Planning a course

Before you propose a new course the CRC reminds you to be sure that your course does not cover the same material as another course in the curriculum. Courses are proposed in the Course and Catalog Manager. When planning a new course you’ll be asked about the following course elements:

Course Title & Long Title

You’ll need both a full (long) title for the Catalog and a 30-character title for the transcript.

Catalog description

No more than 1000 characters, and it will be in plain text with no italics.

Primary Subject Code

This will be the primary subject code of the course. Your faculty primary department/program will auto-fill.

Course Type & Level

You will need to indicate if the course is General Fall/Winter full semester, a Short Term course, or a First-Year Seminar. Further, you will then select an appropriate level for the course.

With the exception of the first-year seminars, all of which are open only to first-year students, the course number indicates the level of the course. 

  • 100-level courses are introductory and open to first-year students.
  • 200-level courses are intermediate and may be open to first-year students.
  • 300-level courses are designed for juniors and seniors.
  • 400-level courses represent specialized work for senior majors.

Short Term courses are numbered as follows:

  • s10-s29 usually have no prerequisites, although they may require instructor permission.
  • s30-s39 normally have prerequisites.
  • s40-s49 are designed primarily for majors.
  • s50 is the designation for independent study.

Enrollment Restrictions and Caps

Enrollment limits are automatically determined by the selected course type and level, consistent with the following guidelines.

  • 39 or higher for 100-level access courses
  • 29 or higher for 200-level non-access courses
  • 29 or higher for 300-level non-seminar courses
  • 15 or higher for 300 or 400-level seminars or courses
  • 25 for W2 courses
  • 30 for Short Term courses

If you request a lower enrollment limit than suggested by these guidelines, you must provide a justification on the course proposal form. Pedagogical or curricular reasons for lower or higher limits should be discussed with your chair before you submit your proposal.


You need to choose an instructor for the course, even if it’s yourself.

Schedule Type

This is where you would select if the course is a Lecture, Lab, etc.

Curricular Purpose & Course Designation

You will be asked to consider the role of your course in the college curriculum, by indicating Course Designations, Recommended Background (not Pre-Requisites), and any GECs you might wish to add the course to.

More information regarding the Bates General Education program may be found in the “Academic Program” section of the Bates Catalog.


For W1, first-year seminars, and W2 courses, please review the guidelines for writing attentive courses at For W3 courses, consult with your department/program chair. Plan your Writing designations accordingly, and check the W1, W2 or W3 checkbox on the course proposal form. If selected, you will also need to fill out narrative justifications for the selected Writing Designation. In the process of course approval, the Writing Committee will review your request.

Modes of Inquiry
Check any modes you intend your course to be designated with. For each selected mode, you will be prompted to select justifications. Modes of Inquiry will be reviewed by the CRC as a part of New Course proposal approval process.

General Education Concentrations – GECs
Your course may be an important contribution to one or more GECs. To request inclusion in one or more GECs, contact the appropriate GEC Coordinator(s). To view the GECs in detail go to

Crosslisting & Pre/Co-Requisites

You will be asked to indicate prerequisites, co-requisites, equivalents, or indicate if you wish to cross-list your course. Pre-requisites should be indicated in the requisites card as free-form text, to be converted by the Registrar for the catalog upon course approval.

Cross-listing is optional and requires approval of relevant chairs. You will be prompted to fill in the secondary subject code, and should also fill in the second department or program for that subject code.

Narrative description and materials

You will be asked for a list of likely topics or a narrative description of the course as well as anticipated materials such as books, music, etc.

Anticipated and Additional Materials

You will be able to indicate if you would like to request additional material books, music, video, computer software/hardware or other items.

Humanities Librarian: Marianne Williams
Social Science Librarian: Christine Murray
Music and Arts Librarian: Christopher Schiff
Science and Data Librarian: Peter Schlax
For computer software or hardware please contact the Helpdesk:

Particular equipment or classrooms must be specified here as well. Vehicles for off-campus trips that may dictate class size should be clearly described and your itinerary must be included in your course description.

Community-Engaged Learning/Harward Center

If there is community-engaged learning component of your course, you must include this component in your course description and contact Kristen Cloutier at the Harward Center.

Additional Information

Please note, your chair will also be asked to answer the following questions regarding your proposal:
What is the expected demand for the course?
Below minimum justification (if relevant).
What is the role of this course in the curriculum?
Which course(s) will this course replace in the current curriculum if any?