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Recommended Guidelines for Writing a Course of Study

The following are recommended guidelines for writing a Course of Study. These have been developed to assist faculty in developing and writing new Courses of Study, and in revising existing ones.

A proposed Course of Study (see Course of Study Template (.pdf)) must include the following information:

  • Suggested course prefix (e.g. FD1XX. "1XX" indicates a first-year course; "2XX" indicates a second-year course, etc... Do not assign any other number)
  • Proposed course title
  • Name of course preparer (author)
  • Department
  • Date of preparation
  • The number of lecture hours per week
  • The number of studio or lab hours per week
  • Total number of credits --Use the following formula to calculate credits: 1 lecture hour = 1 credit, OR 1 studio or lab hour= ½ credit. For each lecture hour, one credit is assigned. For each studio or lab hour, one-half a credit is assigned.
  • Prerequisite(s): course(s) that are required to be completed before this course can be taken
  • Co-requisite(s): include course(s) that are required to be completed at the same time this course is taken
  • Suggested Gen Ed or Minor designation, if applicable
  • Catalogue course description. The description should be a maximum of 50 words.
  • General course description. Lengthier description outlining objectives of course, methodology, and types of materials used in the course.
  • Student learning outcomes
    • Should be expressed as measurable behavioral objectives which can be demonstrated (for example, "upon completion of the course, student will be able to...")
    • Bloom's Taxonomy has examples of appropriate language for establishing student learning outcomes and can be found here: CET's Syllabus and Student Learning Outcomes
    • Course Level Learning Outcomes from Cornell University's Center for Teaching Excellence
  • Recommended required text and/or readings for the course.
  • Grading/method of evaluation and suggested percentage allotment (e.g. midterm 20%, research paper 30%, portfolio 20%, projects 30% -- or other methods of evaluation such as sketchbook, final project, final exam, etc.)

For each unit or area of study, the proposed Course of Study should include the following:

  • Unit title or concepts to be addressed
  • Time allocation of lecture hours and studio/lab hours relative to each unit/area of study
  • Description of material to be covered

At the end of the Course of Study, an up-to-date selected bibliography of texts to assist course instructors, including relevant websites and periodicals (recommended not to exceed 25 entries). (See the Gladys Marcus Library Citing Sources: MLS Guide for correct format for citations.)