Curriculum Process & Policies

What is CIM? The Curriculum Inventory Management (CIM) system uses online curriculum forms and an online approval workflow to change academic curricula in a smooth and transparent process. Users can see what step the proposed change is at in the process at any time, and approvers are notified when they have a proposal to review.

Who has access? All UWL faculty and staff can log in at any time. Student members of a curriculum committee also have access. New faculty/staff who are not able to login should email

UWL curriculum is created by the faculty and approved by the department and several of the following curriculum committees and offices, based on what the proposal is:

  • The college/school's curriculum committee
  • The college/school's Deans Office
  • UWL Undergraduate Curriculum Committee
  • UWL Graduate Curriculum Committee
  • General Education Committee
  • Academic Planning Committee 
  • Faculty Senate Executive Committee
  • Faculty Senate
  • New programs may also require approval from UW System Board of Regents and the Higher Learning Commission. Other changes may only require notifying UW System.

Academic policies affecting students are approved by CAPS and/or Graduate Council.

Scroll down for more information on which steps may apply to your proposal and to review UWL's curriculum change procedures. Policies governing content are on the next tab. Links to  the course and program forms are on the CIM Help - Courses and CIM Help - Programs page.

Curriculum change procedures

Overview of submitting a proposal expanding section

1. Prepare the proposal: Login to CIM through the Course Form or Program Form. Search for the form needed. When found, use the "Edit Course" or "Edit Program" button to edit the form. For brand new courses/programs, click the "Propose New Course/New Program" button at the top. Click the "Save as Draft" button at the bottom to save changes before submitting.

2. Preview the workflow for the proposal: On the search screen, use the "Preview Workflow" link located under the "Edit Course/Program" button to view the approval steps for the proposal before it is submitted. Steps will change depending on what department/college is listed and on the type of proposal.

Workflow steps can be approvals to move the proposal forward or "FYI" notifications. The person at the FYI step is notified by email that a proposal has been made but is not allowed to make edits. 

Note: if you change your mind after starting a form and no longer plan on submitting the proposal, please contact Records and Registration to erase your changes or shred the new form.

3. Submit to workflow: When your changes are ready for approval, the proposer/faculty member should click the "Save and Start Workflow" button. After workflow is started, the form is can only be edited by the approvers in the workflow.

Upon submission, the CIM system sends an email to the next approver in workflow with "Action Required" in the subject line. The approver may now review, edit, approve or roll back the proposal. Approvers review the proposals through the separate Approval Page.

4. Department and college review: The first step in workflow is typically the department chair. The approval of the department chair indicates approval by the entire department. The college may require its own curriculum committee to review the proposal, although sometimes it is not required. Then the proposal goes to the Dean's Office of the college/school. Proposals that affect teacher education programs will also likely require approval from the School of Education.

All faculty and staff can see how far a proposal has gotten in workflow by logging back into the Course or Program Management screens, searching for the proposal, and looking at the "In Workflow" box. Steps in green are completed. The orange/brown step is the step where the proposal is currently under review.

5. Other governmental bodies review: For new programs, additional university and UW System approvals may be necessary (i.e. Academic Planning Committee, Faculty Senate, UW System Board of Regents). These approvals come before and after UCC/GCC approval.

6. UCC/GCC review: Proposals need approval from the department chair and the dean's office before being included on a UCC or GCC agenda. The proposal must be at the Registrar step by noon on Wednesday the week before the committee meets. Records and Registration staff place the proposals on the agenda and disseminate the agenda to committee members. The proposal's department chair is sent a reminder to attend or to send a representative. A proposal will not be heard without someone to present it.

If presenting a large number of changes or presenting a whole new program, it is helpful to include a document summarizing the changes and the department's purpose in proposing the changes. This summary can be attached to one of the CIM forms under the "Additional Information" section or emailed to the Records and Registration Office. Summary cover memo sample

The standard rule for UCC and GCC meetings is that a proposal has two readings - the proposal is presented at the first meeting; action is taken at the second meeting. However, the second reading is often waived and action taken on the first reading if no committee member objects. If the proposal is not approved, it is sent back to the department to start over or to correct as necessary. If it receives UCC/GCC approval, the department chair, ADA, and proposer are notified by email.

The proposal moves to the next approval steps; or if UCC/GCC is the last approving step, it goes to the Records and Registration office for processing

7. Processing: Once the proposal is fully approved, the change is processed in the Records and Registration Office. Final processing includes

  • Updating the course/program in PeopleSoft/WINGS;
  • Updating the schedule for the future term, if course is being scheduled right away;
  • Programming the Advisement Reports (AR); and
  • Entering the information in the catalog (including sample degree plans).

When the last step if finished, the course or program is ready to be updated again. 

A "History" is assigned to each course or program in CIM. Each date in the history marks the day the proposal was finished being processed and the name of the original proposer. Click an individual date and the previously submitted form will pop up showing the changes and comments for that proposal. This history remains with the course or program and can be viewed at any time. Every time a course or program goes through the curriculum change process, a new record is added. If no history is displayed, the course or program has not yet been changed using CIM. The history of the course or program prior to CIM will continue to be saved in the Records and Registration office.

