Course Development and Approval

Developing a Course

  • If you wish to develop a new course or revise a course, your first action is to develop a course of study for this new or revised course.  You will need to discuss this with the chairperson of your department.  
  • Review these resources:
  • If you are creating a special topics course, please review the Special Topics Operational Guidance at the bottom of this page prior to submitting a new special topics course.
  • If you are proposing a new course, you must submit it through the CourseLeaf Curriculum Inventory Management (CIM) system for approval.  
  • When uploading a course of study or online statement to a Course Inventory Management (CIM) form, use the following naming conventions:
    • Courses of Study: Prefix and Course Number_Course Title_Mon Year
      e.g. AC 271_Audiences and Media_Aug 2022
    • Online Statements: Prefix and Course Number_OnlineStatement_Mon Year
      e.g. AC 271_OnlineStatement_Nov 2022
    • Blended Statements: Prefix and Course Number_BlendedStatement_Mon Year
      e.g. AC 271_BlendedStatement_Dec 2022

Please be mindful of the FIT Curricular Calendar when developing a new course. 

The workflow for course and program changes is as follows:

  1. The department chair recommends action on behalf of department.
  2. The school dean recommends action on behalf of the school.
  3. The college-wide curriculum committee recommends action.
  4. The Dean's Council approves.
  5. Academic Affairs notifies the chairs and deans of approval.
  6. The registrar reviews action for Banner input.
  7. Banner and relevant catalog pages are updated.

Additional Course Development Information

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 (.docx) 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.)

Review the SUNY General Education Requirements page for information on the new general education requirements. 

See the Undergraduate catalog for listings of courses approved for the old and new SUNY General Education Requirements: 

Core Competencies

All undergraduate degree-seeking students must demonstrate the required student learning outcomes in two core competencies, Critical Thinking and Reasoning and Information Literacy.

If you are submitting a course for Critical Thinking and Reasoning or Information Literacy in the Course Inventory Management (CIM) system,  you must attach the relevant form to your submission:

If you are proposing a study abroad course, please complete the Study Abroad Form.

Keep in mind that it generally takes 10-11 months to develop a new study abroad course. For more information contact [email protected].

FIT encourages faculty to collaborate in the classroom through its interdisciplinary/team-taught teaching program. Through a Memorandum of Understanding, approved in 2014, by the UCE and the Office of Academic Affairs, over ten interdisciplinary, team-taught courses have been created.

Team-taught courses give faculty across departments the opportunity to focus on a multifaceted topic that spans their disciplines, requiring two faculty members to teach in combination rather than teaching independently.

Interdisciplinary/team-taught courses at FIT are “owned” by the authoring team of faculty for the first eight semesters that the course is offered. The courses are only offered in semesters where both members of the authoring team are available and willing to teach them. For programming and student transcript purposes, the courses are cross-listed.

Interdisciplinary/team-taught courses are assessed at the conclusion of each semester in which the courses are offered.  

Through interdisciplinary courses, students are able to participate in specific learning opportunities that draw on different disciplinary perspectives, not achievable through traditional methods. Since establishing a structure for offering interdisciplinary courses at FIT, overall enthusiasm for interdisciplinary formats have flourished.

Current team-taught courses include:

