Proposing or Changing a Course

Please see the Forms & Guidelines page of the Provost's website under "Committee on Instruction" for all course-related forms; please see the Columbia College and School of General Studies "Guidance on Course Points" page for any points-related questions.

New Course Proposals

All new proposed courses must be submitted to the Committee on Instruction. A syllabus attached to the approval form must be submitted by October 3 for Spring 2017 courses and February 2 for Fall 2017 courses. Contact the Office of the Provost with any questions.

Every course is required to have a syllabus. The syllabus is expected to contain the following information:

  • instructor's office hours and contact information
  • required readings
  • course requirements (e.g. exams, papers, book reviews) and relevant due dates
  • criteria for course grade
  • expectations regarding attendance and class participation
  • guidelines for papers, other assignments, and laboratory reports, including the degree to which collaboration is allowed
  • student learning outcomes
  • inclusion or mention of the Honor Code;  listing what constitutes plagiarism is recommended
  • inclusion or mention of the Wellness Statement

New courses recommended by the COI must be approved by a majority vote of the Faculty before they may be given or entered into the online catalogue. It is the responsibility of the department proposing the course to see it is approved by the Columbia COI, as appropriate.

Other Curricular Changes

Any of the following changes in a course after it was approved by the Committee on Instruction and the Faculty must be resubmitted to the Committee:

  • altering the number of class hours
  • changing the student learning outcomes
  • changing the credit value assigned to the course
  • changing the title, course number, or department of a course
  • substantial alterations in course requirements

Administering Coursework for Students with Disabilities

In accordance with federal law, it is the College's policy to provide reasonable accommodations to meet the needs of students with documented disabilities. Examples of accommodations which have customarily been requested and permitted may include exam accommodations such as extended time or modified formats, assistive technology, readers, notetakers, and the use of tape recorders. Visit the Office of Disability Services for more information. 

Here is a statement that you are invited to put on your course syllabus, explaining how to activate accommodations: 

"If you are a student with a documented disability and require academic accommodations, you must visit the Office of Disability Services (ODS) for assistance. Students requesting eligible accommodations in their courses will need to first meet with an ODS staff member for an intake meeting. Once registered, students are required to visit ODS each semester to set up new accommodations and learn how to notify faculty. Accommodations are not retroactive, so it is best to register with ODS early each semester to access your accommodations. If you are registered with ODS, please see me to schedule a meeting outside of class in which you can bring me your faculty notification letter and we can discuss your accommodations for this course. Students are not eligible to use their accommodations in this course until they have met with me. ODS is located in Milbank Hall, Room 008."