Deadlines: To ensure a course is created or changed in time to be scheduled for registration, the change should be approved by the deadlines listed in the UCC/GCC documents for the year. To find specific deadlines, review the UCC agendas and GCC agendas.

Steps required based on type of change expanding section

The following steps are in addition to department and college approval.

  • New Majors* - Faculty Senate Exec Committee, Academic Planning Committee, UCC, Faculty Senate, System. In some cases, Higher Learning Commission approval is also required.
  • New Emphases within Majors* - Academic Planning Committee, UCC, Faculty Senate
  • Major Name Change* - UCC, UW System
  • New Minors/Certificates* - Academic Planning Committee, UCC, Faculty Senate
  • New Graduate Programs* - Faculty Senate Exec Committee, Academic Planning Committee, GCC, Faculty Senate, System. In some cases, Higher Learning Commission approval is also required.
  • Graduate Program Name Change* - GCC, UW System
  • Undergraduate Courses - UCC (possibly APC if unresolved resource issues)
  • Graduate Courses - GCC (possibly APC if unresolved resource issues)
  • Slash Courses - Both UCC and GCC (either committee first)
  • General Education Courses - UCC, Gen Ed Committee
  • Umbrella topics - Registrar (no UCC or GCC)
  • New Prefix - Provost, Registrar (no UCC or GCC to just approve the prefix itself)
  • Department Name Change* - Provost, Registrar, System (informational item to System only)
  • College/School Name Change* - Provost, Registrar, System
  • Academic policies - CAPS and/or Graduate Council (UCC and/or GCC may also be necessary, depending)

* Review the academic program development resource guides. Contact the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Sandy Grunwald, early in the process of planning a new program or making substantial changes to existing programs.

Submitting proposals requirements expanding section

Proposals for curricular change must come from academic departments (or academic program units such as Environmental Studies and International Studies). All official curricular change proposals must be submitted using the Curriculum Inventory Management (CIM) Course Form or Program Form with appropriate Department Chair and Dean's office approval.

To be included on the UCC or GCC agenda for any regularly scheduled UCC or GCC meeting, the electronic curricular proposal form should be at the Registrar approval step in the electronic CIM workflow no later than noon the Wednesday prior to the meeting. The Office of Records and Registration will place proposals on the agenda in the order in which they were received and will distribute the agenda to committee members prior to the meeting. Department Chairs for the proposals are sent a reminder to attend the upcoming meeting or to send a representative. A proposal will not be heard without someone to present it.

UCC meets on the second, fourth, and fifth (if necessary) Tuesday of each month during the Fall and Spring semesters. GCC meets the first and third Tuesday of each month for the Fall and Spring semesters. No curriculum meetings are scheduled during the first week of classes for the semester or during spring break.

Committee action on proposals expanding section

The standard rule for UCC and GCC is that a proposal has two readings. The proposal is presented at the first meeting, and action is taken at the second meeting. However, the second reading may be waived and action taken on the first reading if no committee member objects. All curricular changes approved by the committee are subject to Faculty Senate review and action as well as review by the Chancellor’s Office. All new majors, sub-majors, certificates, and graduate programs approved by the Committees must be approved by the Academic Planning Committee, Faculty Senate, and the Chancellor’s Office.

Criteria for evaluating proposals expanding section

UCC and GCC will consider new and revised course and program proposals with the following criteria in mind, in decreasing order of importance. Department representatives submitting proposals should be prepared to answer questions concerning these issues, and present/discuss evidence of fulfilling these requirements:

  1. Needs of Students and Society
    1. The new course, program or revision should satisfy an identifiable need within the mission of the University.
    2. The new or revised course should not duplicate curriculum already available in the department.
    3. For new course proposals that may have overlap with courses in other departments, evidence should be presented that those departments have been contacted and that the overlap is minimal or that the perspective is significantly different to merit a new course. Departments may want to consider enrollment restrictions and the feasibility of course cross listing. Course revisions that may result in significant overlap with courses in other departments should be accompanied by similar evidence.
    4. The clientele of the program or course should be carefully considered and include sufficient enrollment to merit the use of necessary resources.
    5. The role of the course or program should be carefully considered, including requirement in major or minor programs within and external to the department. If the course will significantly impact other departments or programs, submitters are encouraged to include evidence of communication with the other programs/departments.
  2. Quality
    1. The new course/program or revision should be well conceived and well organized. Revisions resulting in substantial changes to course content or new course proposals should include a sufficient outline of the course material and pattern to demonstrate these requirements.
    2. The level of rigor should meet current standards for a university course or program, and the number of credits awarded should be reflective of the amount of work required in the course.
    3. The new or revised course should have appropriate prerequisites.

  3. Ability of the Department and College to meet resource needs
    While UCC and GCC recognizes that electronic approval on the CIM form certifies the Dean's willingness to support a course or program, there are course design issues that can significantly impact the quality of a course offering and the experience for the students. Therefore, submitters may be asked to discuss the following:
    1. The department must have sufficient faculty/staff expertise for the new course or program or to make the proposed changes in an existing course or program.
    2. The department must have sufficient faculty/staff resources for the new course or program or to make the proposed changes in an existing course or program. Departments submitting multiple proposals for new courses should consider whether there are infrequently offered courses that could be deleted.
    3. The support infrastructure must be adequate (sufficient laboratory facilities, sufficient library resources, availability of required internships, etc.) to offer the course/program in the long term.

