UW School of Law > Students > Academic Policies > Curriculum Modification Procedures

Curriculum Modification Procedures

Changes to Course Titles, Descriptions, and Credit Loads

Proposals to change course titles, descriptions, or credit loads should be submitted directly to the Associate Dean for Academic Administration. The proposal should contain the current title, description, or credit load and the proposed new title, description, or credit load. Proposals to change the credit load must include a revised syllabus. Proposals to change the course to a variable credit course must include multiple syllabi indicating how the workload would differ at each credit load, as well as a memo explaining the rationale for having it offered as a variable credit course. Upon approval by the Associate Dean for Academic Administration, the proposal is submitted directly to the faculty for approval. Upon approval by the faculty, the proposal must be approved by the University Curriculum Committee.

The Associate Dean for Academic Administration has administrative authority to revise course titles and descriptions to meet the University’s 19 character limit for course titles and the 50 word limit for course descriptions even after faculty approval of a particular course title or description.

Given the number of levels of approval that must be obtained, proposals must be submitted well in advance of the quarter in which the changes are to take effect. The deadlines for submitting proposed changes to the Associate Dean for Academic Administration are as follows:

  • January 15 for changes to take effect in Autumn Quarter
  • May 15 for changes to take effect in Winter Quarter
  • November 15 for changes to take effect in Spring Quarter
  • December 15 for changes to take effect in Summer Quarter

Source: Faculty Resolution dated October 10, 2002; Administrative Policy

Concentration Tracks

The Associate Dean for Academic Administration has general administrative authority to make changes in the various course requirements and options to satisfy any of the concentration tracks.

Source: Faculty Resolution dated February 8, 2001

New Course Proposals

In order for the Curriculum Committee to operate effectively and in a timely fashion, we ask faculty to review this set of procedures before bringing any matter to the Committee.

Please keep in mind that the Curriculum Committee considers only the question whether a course should be added to the curriculum. The Committee does not have the authority to approve the hiring of a part-time lecturer to teach the course, nor does it determine whether the course itself will actually be offered, and if so, when; those determinations are made by the Associate Dean for Academic Administration.

If you are proposing a new course, or if you seek to have an existing course converted into a mastery course, you should submit copies of your proposal to the Chair of the Curriculum Committee.

If a proposal lacks some of the required information set out below, the Committee will either table it until the information is supplied or approve it conditionally upon the information being provided. The Committee will NOT submit a proposal lacking required information to the Law Faculty for approval.

Deadlines:

For timely consideration, please give proposals for new courses to the Curriculum Committee at least 2 full quarters before you expect the course to be taught. Here is the reason for this requirement: All new courses must be approved not only by the law faculty, but also by the central UW Curriculum Committee (“UWCC”). In order to get approval in time by the faculty and the UWCC, you should get your request to the Chair of the Curriculum Committee by the following dates:

  • January 1 for changes to take effect in Autumn Quarter
  • May 1 for changes to take effect in Winter Quarter
  • November 1 for changes to take effect in Spring Quarter
  • December 1 for changes to take effect in Summer Quarter

Please note that the above deadlines are for fairly routine requests; in controversial cases, even more time may be needed.

If new courses have not been approved by the UWCC, we can still teach the subject matter and give credit to students under B599 Special Projects, but students will not have the specific course shown on their transcript, which is understandably important to them. Other course changes (description changes and credit loading) also need to be approved by the UWCC, but unlike new courses, we will already have an approved course name and description for pre-existing courses and students will get credit for that course under the appropriate name.