  • MA/FM 329  Predictive Analytics for Planning and Forecasting (Interdisciplinary)
    3 credits; 2 lecture and 2 lab hours
    This course provides students interested in predictive analytics with an understanding of statistical applications to retail merchandising with a focus on case studies from the company Planalytics. Students apply time series analysis to case studies to understand how analytics techniques lead to stronger sales, fewer markdowns and improved gross margins.
    Prerequisite(s): MA 321 and choice of FM 301 or FM 321 or FM 322 or FM 324 or FM 325 or FM 326 or FM 328 or FM 341 or FM 361 or FM 362 or FM 363 or MG 306.
  • HA/PE 210 Devotional Art & Dance of the Indian Sub-Continent and West Asia (Interdisciplinary)
    3 credits; 2 lecture and 2 lab hours
    An interdisciplinary, team-taught course exploring devotional art and dance in India and western Asia. Students learn about devotional practices by studying art and movement practices. Emphasis is on the philosophical aspects and the intersections of art and dance. (G6: The Arts; G7: Humanities; G9: Other World Civilizations).
  • HA/PL 330 Approaches to Fashion Theory (Interdisciplinary)
    3 credits; 3 lecture hours
    Studies theories of fashion from both philosophical and art-historical perspectives. Examines how our relationship to our bodies, our concepts of self, our clothing, and our definitions of beauty are historically and culturally dependent. (G4: Social Sciences; G7: Humanities).
    Prerequisite(s): HA 112 or PL 141 or PL 321 or SS 131 or SS 171.
  • JD/SC 148 The Science of Jewelry (Interdisciplinary)
    3 credits; 2 lecture and 2 lab hours
    This course gives students an understanding of the scientific properties and geologic origins of materials used in the manufacture of jewelry, current issues in ethical and sustainable sourcing of these materials, and economics of the precious metals past and present. Gen Ed: Natural Science (G3).
  • PH/SC 254 Ecology and Photography: Sustainable New York (Interdisciplinary)
    3 credits; 1 lecture and 4 lab hours
    It is an introduction to field ecology, environmental storytelling, conservation, and wildlife photography and videography. Students are exposed to field trips, lectures, and discussion within some of New York’s parks and habitats. Through exploration and personal observations, applied scientific research methods are translated into a series of still pictures and moving images about environmental issues.
  • FA/MC 204 Images of the Mind: Introduction to Chinese Calligraphic Art (Interdisciplinary)
    3 credits; 2 lecture and 2 lab hours
    This is an interdisciplinary course introducing students to Chinese calligraphy. Through guided training students gain knowledge of key concepts, methods and techniques of calligraphy and brush pen writing. Students receive a thorough background in the history of the art form and its significance in Chinese culture, literature and language. (G6: The Arts, G9: Other World Civilization).
  • SC/TD 204 Designing with Emerging Materials (Interdisciplinary)
    3 credits; 2 lecture and 2 lab hours
    An introduction to basic skills and knowledge in science and textile design, enabling design innovation. An exploration of textile concepts and integration of the handmade with emerging materials and technologies. Design-led experimental research with biomaterials, biopigments, nanomaterials, and other advanced materials used to envision and prototype sustainable solutions to real world challenges.
    Prerequisite(s): mathematic proficiency (see beginning of Science section).
  • LD/JD 103 Jewelry and Accessories Fabrication (Interdisciplinary)
    2 credits; 1 lecture and 2 lab hours
    This interdisciplinary course challenges students to combine jewelry and accessories aesthetics, materials and problem solving methodology to create a unique three-piece collection that may include but not limited to sandals, hats, handbags and belts.
  • EP/FD 300 Fashion Design Concept Launchpad (Interdisciplinary)
    3 credits, 3 lecture hours
    In this dynamic forum, students identify new opportunities in the fashion market and create innovative product concepts and business plans through cross disciplinary collaborative partnerships. Focus is placed on apparel and fashion products. Students develop skills and resources as both designers and entrepreneurs, culminating in product design, technical specification, business strategy and pitch for a Launchpad into the marketplace.
    Prerequisite(s): EP 311
  • SS/MC 308 White Gold: Sugar, Power and the Creation of Atlantic Capitalism (Interdisciplinary)
    3 credits, 3 lecture hours
    This is an interdisciplinary course cross-listed with MC 308. In this team-taught course, students study the political and economic implications of the rise of sugar to dietary prominence and the literary representations of this phenomenon. Students examine the human costs of consumer behavior. (G7: Humanities; G9: Other World Civilizations)
  • HA/MA 272 Islamic Art and Mathematics (Interdisciplinary)
    3 credits, 3 lecture hours
    This is an interdisciplinary course cross-listed with MA 272. Students are introduced to the art and architecture of the Islamic world from the 7th century CE to the present. They are given a glimpse into the intertwined nature of mathematical, structural and decorative languages used by artisans and designers in this period. (G7: Humanities; G9: Other World Civilizations)

Special topic formats offer students course options on current developments in subject matter. They serve as opportunities for departments to test content ideas before committing the topic to the permanent course inventory.

At the end of the fall 2017 semester, the Administration and the UCE signed a shared Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on developing types of new course formats to be offered by FIT: special topics and modular/ short term options. Special topic selections from each department or degree program will be organized under a generic 'umbrella' course category identifying the defined field or subject area. Under the category, courses which focus on different topics within a particular field or subject area will be offered as “special topics.” These follow certain guidelines as outlined below and as indicated in the MOU.

A Special Topic:

  1. As special topics (SP) course is organized under a generic 'umbrella' course category, identifying the defined field or subject area;
  2. Is an elective;
  3. Carries the subject area prefix (e.g., PH, FD, etc.);
  4. Can be offered a maximum of three iterations. The Registrar’s Office will track the topic’s offering timeline. Following the third iteration of the topic, if the department chooses to do so, the department submits, through the regular college course approval process, a new course proposal to transition the special topics into a new, permanent course;
  5. Must be approved by the department and respective School but reviewed by the Deans Council and the College-wide Curriculum Committee as an information item only;
  6. Is entered into the digital curriculum system
  7. Requires the department to complete a “Course Creation/Reinstatement” form after the School’s approval is noted in the CIM workflow. The course description of the special topic is attached to this new section and submitted to the Registrar’s Office;
  8. Follows the same process for student and peer evaluations as permanent courses;
  9. Follows the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), Section 39.0, with regard to enrollment, 21.5.7 with regard to course development, and 21.1.4 with regard to  right of first selection;
  10. Can apply to day or evening schedules of regular semesters or abbreviated sessions (i.e., summer and winter); and
  11. Follows the Registrar’s Office for deadlines for course scheduling. Additionally:
    • The Registrar’s Office tracks the topic’s offering timeline;
    • Following the third iteration of the SP, if the department chooses to do so, the department submits, through the regular college course approval process, a new course proposal to transition the special topics into a new, permanent course; and
    • If the department does not choose to make the course permanent, the course will be removed after the third iteration.