  4. Record Keeping
    1. The course number should be consistent with the level of work required in the course.
    2. The course or program description should be clear and accurate, and programs should not have hidden requirements.
    3. The instruction pattern should be appropriate and accurately described.

      Questions involving course and/or program revisions will generally be limited to those sections of the CIM form that are marked for revision. However, presenters should give consideration to how the proposed changes may impact the other aspects of the course or program that have not been selected for revision, and be prepared to address questions from UCC members as necessary.

  5. Consent Agenda
    Very minor changes may be handled through the Consent Agenda, which is presented to UCC or GCC members for expedited approval. However, any UCC or GCC member may pull any item from the consent agenda and request a full first reading for the next meeting. Generally only minor changes will be considered as possibilities for a consent agenda item. The Registrar has been charged with determining which items appear on the consent agenda. A small number of items do not need to be on the agenda at all.

The linked procedural chart indicates whether or not specific changes (usually, but not always) require UCC/GCC review, either as an action item or on the consent agenda. 

Academic Planning Committee (APC) guidelines for new programs expanding section

In the Faculty Senate bylaws, the Academic Planning Committee (APC) is charged with reviewing all new programs, including emphases, concentrations, minors, majors, graduate, and special programs. To that end, they have created guidelines as an aid to departments planning on creating a new program. 

More information about APC can be found on their Faculty Senate page.

UW System academic program management expanding section

The University of Wisconsin System maintains the ACIS 1.0 Policy on University of Wisconsin System Arrange Management: Program Planning, Delivery, Review, and Reporting 

ACIS 1.0 provides detailed guidance on academic degree program array management actions, including approvals of new programs, review of program suspensions and eliminations, individual and lateral program reviews, as well as other required reporting and approval items at the Board of Regents (BOR) or University of Wisconsin System (UW System) level.  Such items may include, but are not limited to, revisions to institutional missions, establishment of new schools or colleges, and the extension of programs to other sites, including international sites. 

The goals of systemwide array management include the provision of appropriate academic degree programs (program) to meet student, community, state, and employer demand; minimizing unnecessary duplication of programs; and offering programs effectively and cost-efficiently.

Special courses that impact workflow steps

  • General Education courses
    • Will require both UCC and GEC approval
    • The General Education section needs to be filled out on all Gen Ed course forms
  • Cross-listed courses
    • Courses that have prefixes in more than one department and can be taught by more than one department.
    • Course number, name, description, and number of credits has to be the same for all departments.
    • Each department listed must approve the changes.
  • Slash undergrad/grad courses
    • Course that can be taken at the undergraduate or graduate level.
    • Graduate level has additional requirements/learning outcomes, which are stated on the form
    • Students cannot earn credit in both level. Undergraduates must be juniors to take the undergrad level and seniors to take the graduate level (and with permission).
    • Separate forms for each level and course will go through both UCC and GCC approvals.
  • Umbrella topic (test) courses
    • Generic "parent" course that allows departments to test out specific topics. If there is enough interest, these test topics are expected to become independent courses with their own number.
    • The test topics have a shorter workflow and do not need UCC/GCC approval. However, must be submitted before topic can be officially scheduled.


Contact the UWL Curriculum Team at 608.785.8954 or

*NOTE: curriculum policies are in the process of being moved to CIM. Some are already in CIM, and a link to that policy is provided. If you are faculty or staff and are not able to login to CIM, contact

These policies are intended to guide departments and faculty members making changes and creating new programs so that they are in accordance with UWL policy. These policies, unless otherwise stated, were approved by UCC/GCC or CAPS/Grad Council and Faculty Senate.

In addition, the UCC & GCC committees advise proposers to review their Guidelines for Preparing and Submitting CIM Forms.


Course Forms

Course Form Considerations Policy expanding section

CIM Course Forms are designed to provide members of UCC and GCC with sufficient information about new course proposals and course change proposals.

CIM Course Forms consider the following elements:

