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Format for Course Proposals

Course proposals fall into four main categories:

New Courses
Revisions of Existing Courses
Courses to be Offered via Distance Education
Competencies Across the Curriculum (for General Education)

The format for each is described below.


Below is an outline of the format to follow when preparing a new course proposal for approval through the curriculum process at KU.


DEPARTMENT OF (complete for your department) ______________
COLLEGE OF (complete for your college) _____________________

Suggested Course Prefix(es) and Number Level: _____________
(indicate level followed by XX [Example: MAT 3XX] or you may suggest a number [Example: Suggested Number 315])

I. Course Description: Course Prefix, Number and Title

    • A succinct description of the course content must be written. This is what will appear in the University Catalog, so it should not be long. Avoid verbosity, but use complete sentences.
    • The number of semester hours of credit granted, clock hour , and prerequisites must be included at the end of the description. These may be placed on the same line following the end of the description or on the next line.

(Example: 3 s.h. 3 c.h. Prerequisite: MAT 171)

    • Semester hours (s.h.) refers to the number of academic credits a student receives for the course. Clock hours or Contact Hours (c.h.) refers to the total number of hours per week the student spends in the classroom in contact with the professor.

II. Course Rationale:

    • The rationale should indicate the reason(s) for the development of the course and its inclusion in the curriculum and, where appropriate, the relationship of the proposed course to the other courses in the curriculum. Show why this course is important.

III. Course Objectives:

    • These objectives should be written in such a way as to reflect the desired outcomes from the course as observed in student behaviors (see Writing Course Objectives). Objectives must indicate demonstrable learning expected of the student for the successful completion of the course.

IV. Assessment:

    • Provide a list of the instruments that will be used to assess students' achievement of the course objectives. Be as complete as possible. (See Assessment for examples.)

V. Course Outline:

    • The course outline should provide sufficient detail so that course content can be determined from the outline.
    • Be consistent (numbering, lettering, upper and lower case, etc.) throughout the outline.
    • Use traditional outline format (using an alternating series of numbers and letters, indented accordingly, to indicate levels of importance).
    • Do not include any information that would "date" the syllabus as being for a particular semester or as being taught by a particular instructor.

VI. Instructional Resources:

    • A list of instructional resources supporting a proposed course must be provided with 50% or more of these resources being housed in the KU library.
    • When appropriate, resources should be as recent as possible.
    • Be consistent as you list the resources. For example, if you use APA Format, use it throughout.
    • If available, put the call number by the book. This is NOT required. However, it may be helpful to others in the future (UCC person who is checking your resources, a colleague in the future who is now teaching the course and seeking to revise it, etc.).
    • As with all resources, when listing electronic media, refer to the publication manual of the format you are using.

NOTE: Please use no smaller than a 10-point font (12-point preferred) and one inch margins. Also, please make back-to-back copies in order to save paper. Members of the University Curriculum Committee Executive Committee are available to answer questions or help you with this course formatting process. Click HERE to e-mail the UCC Chairperson.


To revise an existing course, follow the directions on the Cover Sheet. Check the box(es) appropriate to the revision(s) being made. Depending on the revision(s), you may need to attach a copy of the old syllabus, a copy of the new syllabus, a summary of request memo, and/or a full descriptive rationale. The right-hand column of the cover sheet indicates which have to be included.


According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, Article 42.E.1, there are certain "criteria" to be applied in approving distance education courses. Accordingly, a proposal for offering an existing course via distance education must include a descriptive memo that includes information about those criteria, namely,

1. a qualified instructor
2. use of suitable technology as a substitute for the traditional classroom
3. suitable opportunity for interaction between instructor and student
4. suitable evaluation of student achievement by the instructor
5. the integrity of the evaluation methods used

For more information about the criteria and examples of appropriate, previously-approved language, click HERE.

Attach this memo to the Cover Sheet, checking box (b). After obtaining approval from the originating department, send the proposal directly to the UCC. (The routing procedure is more fully described HERE.)

In order to offer a new course via distance education, the course itself must also be approved through the usual process (approval by the department, by the interdisciplinary program committee [if applicable], by the college, by the Council for Teacher Education [if applicable], and then by the UCC, with a full syllabus attached). The request for distance education can be included with this proposal by also checking box (b) on the cover sheet and attaching the memo described above.