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  • B. Organization of Courses and Registration Procedure
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1. Numbering of Courses Courses are numbered according to plan, with the first digit indicating the level of the course. The 100-level courses are primarily for first-year students and the 200-level courses for sophomores. However, first-year students may in many instances elect 200-level courses and sophomores 300-level courses; they may even elect courses above these levels with permission of the instructor. Although 300-level courses are primarily for juniors and 400-level courses for seniors, they are open to graduate students with faculty permission.

The numbering of independent study courses should reflect the appropriate level of the course and be listed in the following series: 291, 391, or 491. If an independent study course is given which is identical to a regular course, it should be numbered and titled the same as that course, except that the letter Z is added to the course number to indicate that the course is being offered independently.


2. Scheduling of Courses The primary responsibility for scheduling of courses rests with the department chair, who, after consulting with the faculty, submits a list of scheduled courses, instructors, meeting times, and rooms to the division director for approval. General guidelines for scheduling courses are conveyed to the chairs by the division directors. Tentative projections are done two years in advance, with the final schedules being submitted for approval before Early Course Registration for a term (in February for the fall term, and in September for the spring term). Any change in this final schedule requires the approval of the division director and the associate dean of the faculty. When a change is approved, it is the responsibility of the department chair to report it to the registrar.


3. Early Course Registration Students are expected to participate in early course registration (known at other institutions as “pre-registration”) at the time announced by the Registrar, in November for the spring term and April for the fall term. In advance of these dates the registrar posts online a searchable list of scheduled courses, instructors, meeting times, and room assignments. Students select their primary and alternate courses, and complete the registration form (available on the registrar’s office web page). Students also use this form to obtain faculty signature for permission- only courses. In order to register themselves online using Banner self-service, students must obtain a six-digit “registration PIN” from their faculty adviser. This PIN permits them access to the web-based registration program.

Registration is done by class, with seniors first and first-year students last, and within each class, by alphabetic groups which are rotated each term in order to give all students a fair and equal opportunity in course selections.


4. Drop/Add Procedures Drop/Add starts the day before classes begin. Students may drop courses and add open courses online. Students who wish to register for courses that are closed or require instructor permission must obtain the instructor's signature on their drop/add schedule and bring it to the registrar's office for processing before the end of the drop/add period (see the Academic Calendar for full-term, first-half-of-term, and second-half-of-term drop/add deadlines). All registration changes must be approved, completed, and submitted to the registrar's office by the announced drop/add deadline. After the drop/add period students are not permitted to add or drop courses.  However, students may withdraw from courses (with a grade of W) until the deadlines published in the academic calendar.

Full information about registration and drop/add procedures is available on the registrar's website ( and in the "Academic Regulations" section of the Colgate University Catalogue.


5. Meeting Times of Courses A new daily class schedule was approved by the Faculty in the Spring of 2001. Standard class meeting times vary by days of the week. Exceptions to the schedule must be approved by the associate dean of the faculty. Seminars and laboratories usually run for three class periods on a given afternoon or meet twice a week for double periods. Seminars may also be scheduled during the evening. Faculty should note, however, that classes scheduled after 4:00 p.m. and through the dinner and evening hours may conflict with clubs, music, theater, and also official team practices, and are therefore discouraged.


6. Common Period The daily class schedule also includes a common period to accommodate department and student meetings, colloquia, and examinations in multi-section courses. Classes may not be scheduled or conducted during the common period. The common period may be used, although infrequently, for an extra class in a course. On occasion, the University may schedule campus-wide meetings during the common period.


7. Size of Courses and Prerequisites University policy requires that classes with an enrollment of ten or fewer students must have the permission of the division director and that classes with an enrollment of five or fewer students require the permission of the associate dean of the faculty. Courses with low enrollments will be reviewed by the department chair, division director, and dean of the faculty in order to determine future frequency of scheduling (it may be necessary, for example, to schedule low enrollment courses in alternate years). Classes with enrollments under 3 are expected to be taught as independent studies.

Placing upper limits on the size of courses should be done with care and only for good cause. All such limits should conform reasonably to the overall needs of the University and must have the approval of the department chair and division director. Department chairs should notify the division director and the associate dean of faculty of any changes from semester to semester in enrollment limits.

Prerequisites for admission to a course should be clearly designated by the instructor, approved by the department chair, and listed for the information of students in the course description in the Colgate University Catalogue and in the list published online by the registrar. Only in exceptional cases (such as independent study courses) should written permission of the instructor be required for admission to a course.


8. New Courses All new courses, i.e., those not listed in the Catalogue, must be approved by the Curriculum Committee before being offered. A faculty member who wishes to have a new course approved should complete the appropriate form (available online) and secure the approval of the department or program chair and the division director, who will forward the request to the Curriculum Committee for action. This should be completed by early March for inclusion in the next Catalogue.


9. Independent Study Courses The rules for independent study courses are contained in the section on “Academic Regulations” in the Colgate University Catalogue. A faculty member should not normally supervise more than five independent study projects in any one term. Faculty members are not expected to supervise independent study and/or honors projects during a term in which they are not teaching.

In order to enroll for independent study courses, students must complete an Independent Study Application Form which is available in departmental offices and the registrar’s office. The completed form must be approved by the supervising faculty member and submitted to the department chair for approval no later than the end of the drop/add period. The department chair then forwards copies of the approved projects to the registrar, who officially enrolls students.


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