  1. The academic organization under which the course falls
  2. The course structure and details, including, but not limited to:
    1. Number of credits
    2. Course prefix and number
    3. Prerequisites
    4. Components
    5. Grading pattern
    6. Mode of delivery definitions:
      1. In-person: course in which content delivery, course, activities, and assessments take place in a physical classroom;
      2. Blended (hybrid): course in which content delivery, course activities, and assessments take place in a physical classroom and online;
      3. Online: course in which all content and course activities take place online. No face-to-face meetings are required, but some exams and assignments may take place at authorized locations established by the instructor.
      4. Independent study: mostly on their own time, students study and/or research a subject approved by a supervising instructor and the department. The supervising instructor connects with student over the term of the course to help guide the studies. The amount of time they meet will vary.
      5. Interactive video (a.k.a. video conferencing): utilizes real time, two-way communication between instructor ans student. Everyone may see and speak with each other for real-time discussions.
  3. Justification for offering this course:
    1. Rationale for the course.
    2. Potential degree programs served by this course.
    3. Relationship of proposed course to other department courses.
    4. Whether  the proposed  course entails dropping another course
    5. Whether the proposed course entails changes in other courses
  4. Demonstration of consultation with other departments and units:
    1. Consultation with library about needed resources (yes/no)
    2. Consultation with information technology (yes/no)
    3. Consultation with other academic programs
  5. Does the proposed course affect your departmental assessment plan?  (yes/no)
  6. If a graduate course, is the course sponsored by a graduate program? (Requires signature approval of sponsoring graduate program.)
  7. If a teacher education course, how does the course enhance teacher education and/or respond to accreditation or certification requirements? Which teacher education programs does the course affect and has the department consulted with them?
  8. If a general education course, additional general education fitness and assessment questions are included.
  9. Advisement Report information:
    1. Is the course a requirement in one or more of the department's programs?
    2. Is the course a specific elective in one or more of the department's programs?
  10. Learning outcomes and objectives
  11. Instructional and evaluation methods
  12. Principal activities usually required for all students
  13. Undergraduate/graduate combined course information (slash courses):
    1. Whether it is taught mainly as an undergraduate or as a graduate course
    2. What assignments or methods of evaluation will be used to differentiate the undergraduate students from the graduate
  14. Dean's sign-off implies:
    1. Qualified instructional staff
    2. Adequate facilities
    3. Appropriate equipment and materials
    4. Consideration of exceptional course fees (above $20)
    5. Approval of college/school curriculum committee, if applicable
    6. Estimated student demand for this course (expected enrollment)

Originally part of the "Proposal on Course Renumbering" Policy that Faculty Senate approved 5/4/1995. Updated to reflect current CIM Course Forms.

Course Form: Learning Outcomes and/or Objectives expanding section

UCC and GCC may refuse to act on course proposals that do not provide adequately detailed student learning outcomes and/or objectives.

Course Form: Outlines and Assessment expanding section

UCC and GCC may refuse to act on course proposals that do not provide adequately detailed outlines of course content and assessment.

Course Forms: Effective Date Recommendations expanding section

Departments may use their own discretion for when they want to offer/schedule the course. The effective term on the form should be considered the term in which the change will be effective in WINGS/PeopleSoft, not the first or next time the course will be offered.

  1. New Courses: the effective date is the term in which the course is approved by UCC or GCC, or the upcoming summer term at the latest. This will ensure the course is active in time for registration.
  2. Existing Course: the effective term should be, with few exceptions, the first term after the last time course will be offered the old way, and can include summer. Changes cannot be made effective for the current term.
  3. Deleted Courses: the effective date should be the upcoming summer term in order for the deleted course to be removed from the catalog. If the course is being offered in the summer, the effective date can be the following fall or spring, but the old description/structure of the course will be published in the catalog for the next year.

When bringing forward a proposal in the spring, we recommend using summer as the effective term in order for the change to appear in the next published catalog. If fall is selected, the approved changes will not appear in the next catalog published published over the summer.

If the term you need is not available in the drop down list, please contact Records and Registration (785-8752).

Course Policies

Course Numbering Policy expanding section

Course level set by number:

Courses with numbers in the 100/200 series are primarily for first years and sophomores; those in the 300/400 series, which normally carry a prerequisite, are primarily for juniors and seniors. Almost all courses in the 500 series and some in the 600 series are "slash" courses; they are graduate courses with a companion number in the 300 or 400 series and are open to upper level undergraduates who have earned at least 60 credits and graduate students. All courses with numbers in the 700, 800, or 900 series, and those in the 600 series that are not slash courses, are for graduate students only.

Department and Program responsibilities:

All undergraduate and graduate programs and departments should develop courses in keeping with the general description of the academic numbering levels found above.

All undergraduate and graduate programs and departments should maintain a policy generally describing the criteria used to define lower division, upper division, slash, and graduate levels.  This general information may include:

  1. Types of course topics or content for courses at this level.
  2. Typical student learning outcomes for courses at this level.
  3. Critical thinking processes expected of students enrolling in these courses.
  4. Prerequisite knowledge base expected of students enrolling in these courses.
  5. Typical nature of work expected of students enrolling in these courses.
  6. Typical methods of student performance evaluation.

Course level requirements for students:

Undergraduate students must earn at least 40 credits in the 300/400 numbered courses. See university degree requirements for more information.

Students in all master's degree programs must earn at least one-half of the minimum number of semester credits required in their program in graduate-only level courses.

Students will not receive credit for courses for which they do not have appropriate class standing.

Reusing a Number:

A department can re-use an existing number if the desired number has been inactive for more than 10 years. 

Course numbering policies last updated in "Proposal on Course Numbering" document approved by Faculty Senate 5/4/1995.

An abbreviated version of this policy is in the undergraduate and graduate catalogs. See also the two Slash Course Policies which are also related.

Course Credit Hours Policy expanding section

Definition of a credit hour: Study leading to one semester credit represents an investment of time by the average student of not fewer than 42 hours over the course of the semester. Included in this time is 770 instructional minutes (class time) plus an out-of-class investment of 28 hours for activities such as tutorials, recitations, study time and preparation for participation in class, or a demonstration. In a course with a supervised laboratory or studio, some or all of the required 42 hours can be fulfilled by student participation in these activities. Instructors of online and hybrid courses should take this definition of a credit hour into consideration when designing the course for online delivery. UWL approves courses and course credit based on the content of the course, on the student learning outcomes defined for the course, and on the assessment of those student learning outcomes and approves credit accordingly.

