the college before it can be reviewed by the Council on Liberal Education and/or Campus Writing Board.

Following is additional information on the fields to be completed in ECAS.

  1. Number of credits
    Indicate reason if requesting variable credits in the “Editor Comments” dialog box.
  2. Number of contact hours
    Give a detailed explanation in the “Editor Comments” dialog box if proposing more or less contact hours than required by standard University policies; i.e. 1 credit equals approximately 1 class hour (50 minutes). A writing intensive course should not have fewer contact hours without a compelling reason.
  3. Semester prerequisites
    Courses and/or criteria necessary prior to beginning the course.
  4. Highest level of consent required
    e.g., department or instructor permission.
  5. Course description
    350 characters maximum.
  6. Multiple designators or cross-listing
    Proposing units must make a compelling case on programmatic grounds that multiple designators are necessary. Indicate any cross-listings in the “Editor Comments” dialog box.
  7. Student learning outcomes
    Demonstrate how course content assesses and measures at least one of the University's identified undergraduate student learning outcomes.
  8. Please provide the following details in the syllabus as applicable:
    • Evaluation standards and workload
      How will students be evaluated in this course?
      What is the expected student workload?
    • Multiple level courses (e.g. 1xxx/3xxx, 3xxx/5xxx)
      If this course will be a multiple level offering, please include the following—
      1. Why is it necessary to offer this course at more than one level?
      2. How will course requirements and evaluation standards for students registered at different levels be differentiated?
    • Graduate student workload for 4xxx and 5xxx courses
      If this is a 4xxx or 5xxx level course, please specifically describe how the evaluation standards and workloads will differ for undergraduate and graduate students.
    • Objectives and topics
      Please describe the objectives of the course and the main topics or themes that will be covered.
  9. Under the section labeled Strategic Objectives and Consultation
    Please provide the following—
    • Name of department chair approver
    • Explain how adding this course improves the overall curricular objectives of the unit
    • Whether or not the unit considers this course to be part of its core curriculum
  10. Consultation with other units
    In order to prevent course overlap and to inform other departments of new curriculum, circulate proposal to chairs and/or Directors of Undergraduate or Graduate Studies in relevant units and follow-up with direct consultation. Please summarize response from units consulted and include correspondence. By consultation with other units, the information about a new course is more widely disseminated and can have a positive impact on enrollments. The consultation can be as simple as an email to the department chair, DUS or DGS, informing them of the course and asking for any feedback from the faculty.