New Course Proposal Process


This document describes the process to be used by EECS faculty who would like to create a new course in the school.




The faculty proposer should submit a detailed course syllabus along with a new course proposal document. See end of document for instructions for Special Topics courses.

The syllabus and course proposal document are to be reviewed and approved by (in the following order):

  1. The chair of the appropriate curriculum committee, for initial review. This step is initiated by the course proposer.
  2. The full membership of the curriculum committee, after initial review. This step is initiated by the course proposer.
  3. The Associate Heads for Undergraduate and/or Graduate Programs, as appropriate. The chair of the curriculum committee routes the documents to the appropriate associate head(s).
  4. The school head. The chair of the curriculum committee routes the document to the school head.
  5. The Curriculum Proposal System. After the review steps above are complete, the faculty proposer will be notified by the chair of the curriculum committee. ** The EECS Program and Assessment Assistant will enter information into CIM (the university’s curriculum proposal system) for the course proposer.

In addition to standard information (course title, credit hours, etc.) the syllabus should contain:

  1. A set of measurable student learning outcomes,
  2. A description of how learning will be evaluated,
  3. A description of how a student's final grade will be determined, and
  4. Other comments regarding grading expectations, typical grade distributions, whether a curve or straight scale will be used, etc.

A syllabus template is available at

Points that should be addressed in the course proposal:

  1. Explain the need that the course fills in EECS and/or elsewhere.
  2. What is the expected enrollment and how often should the course be offered?
  3. If a similar course has been offered as a special topics course:
    1. A history of enrollment in the special-topics version of the course, and
    2. How the proposed course differs from the special-topics version (if at all).
  4. Which faculty, other than the proposer, are suitable and available to teach the course?
  5. What are the appropriate cross-listings?
  6. Will any special actions be needed in order to accommodate the new course number?

The EECS Course Proposal Form is accessible at

Typical Timeline

The initial review by the curriculum committee can take anywhere from 1-2 months, but it can take longer if the faculty member’s proposal for the course is incomplete, vague or otherwise unsatisfactory. After the course is submitted to CPS, approval can take anywhere from 2-3 terms. Note that this process generally moves forward more slowly during the summer term; some stages of the CPS process involve reviews by faculty who go away during the summer. In short, it is wise to have a draft syllabus approximately one year prior to the first offering of a new course number. 

Special Topics Courses

The process for proposing a special topics course is intentionally less formal than the process for permanent courses described above. In this case, the faculty member should prepare a standard syllabus but it is not necessary to describe learning outcomes, how learning will be evaluated, how final grades will be evaluated, or other aspects that may be determined during the first offerings of the course.

The approval for special topic courses follows the first few steps listed above for permanent courses, except school head approval is not needed and the CPS submission is not necessary. The process in total takes only 1 term or less.

A course may be offered as a special topics course up to 3 times. ** A formal course proposal must be completed before the 4th offering of any special topics course.