Laboratory hours: The standard for supervised laboratory or supervised studio hours is that two such hours per week are equal to one lecture hour in generating semester credits. Departments requesting a standard different from this must assume the burden of demonstrating the need for varying from the standard in order to obtain committee approval.

Policy also listed in CIM.

Credit by Exam, Retroactive Credit, & Other Credit Curriculum Policy expanding section

This policy is on two CIM forms. The first is just the policy published in the catalog. The second is the full administrative policy on retro credit, credit by exam, and other types of awarded credit.

Undergraduate Credit by Exam and Retroactive Credit Catalog Policy

Undergraduate Credit by Exam, Retroactive Credit, and Other Test Credits Awarded Policy

Cross-Listed Courses Policy expanding section

Cross-Listed Courses Policy (CIM Program Form)

This policy is also published in the undergraduate and graduate catalog.

Extra-Departmental Courses Policy expanding section

All courses being submitted to UCC & GCC must identify a department or program that will be  responsible for the Academic Program Review of the course. The normal APR of that instructional unit would trigger the review of the extra-departmental course, but the evaluation of that course should be done in consultation with or by those actually involved in teaching it.

Last approved by Faculty Senate 5/5/2005.

Slash Course Policy #1 - Numbering & Procedure expanding section

Slash courses are 400/500 numbered parings of undergraduate and graduate level courses in the same subject. These two courses of different academic career levels are scheduled together and taught by one instructor.

Only juniors (who have earned 60 credits or more), seniors, and graduate students will be permitted to enter slash courses.


  1. Departments wishing to offer a course as a slash course must create two CIM Course Forms, one for the undergraduate level and one for the graduate level. The title, course description, number of credits, course prefix and number, and component hours of both levels must be the exactly the same. Everything else may be different, including prerequisites.
  2. Slash course proposals should be substantially justified in terms of student learning outcomes, content, method, and student assessment procedures for both graduate and undergraduate students. The addition of an "extra paper for graduate students" does not constitute a substantive rationale.
  3. However, no difference in instruction is required to be noted between the undergraduate and graduate experiences in slash courses. The courses should be taught to the graduate level for all enrolled students.
  4. The undergraduate level is submitted to UCC for review, and the graduate level is reviewed by GCC. The courses may be submitted and reviewed in either order.

Departments that do not offer graduate programs may propose slash courses only with the approval/formal endorsement and sponsorship of a graduate program.

Departments should continually examine all existing slash courses and decide whether or not they need to remain slash courses. Courses that have no sponsoring graduate program, student markets, or logical place in the structure of the graduate curriculum should be eliminated or converted to undergraduate-only courses.

If departments still have the old style 300/500 or 400/600 slash courses, those courses should be renumbered to 400/500 whenever possible.

Updated by Faculty Senate 5/4/1995 in the "Proposal on Course Numbering" document. GCC reaffirmed slash course policy 3/1/2011. Faculty Senate approved an additional slash policy about how the undergraduate and graduate levels need to have different learning experiences 1/26/2017.

The academic course numbering policies published in the catalog also impact how slash courses affect students.

Slash Course Policy #2 - Distinction Between the Levels expanding section

At a comprehensive university, there are courses appropriate for both upper level undergraduates and graduate students to be enrolled in the same course.  At UWL, these courses are designated 400/500 (slash) level courses. While the content for graduate and undergraduate students may be similar, even identical, there should be a distinction in learning outcomes and student experience.  In most instances, the learning outcomes of the graduate students should explicitly include a level of analysis and synthesis that exceeds expectations of the undergraduate students. These different outcomes and/or different levels of expectations must be stated explicitly in the syllabi (either separate undergraduate and graduate syllabi or a clearly stated section of a common syllabus).

Curriculum Forms for Slash Courses

The CIM (Curriculum Inventory Management) form for slash courses will require: 1) in the Objectives/Learning Outcomes section, identification of distinctions in learning outcomes for the undergraduate students and the graduate students and 2) completion of the new section titled Difference Between the Undergraduate and Graduate Experience (see below).

Objectives and/or learning outcomes

In the guidelines for Course Objectives and/or Learning Outcomes, include the following statement:

A distinction must be made between course objectives/learning outcomes for students taking the course for undergraduate credit and those taking the course for graduate credit. This distinction could include skills in analysis, synthesis, and/or evaluation at the graduate level.  These differences in course objectives/learning outcomes must be listed in the course syllabus.

Difference between undergraduate and graduate experience

Select one of the following statements and provide information on how this will be accomplished in the course.

  • Although this course is taught largely at a graduate level, the following differences exist to also make it accessible to upper level undergraduates (e.g., different assignments, different expectations, different readings).
  • Although this course is taught largely at an undergraduate level, graduate students are receiving a graduate level experience because of the following graduate-only expectations (e.g., opportunities to teach or co-teach, graduate-only discussion sessions, community outreach/service, writing or research assignments that clearly elevate student analysis of the course content to a graduate level).

