Proposing New Courses

To propose a new course, log into the Course Inventory Management (CIM) system. Upon submission, CIM will route the request for the necessary departmental, college, and Graduate College workflow for review and approvals. For specific questions on using the CIM system, please contact Office of the Registrar at Questions about new course policy should be directed to the Office of the Provost (217) 333-6677.

Units proposing or revising courses awarding graduate credit are encouraged to visit Procedures for Presenting New or Revised Graduate Courses in the Graduate College Developing Courses and Programs toolkit.

The following guidelines are provided to assist in completing a new course proposal in the CIM:

General Information


All new course proposals require inclusion of the course syllabus.  The syllabus must include weekly contact hours (e.g. “Class meets MWF 9:00 to 9:50 a.m.” or “Will meet for 2 hours 50 minutes per week for 16 weeks” when specific days/times are not known) and the course learning outcomes/objectives.

The Center for Innovation in Teaching and Learning provides guidance on syllabus creation as does the Graduate College.  Many academic units also have specific syllabus elements or recommendations.

Proposed Effective Term

The listings in the Academic Catalog are affected by the Proposed Effective Term. The Academic Catalog is finalized for the year in October and no subsequent updates can be made to the published catalog. To ensure changes, new courses are listed in the Academic Catalog see the dates for Timeline of submissions of New and Revised Courses. The following are some helpful guidelines:
  • Renumber courses in fall terms. If spring or summer is chosen, both new and old course will be listed in the Academic Catalog.
  • The Academic Catalog reflects the latest version of a course; therefore, it is important to keep in mind the effective term when submitting any type of changes.

Course Number

000-099 Noncredit, preparatory course
100-199 Lower level undergraduate courses, typically taken by freshmen
200-299 Lower level undergraduate courses, typically taken by sophomores
300-399 Upper level undergraduate courses, typically taken by juniors
400-499 Upper level undergraduate and graduate courses, typically taken by seniors and beginning graduate students (may be designated for undergraduates only, or both)
500-599 Graduate courses
600-799 Professional courses (available to Law and Vet Med only)
Re-Using Course Numbers
Course numbers may not be re-used for a period of six years from the last time the course was offered.
Please consult with the Office of the Registrar to determine the availability of course numbers.
199 Courses (Undergraduate Open Seminars)

The 199 course is a special course for independent study or for use as a testbed for topics not treated by
regularly scheduled courses. Credit for 199 courses applies toward graduation (generally, to a maximum
of 12 hours); however, credit toward satisfying particular college or departmental requirements is
contingent upon approval by the appropriate college or departmental bodies.

Special Topics Courses
In addition to 199 courses, a number of 200-, 300-, 400- and 500-level courses also serve as special
topics courses, and are typically identified as such by their titles. As in the case of 199 courses, topics
offered under such courses are necessarily temporary; they are not listed in the Courses Catalog. A
specific topic may be offered twice under a special topics listing; the same topic may be offered a third
time only if a proposal to establish it as a permanent course has been submitted through the
appropriate channels.

Course Titles

Course Title (optional): This title can be up to 100 characters and will appear in the Academic Catalog
and the Course Explorer (Class Schedule).
Abbreviated Title (required): may include abbreviations to stay within the 30 character limit. If no Course
Title is entered this title will appear in
all publications, if there is a Course Title, then the abbreviated title
that will appear on the transcript only. Effort should be made to avoid duplication of an existing course title
in content-specific courses (does not apply to generic titles, e.g., Individual Study, Seminar, Special
Topics, Thesis Research, etc.).

Course Description

Descriptions should address subject matter, including any special course requirements such as field trips,
special equipment, etc. Exclude other course information of any numbered items below; the Office of the
Registrar will include it in the Courses of Instruction entry. Descriptions should read like an abstract and
ideally be limited to not more than 75 words. Some examples are included below.
PSYC 100 Intro Psych
Study of human behavior with special reference to perception, learning, memory, thinking, emotional life,
and individual differences in intelligence, aptitude, and personality; emphasis on the scientific nature of
psychological investigations; and discussion of research methods and the relation of their results to daily
life and everyday problems.
CEE 450 Surface Hydrology
Descriptive and quantitative hydrology dealing with the distribution, circulation, and storage of water on
the earth’s surface; principles of hydrologic processes; methods of analysis and their applications to
 engineering and environmental problems.
GE 560 Course Title: Managing Advanced Technology I
               Abbreviated Title: Managing Advanced Technol I
Business perspective of managing advanced technology in industry: strategic context of advanced
technology; analytical financial tools used to estimate its potential value; legal concepts important in its
management; interpersonal issues related to leading and advocating on behalf of advanced technology


