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Preparing for a Course

Proposing a New Course (Course Approval Request Form - CARF)

The Undergraduate Office assists with new course proposals from EEB and MCDB faculty. Ideas for proposals should be discussed with the appropriate Associate Chair for the department before submission of a form.

CARF Process:

  1. New BIOLOGY, EEB, and MCDB course proposals are submitted via an online form to the Program in Biology Committee where they are reviewed by the appropriate Assoc. Chair of Curriculum and/or the Director of the Program in Biology.
  2. The departmental form can be accessed here: Program in Biology New Course Request.
  3. The Assoc. Chair(s) will bring the proposal before the responsible curriculum committee(s), following up with the proposing faculty member as necessary.
  4. The approved course proposal will be communicated to the Undergraduate Office, where staff will complete the LSA submittal processes.
  5. Follow-up (approval or questions from the College) can be expected within 1-2 weeks after the appropriate LSA Curriculum Committee meeting.

CARF Timeline:

The LSA Curriculum Committee has specific deadlines for course approvals. Usually, a completed proposal is due to the college by the end of the corresponding semester theyear before (e.g., the fall deadline was in December of the year prior). College deadlines and meeting dates are listed online (remember these are College deadlines and the proposal must pass the department(s) first).

Two Common Questions:

Q: Can courses be submitted to the college after the deadline?

A: Usually they cannot. In the rare instance a course is accepted for review past the deadline, it often cannot be added to the time schedule or classroom schedule with adequate registration time (i.e., students register for classes before the course is able to be added). The deadlines seem quite early, but there is a lot of behind-the-scenes work that goes into introducing a new course.

Q: What are my options if I miss the deadline?

A: Often a course can be offered as a “special topics” class. It would not receive its own course number and would not be added to the bulletin, but it could be added to the schedule with less administrative time. There are restrictions with regard to the set-up of a special topics section, please feel free to ask a member of the Program in Biology Committee or the Undergraduate Office any questions about this option.

Room Scheduling

The Undergraduate Office helps with regular classroom scheduling, as well as "non-class" scheduling (i.e., extra exam rooms, GSI meeting rooms, etc.) for each term.

Keep the following in mind when considering class meeting scheduling:

  1. Notification/Availability:  Faculty will receive an email from the office with the upcoming term's schedule as an attachment (usually in the summer/fall term for winter courses and the winter term for fall courses). The Bio. Office cannot make updates prior to this time (the schedule is not available).
  2. Days/times:  If your day/time says "ARR," the office needs to request specific days and times or a meeting pattern.
    1.  Popular days and times (Mon.-Thurs. 10am-2pm) will be more difficult to get. The university is requiring all departments to look outside of this time window whenever possible when scheduling courses. Click to review the classroom scheduling policy.
    2. Be aware of conflicts! The Registrar's (official) version of the upcoming term can be found here.  Keep in mind that department-entered changes may not appear immediately.
  3. Rooms:  You can virtually tour LSA rooms here. If your room assignment says "ARR," the office will need to request a room. Let us know what kinds of instructional support or room characteristics you'd like us to request (e.g., DVD player, digital projection, moveable tables, etc.).
  4. Enrollment capacity: For established courses, this will likely follow the enrollment pattern from the last corresponding term (winter > winter, fall > fall). (Questions about enrollment trends for your course? The Undergraduate Office can provide that information upon request or view all courses here.)

Non-Class Room Requests can be made online. Use this process to request a room that is not part of the normal class meeting schedule (e.g., GSI meetings, review sessions, grading sessions, extra exam rooms, etc.).

  • Your request will be forwarded to the Program in Biology upon submission. The office acts as a clearinghouse for requests and forwards them on to the University of Michigan Registrar for specific assignments. Per UM Registrar policy, requests can ONLY come from departmental staff. You can expect a response from us within one week.
  • Please be aware that the Registrar schedules non-class room requests *after* classes are scheduled and most registration is complete for each term, so there may be some delay if your request cannot yet be addressed by the Registrar. (For example, requests for fall cannot be accommodated until August.)
  • Specific room or building requests must be justified or the Registrar will not consider them.
  • Need a COMPUTER LAB? Instructors can request these via CRISS (campus sites) or the SLC (Science Learning Center's computer classroom). Staff are happy to assist.
  • Curious about offering an evening exam? Rooms are easier to find in the evenings, though some conflicts are possible (see the Exam Conflicts Management Tool below). Contact the Bio. Office if you'd like to discuss scheduling options.

The Testing Accommodations Center assists with small-scale accommodations for students with special needs. More information about their services is here.

LSA Management Information Systems introduced a new tool to assist with mid-term exam scheduling. This allows you to determine whether or not students in your course have class scheduling conflicts with a proposed exam time (i.e., if they have class during your midterm). The Exam Conflicts Management Tool is now available.


The Registrar posts "Textbook Calendars" with appropriate dates for posting textbook choices. Instructors should post their selections online as soon as possible within these deadlines (via Wolverine Access > Faculty Business > Faculty Center, or see detailed instructions).  Remember to maintain extra copies of the text for the GSIs or other assistants in the class.  (Instructors can request complimentary "desk copies" from the publisher.)  You may also wish to put copies of the text on reserve with the library.  (If you have questions about the availability of the textbook for students or other bookstore-specific concerns, you can call the UM Bookstore (Barnes & Noble) at (734) 995-8877 or visit their Faculty Resources page.)

The University of Michigan is bound by the Higher Education Opportunities Act (HEOA) which makes the posting of the textbook's ISBN legally required. (See the guidance letter from the Department of Education.)  One of the goals of the legislation is to allow students to make financial plans, so the accurate and timely posting of required textbooks is important.

If you cannot post a textbook choice by the proposed deadlines in the calendars above or need to make a change and have questions, please contact the Undergraduate Office for assistance. In some instances it is acceptable to post "TBD." Late stage changes should be avoided whever possible.

Canvas (formerly C-Tools)

"Canvas" has replaced C-Tools across campus as the online access point for students and faculty for individual courses. The transition will be complete by Fall 2016. For more information or support, contact the Biology Program Manager.