(The section above will only appear on CIM if the course is marked as a slash course on the CIM form)

Add to course description

Cut and paste one of the following to the end of your course description:

  • This slash course is taught largely at a graduate level with differences to also make it accessible to upper level undergraduates.
  • This slash course is taught largely at an undergraduate level. Graduate students will have additional course requirements/expectations.

Implementation of new slash course policy

Eventually all departments will revise learning outcomes and complete the new Difference Between the Undergraduate and Graduate Experience section for all slash courses.

Beginning Spring 2017, slash courses (both new and revised) brought before the Graduate Curriculum Committee and/or the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee will include differentiated learning outcomes and will articulate the Difference Between the Undergraduate and Graduate Experience.

No later than May 2019, all slash courses will include differentiated learning outcomes and will articulate the Difference Between the Undergraduate and Graduate Experience. Slash courses not updated by the end of the 2019 Spring semester should be reviewed by the department for possible deletion.

The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) Syllabi Review group will ensure inclusion of slash course learning outcomes and student experiences in slash course syllabi campus-wide. It is expected that all slash course syllabi will include distinctions between the graduate and undergraduate student learning outcomes and experiences prior to the course being taught, but no later than Spring 2019.

Policy approved by Faculty Senate 1/26/2017.

The academic course numbering policies published in the catalog also impact how slash courses affect students.

Syllabi Policy expanding section

Instructors are required at the beginning of each credit‐bearing course to provide their students with a syllabus containing, at minimum, the information laid out in the university's Syllabi Policy. Exceptions include independent studies, practicums, internships and field experiences.

The full syllabi policy and syllabi templates can be found on the CATL website.

Pass/Fail Courses Policies expanding section

UWL Pass/Fail Catalog Policy - describes how pass/fail credit may apply to the student's record

UWL Pass/Fail Curriculum Policy (CIM Program Form, not in catalog) - describes what kinds of courses can be pass/fail.

University Catalog Course Management Policy expanding section

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse requires its catalog of course offerings to be kept up-to-date because students and advisors rely on the catalog to make informed class scheduling decisions as they plan their academic careers. It is also recognized that current course offerings are dependent upon both student needs and faculty availability. Therefore, if a course is active in the catalog and WINGS but has not been taught in five or more years, the Records and Registration Office will notify the appropriate department chair(s) and encourage review of the course status. The department may elect to deactivate the course or keep the course active. Decisions to deactivate the course will be added to the appropriate UCC/GCC consent agenda. Deactivated courses may be revived within five years of the deactivation using the same CIM form. If the course information remains unchanged upon reactivation and the course was reviewed and approved at UCC/GCC in the five years prior to deactivation, the course will be added to the appropriate UCC/GCC consent agenda and the department does not need to present. If the course was not reviewed in the five years prior to deactivation, or if significant changes are being made, the department will need to present the proposal in person at the appropriate curriculum meeting.


Program Forms

Program Form: When is it visible to students expanding section

New programs and program changes are implemented based on what is entered in the following CIM Program form fields: Effective Term, Effective Catalog, and Applies to Students in.

1. Visible in Advisement Report - based on "Effective Date." This is the calendar date that the changes or new program will be visible to students in their Advisement Report. The calendar date will be the first date of that term. If that date is past already, the change will be visible as soon as it is fully processed & coded by the Records and Registration Office. Changes that come through in late spring may not be visible in the AR until the end of summer, due to the high number of proposals that need processing.

If you are bringing a proposal through in Spring, select Summer for the effective term, rather than fall. The Summer term goes with fall when referring to newly admitted students and the catalog year starts with Summer.

2. Visible in catalog and on website: Always choose the next "Effective Catalog" year unless department wants to wait a year to implement. Approved proposals are not viewable in the catalog until the next year's catalogs are published. Department pages displaying catalog information are linked to that publication date as well. Next year's catalog gets published each summer at the end of July.

3. Which students are effective by the change is put into the "Applies to students in" field. Keep in mind that students are admitted to UWL based on the catalog that was active during their first term. That means the requirements of that catalog apply to them.  There are three options on the form:

  • Next Catalog only - only new entering students that are admitted on the next catalog need to meet these requirements. Continuing students finish their programs under the old requirements. This is the option we recommend the most.
  • All Catalogs - applies to all students, both new and continuing. This is not recommended unless it is a brand new program. Any changes to a student's requirements after they have already started attending are examined closely and may not be approved. If the changes are detrimental to continuing students, the proposal may not be approved.
  • Other - applies to new entering students and some continuing students. This is not recommended for the same reason that "All Catalogs" is not recommended. 

Departments considering using "All Catalogs" or the "Other" option should discuss the situation with Records and Registration before submitting the program change into workflow. There are options on how to scheduling courses that may help make transitions to new curricula easier.

Program Form: Emphasis vs. Concentration expanding section

Emphasis, concentrations, and minors are not interchangeable. Departments should keep in mind the following definitions when creating programs.

Emphasis: as part of a major, an academic focus on a subject found within the department that supplements the major. Emphasis credits may come entirely from courses within the department. An emphasis does not necessarily add credits to the major, but selects departmental electives and/or core courses to go toward an internal academic focus.