The information provided in the Justification section is used by the department and college to better
understand the course content in the broader context of other courses offerings. If this course is similar in
content to other offerings on campus, please provide information that illustrates the uniqueness of this
offering. A course syllabus must be attached to all new course proposals. The CIM can accept more than
one attachment for each course.
Note: Courses open to graduate students must meet the criteria for graduate courses. A course syllabus
must be attached except in the case of special topics courses. Requirements and recommendations for
syllabi are available. If this course is similar in content to other offerings on campus, please provide
information that illustrates the uniqueness of this offering, as stated in the policy, section A.5.
Guidance on course and syllabus design is offered through the

Course Information

Course Credit

Academic units offering courses for University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign academic credit must adhere
to the federal definition of a credit hour for the assignment of credit hours earned per course, as described in university policy.
Laboratory, independent study, special problems, and thesis research courses should follow a similar model based
on the unique needs of the course.
Please refer to the Graduate College Policy for Proposed New and Revised Courses for complete information regarding
graduate level coursework.
For more information, visit the following links:
Courses intended for both Undergraduate, Graduate and Professional credit
Credit statements for 400 -level courses will appear in the Courses of Instruction entry as follows:
  • X undergraduate hours. Y graduate hours. (if the course is available for a different number of undergraduate and graduate hours; see ‘differential credit’ under Item 15)
  • No graduate credit. (if the course is only available for undergraduate credit)
There is no statement in the Courses of Instruction entry if the course is available for the same number of
undergraduate and graduate hours.

Graduate Credit

Units proposing courses awarding graduate credit are encouraged to visit Policy for Proposed New and 
Revised Courses that Carry Graduate Credit to understand the justification for it.

Variable and Differential Credit

Additional explanation is required if there is variable credit or differential credit. Differential
credit involves two distinct credit-hour options depending on intended audience and is characterized by
an “or” relationship (e.g., 3 or 4 hours). Variable credit involves a range of credit hours distinguished by a
“to” relationship (e.g., 1 to 3 hours). The course syllabus should clearly explain the extra work required for
additional credit, and the additional work should also be reflected in the grading section of the syllabus.

Grading Type

Designate the default grading type first, and then choose alternate grading types if desired. Either
‘Standard Letter’ (Letter Grade), ‘Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory’ (S/U), or Honors may be chosen. In addition,
DFR may be added with justification.


A course for which repeatability approval is sought must be matched to only one of the six permissible
categories, i.e., choose the ‘best fit.’ For each category below, representative examples and keywords are
given to guide selection:
  • 1H = Honors —any Honors-designated course, seminar, etc.
  • 1M = Subject Mastery/Skill Proficiency —developing or improving mental and/or physical ability
    in areas such as art, communication, language, writing, leadership, life skills, motor skills, the
    performing arts (dance, music, theater), laboratory practice, medical/vet-med training
  • 1N = Individualized Instruction —one-on-one teaching involving established subject matter,
    typical of courses titled ‘Independent Study’ or ‘Individual Study’
  • 1R = Research or Ongoing Study—guided group or individual research, investigations, projects,
    studies, problem-solving, etc. in new, developing, or emerging areas
  • 1S = Special Topics, Seminars —trial or nonpermanent subject offerings of current, developing,
    or emerging topics to augment existing courses; colloquia, discussion groups, seminars, etc. with
    student, faculty, visitor, and/or outside presenters/participants
  • 1X = Applied Experiences —internships, practicums, apprenticeships, study abroad, field trips,
    service learning, outreach, etc.
If a course is repeatable, complete additional questions related to total hours, entering total hours, “U” if
unlimited, or “NA” if not applicable. If the “if topics vary” box is checked, the Courses of Instruction
repeatability sentence will automatically include “if topics vary.”
Based on the entries to repeatability items, the Office of the Registrar fashions a Repeatability Statement
as part of the other course information placed after the course description in the Courses of Instruction
entry. The preferred format is:
May be repeated
> in [the same term / separate terms / the same or separate terms]
> if topics vary
> to a maximum of [X hours / X undergraduate or Y graduate hours / X graduate or professional
    > but no more than X hours in any one term
Each qualifier (>) below the initial phrase “May be repeated” is optional –in the descending order shown.
  • May be repeated.
  • May be repeated in separate terms if topics vary to a maximum of X hours.
  • May be repeated in separate terms to a maximum of X undergraduate or Y graduate hours but no
    more than Z hours in any one term.
Credit Restrictions

Credit restrictions are used when a course has been renumbered, or the content of the course is equivalent to another course in the catalog. To inform students, a credit statement is added to the course description indicating courses where credit may not be earned again.

It is important to remember that when a course is discontinued, a student cannot earn credit for the discontinued course and a new iteration of the course, if one is created.

Example 1. Credit is not given for ACE 100 if credit for ECON 102 has been earned.
Example 2. Credit is not given for both ACES 509 and ACES 409.