Contents of Proposals:

  • I. New Course Proposals and Requests to Cross-List Courses should include the following information:
    • A. Syllabus
      The UWCC requires a syllabus with particular information before it will approve a new course or a course change.
      For this reason, Academic Services asks that course proposals contain such a syllabus with the required elements as the primary document of their proposal, so that their office is not obliged to create a new document or go back to the proponent for additional information. A syllabus need not be elaborate and a proposing faculty member has discretion to modify/amplify the syllabus that was originally submitted so long as it does not substantially change the course, credits earned, and grading system. At a minimum, the Syllabus must contain (1) Course overview and curriculum content; (2) Learning goals/objectives; (3) Evaluation and grading (to include information on expectations for assignments, projects, exams and should include relative % for each area); (4) Course Schedule; and (5) Required Texts, readings, films, website, etc. These are elaborated on below.
      • 1. Course Description
        • a. Length: University limits to 50 words (including prerequisites and joint listings, if applicable).
        • b. Title (if a seminar for which advanced writing requirement will be automatically satisfied, course title must contain the word seminar) (courses will be abbreviated to fill no more than 19 spaces for the transcript). Title is used for indexing in the Bulletin and on the web, so please arrange title with critical terms first. (E.g. "Criminal Procedure, Advanced;" NOT "Advanced Criminal Procedure.")
        • c. Number of credits (may be variable with justifications)(please do not specify here which quarter the course will be taught as that is an administrative function)
        • d. Formal description that you propose go to the UWCC.
          • i. If it is to be Credit/No Credit grading, description must say so (default is to a graded class).
          • ii. Under Law School rules, if the grade will be based on something other than a final exam, the description must say this (default is that grade will be based on final exam). If you will require or allow a paper in addition to or in lieu of a final exam, this must be stated. Further details on evaluation should be included under 3. below.
          • iii. If enrollment is to be restricted in some way, the description must say this and an explanation given (default is to open, unrestricted enrollment unless you state otherwise).
          • iv. If there are prerequisites, these must be stated including their course number, along with whether they must have been completed or may be taken concurrently. If there are courses that are recommended but not required as prerequisites, these should also be stated.
          • v. If students may not take this AND some other course(s), this must be stated and the other course(s) identified by number.
      • 2. Learning Goals/Objectives
        • a. The UWCC wants to know what students are expected to achieve as a result of taking the course. The course description may not include this information in sufficient detail because of word limits. In any event, please include a separate paragraph entitled course objectives explaining what these are. Particular attention should be given to this for summer courses which are aimed at both law students and non-law undergraduates and graduates.
        • b. If you intend that the course you propose is to be required for graduation, you must so indicate and for which entering class it would be required.
      • 3. Evaluation and Grading
        • a. Even if you have included this information in your formal course description please include a separate section, with this title, in which you explain how students will be evaluated. This section should state whether it is to be a graded class or credit/no credit; and how students will be evaluated to arrive at the grade or credit (e.g., final exam only; additional exams, papers, or projects.)
      • 4. Course Schedule
        • a. An anticipated listing of the course meetings and topics.
      • 5. Required Texts, readings, films, websites
        • a. This section should include, at a minimum, identification of the casebook, other textbooks, or list of readings that will be used. Details such as lecture topics by class meeting or assignments would be useful, but these are not required for the UWCC.
    • B. Curriculum Vitae
      • 1. If the course will be taught by a new faculty member, this person's CV is required by the UWCC.
    • C. Supporting Statement
      • 1. State when you hope it can be taught
      • 2. Describe impact on current curriculum (does it replace or supplement other courses? Why do we NEED this course? Are there other courses that can be deleted from the curriculum if this course is approved?
      • 3. Identify the person who is being considered to teach the course.
      • 4. Explain whether the law library collection supports the curricular and research needs of this course.
      • 5. If proposed by full time law faculty, impact on your teaching load should be discussed
      • 6. If you wish a longer course description to go into the Law School Bulletin than the 50 word description set out above, please provide that longer course description here. To save trees, please try to be economical in the length and include only what you believe law students need to know to make intelligent decisions.
  • II. Changes to courses previously approved, such as course content, title, hour loading, course description, abolition:
    • 1. Include the current course number, hours, title, and course description
    • 2. Include the exact changes you wish to make with an explanation of why those changes should be made
    • 3. Include the new course syllabus
    • 4. Please give as much notice as possible before change would have to be effective

Source: Faculty Resolution dated October 10, 2002; Administrative Policy

Last updated 4/26/2012