Concentration: as part of a major, an academic focus on a subject external to the department that broadens and enhances the major. The majority of concentration credits must be from courses outside of the department and are added on top of a major. A major with a concentration will have more credits than a major with an emphasis. The difference between a concentration and a minor is that a concentration is designed to go with and in a major, while a minor is completely separate.

Minor: an academic focus separate from a major requiring less credits to complete than a major. A minor introduces the student to higher level information in a subject, but the minor is not the student's primary academic focus and the student is not required to demonstrate as much proficiency as with a major. Except for possible requirements set by a major's college and department, minors usually do not have to relate to the major in any way.

Program Policies

Stand-Alone Certificate Policy expanding section

Login to view the most up-to-date version of the University's Stand-Alone Certificate Policy.

GPA Requirements in Programs Policy expanding section

Departments or programs wishing to institute GPA requirements shall justify those requirements based on:

1. External accreditation requirements or nationally accepted parameters in a profession,


2. Historical and/or empirical evidence proving that students below the minimum requirements do not succeed in upper division courses in the major or program.

Departments or programs with entrance requirements should not rely solely on overall GPA. Additional tools should be employed to assess program readiness. These tools could include the following:

  • GPA requirements in discipline-specific or other required lower division courses
  • Type, difficulty and chronology of courses already taken
  • Credit load
  • Interviews
  • Essays/writing samples/letters/portfolios
  • Work and/or life experience
  • References and recommendations
  • Performance in particular skills/observations/field experience

Departments or programs with exit requirements should establish policies and/or committees which periodically monitor students' progress toward completion of requirements, especially in cases where a relatively high GPA is needed for a required internship or where the exit requirement is higher than the entrance requirement. These policies and/or committees should relate to three specific student concerns:

  1. Advising
  2. Appeals/hearings
  3. Probation

Program GPA requirements shall not be implemented exclusively for purposes of enrollment management.

Approved by Faculty Senate 4/1/99; approved by Chancellor 9/30/99.

Minors (New or Revised) Policy expanding section

New minors should conform to the following guidelines: 

  1. Credits required for the minor should range from 18-24. 
  2. At least one-half of the course work should be upper division level (300-400) 
  3. There should be a maximum of six credits double counted between General Education and the minor requirements 
  4. No more than six credits should be “hidden prerequisites” (defined as courses outside the minor department and normally above 100 level introductory or General Education courses) 

In addition to the above requirements, the committee proposes the following guideline to address the concern about double counting between majors and minors. 

5.  Between a major and a minor there must exist at least 42 “unduplicated credits” (defined as common combinations of fresh or unique credits, not double counted between the two programs). If there are courses that are required for both major and minor, the student must use other courses within the discipline to come up to the minimum number of credits in the major or minor. (Note: CBA professional core does count as credits in the business majors.) 

Inability to conform to any of these guidelines should be justified by a rationale for non-compliance in the curriculum proposal. 


The information provided to the Academic Priorities Committee in the “Contents of Proposals for New Programs” should be submitted to the UCC with the LX 138P. Interdisciplinary programs need to submit all appropriate approvals from sponsoring departments and colleges. The UCC recommends that the College Deans, in tandem with the University Registrar and the Chair of Faculty Senate, assist in directing each new subprogram proposal through the proper approval process, in the following sequence: Appropriate departmental and college committees, college dean, Academic Priorities Committee, Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, Faculty Senate, Chancellor or designee. 

Approved by Faculty Senate 10-14-99.

Maximum Credits in a Major (Extent of Majors Policy) expanding section

No department may require more than 40 semester credits in one major unless it becomes necessary to do so in order to meet external requirements for certification or accreditation as prescribed by an external agency or accrediting group and is approved by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee. 

Departments that have already been approved to offer majors in excess of 40 credits will be encouraged (but not required) to comply with the Extent of Majors policy.

Revised by UCC on 10/13/1992.

General Education Policies

General Education Course Review Procedures expanding section

Review of new general education course proposals and changes to existing general education courses will be processed on a CIM Course Form and reviewed by the General Education Committee after these courses have been approved by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.

Last approved by CAPS, Faculty Senate, and Chancellor in Spring 1996.

Student Appeals & Petitions on Requirements expanding section

Students desiring to make substitutions in course or graduation requirements must obtain the appropriate petition form from the office of the college in which the student is enrolled, complete the petition form, obtain the appropriate signatures, and return the petition to the dean of that college. The petition should clearly reflect the recommendation of the Department(s) involved, if any. The dean will review the petition and either approve or disapprove the request. If the department and the dean recommend approval of the petition concerning general education substitutions, the petition must be forwarded to the General Education Committee and recorded in the minutes. No action is required by the General Education Committee. If the department recommends against and/or the dean denies the petition and the student wishes to appeal the decision, the petition can be brought before the General Education Committee through the office of the dean. Once the petition is before the General Education Committee, the student may choose self representation or college representation. If self representation is chosen, the student may make a presentation to the General Education Committee and/or be available to answer questions. After hearing the student’s presentation and asking all student-directed questions, the committee may go into closed session for discussion and voting. Decisions made by the GEC are final; there is no further appeal process.

All petitions concerning writing emphasis requirements must be brought before the General Education Committee for action. 