Advisory Statements


Prerequisite statements are advisory in nature and are not enforced through the registration
system unless approved by the Office of the Registrar. Graduate-level courses other than seminars and individual study usually require prerequisite
knowledge or experience. The following suggestions are provided to promote clarity in prerequisite
statements to the students who may be registering for the course.
  • list only the highest level course if there is a string of sequenced prerequisites (see Example 1
  • list only the primary course if cross-listed (Academic Catalog’s Courses of Instruction ‘Same As’
    statements readily identify secondary cross-listed course alternatives)
  • explicitly list courses by their subject and number (CHEM 232) found in the Courses of
    Instruction (not, e.g., “a course in chemistry”)
  • express alternative courses and combinations of courses clearly (see Example 2 below).
Example 1. Since GRK 101 is a prerequisite for GRK 102, the prerequisite ‘GRK 101 and GRK 102’
should be shortened to ‘GRK 102’ for a course requiring GRK102 as a prerequisite, such as GRK 201.
Example 2. Consider the prerequisite statement ‘CS 225 and CS 373 or MATH 444.’ It’s ambiguous. It
could mean ‘(CS 225 and CS 373) or (MATH 444), or perhaps ‘(CS 225) and (CS 373 or MATH 444).’
Assuming it’s the latter, the use of a semicolon gives the clear meaning by separating the intended
groupings: ‘CS 225; CS 373 or MATH 444.’

Concurrent Enrollment Statement

Concurrent enrollment statements are advisory in nature and are not enforced through the Banner
system. Statements should be entered as “Concurrent enrollment is required in Subject Course and
Subject Course.”

Example – ACCY 301 –

for a Prerequisite statement that reads: Prerequisite: ACCY 202 or equivalent
and concurrent enrollment in ACCY 302 by students majoring in accountancy (recommended for non-
accountancy majors); or consent of department; the concurrent enrollment statement ‘Concurrent
enrollment in ACCY 302 by students majoring in accountancy’ should be added to the Concurrent
enrollment box.

Restricted Audience Statement

These restrictions can be enforced through Banner at the section level and should be separate from the
prerequisite statement. These restrictions typically limit registration to a group of students, e.g., ‘for
majors only’ or ‘junior standing required.’
Example- ANTH 495 – for a Prerequisite statement that reads: Prerequisites: Senior standing;
ANTH 391; 3.6 GPA in anthropology; 37 hours of anthropology courses, and consent of
instructor; ‘Senior Standing’ should be put in the Audience Restriction box.


Guidelines for Approved Cross-Lists:

  1. Cross-listing should be based on course content in that it deals with the involved
    departments/subjects (SUBJ) in a substantive way.
  2. Cross-listing should be limited to cases involving a significant purpose, such as instructors from
    more than one department are involved in the instruction of a course. Creating cross-listings for
    the purpose of “advertising” a course multiple places in the Courses of Instruction is not
    considered justification for cross-listing, nor is the desire to enhance the stature of the course.
  3. A cross-listed course is considered the joint responsibility of all departments/SUBJ offerings, and
    coordination of course scheduling should be agreed upon by all involved departments.
  4. In a given term, if any SUBJ offering of a cross-list is active, all SUBJ offerings must be active.
  5. All schedule types must be the same across all sections.
  6. All course levels numbers must be the same (example: a 400 level may not be cross listed with a
    100 level course).
  7. All sections of a given course must be scheduled with the same instructor, room and meeting
  8. The section ID must remain the same throughout the cross-list, except in cases of a grad section
    cross-listed with undergrad, then U1 and G1 should be used.


  • Independent Study courses may not be cross-listed.
  • Special Topics courses may not be cross-listed.
  • Courses may not be cross-listed within the same department.
  • Cross-lists should be reviewed on a continuous basis. It is critical that cross-lists be discontinued
    if course content and instruction no longer justify the cross-listing.
  • Please consult with the Office of the Registrar for questions concerning temporary cross-listings
    known as “meets with” sections.

Additional Course Notes

The information provided in the Additional Course Notes section in CIM serves to allow users to add any
additional information that can’t be added to any other fields in the CIM.

Course Detail

The information provided in the Course Justification section in CIM’s New Course Proposal used by the
Office of the Registrar to build the course in Banner and create part of the Courses of Instruction entry.
Items on Course Credit considered important by the department and college in the review process.
Frequency of Offering
If “Other” is checked, include details of when that will be (e.g., “Spring terms, odd years”). Note that
alternate offering year wording is not automatically included in the Courses of Instruction entry. If desired,
it must be manually added to the course description.

Additional Course Information

The Additional Course Information section in CIM serves to alert to the potential impact of the introduction
of the proposed course, present any relevant trial-offering history, and indicate certain course-setup and
scheduling attributes.