Student petitions will be last on the agenda. 

Approved by UCC on May 10, 1994; Received by Faculty Senate October 27, 1994. General education petitions now to be seen by Gen Ed committee instead of UCC approved by Faculty Senate on 11/30/06 per change to committee by-laws.

Associate Degree Standards expanding section

The University of Wisconsin System has issued standards in regards to the creation and granting of Associate Degrees which apply to all institutions in the University of Wisconsin System.

Consistent with this policy, UW-La Crosse has requirements that must be met in order for a student to earn an Associate Degree. These associate degree requirements are in the catalog. The committee responsible for overseeing these requirements is the General Education Committee.

General Education Committee expanding section

The General Education Committee reviews all general education courses that are being changes or proposed. Their by-laws and other committee documents can be found on the Faculty Senate Google Drive. Below are some useful documents when creating or editing a general education course.

General Education Glossary of Helpful Terminology

Guidelines to Proposing General Education Courses

Rational for Changing the General Education SLO Structure

Gen Ed Requirement Waiver Policy expanding section

The Undergraduate General Education Requirement Waiver Policy can be found in UWL's electronic Curriculum Inventory Management system (CIM).

Online Education

Online Courses & Education Policy expanding section

**IMPORATNT NOTE: The below mode of instructions were recently updated to include online synchronous and online asynchronous and to update the hybrid definition. Please refer to the COVID-19 FAQs for more information about teaching online.**

  1. Definition of Course Types:
    1. Face-to-Face (F2F) or In-Person or On Campus: Course in which content delivery, course activities, and assessments take place in a physical classroom.
      1. Shown in WINGS as "P" for In Person in the Timetable 
    2. Hybrid: Course in which content delivery, course activities, and assessments take place in a physical classroom and online. This combination of online and in-person elements is based on meaningful learning strategies that best serve an instructor’s pedagogical goals and objectives. This classification signals to students that there is an expectation of both physical presence and online learning in the instructor's design of the course. While a percentage is not mandated, hybrid courses are traditionally 30% to 50% of seat time replaced with online components. Hybrid courses include a class note available to students at registration, which indicates anticipated in-person and online class time.
      1. Shown in WINGS as "HY" for Hybrid: Blend On-campus/Online
    3. Online courses (fully) - students do not meet in person at a physical site. All content and course activities take place online. Prior to Fall 2020, shown in WINGS as "OL" for online.
      1. Synchronous - some or all of the elements of the class occur in real time. Elements can be required (e.g., a lecture or exam) or optional (e.g., office hours or discussion times). The course should be listed as online in the timetable and a meeting date/time should be noted.
        1. Shown in WINGS as "OS" for Online Synchronous
      2. Asynchronous - although there are deadlines for students by which they need to complete work, there are no requirements for a specific date/time when the student must be available.
        1. Shown in WINGS as "OA" for Online Asynchronous
    4. Independent Study
      1. Shown in WINGS as "IS" for Independent Study
  2. Mode of Instruction: The CIM Course Form includes a mode of instruction to indicate if the course will be partly or entirely offered online. Departments must indicate online synchronous, online asynchronous, hybrid/blended, in-person, or independent study modes of instruction so that Records and Registration can appropriately designate these courses in the timetable and find a classroom with the appropriate technology. More than one mode of instruction may be selected in order to fully describe how the course currently is or may be taught in the future.
  3. Existing online courses: Follow the standard course review by a university curriculum committee, e.g. significant changes in course outline, grading pattern, etc. In other words, no special review is required for online courses making changes.  Departments will be responsible for ensuring course compatibility with selected technology and for evaluating online offerings.
  4. Existing courses converting to an online format: Review is only required by UCC or GCC if the conversion is accompanied by a change that currently warrants UCC or GCC approval (i.e. a, addition or deletion of prerequisites, credit change, course description change, change in course objectives, changes in instructional methods and evaluation procedures, etc.). Changing a course to an online format is the decision of the department and, on its own, does not affect the rest of the course. If the conversion is not accompanied by a change that requires UCC/GCC review, the mode of instruction change should be identified by the Registrar and sent to UCC/GCC as an informational item.
  5. New online courses: Follow the standard curriculum approval process and indicate the appropriate mode of instruction. Departments should be prepared to address the following questions in regards to the class being taught online.
    1. How is the credit court determined?
    2. How is the instructor contact hour load determined?
    3. What is the role of the instructor?
    4. How are student/instructor interactions facilitated?
    5. How are the students assessed?
  6. New programs delivered entirely online: Follow the standard review including the department, college, the Academic Program Committee, Faculty Senate Executive Committee, the Undergraduate or Graduate Curriculum Committee, and the full Faculty Senate. Approval from the University of Wisconsin System may also be required.
  7. When the curriculum committee reviews a course proposal in which a form of distance education technology is a significant component, the Online Advisory Board and the appropriate contact from Information Technology Services (ITS) should be invited to provide input concerning the appropriate use of the technology.
  8. Individuals teaching online courses should work with ITS staff on possible instructional design changes that may be required and the availability of needed technology prior to offering a course.

Further resources about UWL's online programs can be found on the UWL Online Education website, including the "UWL Online Education Handbook."

Dates of policy revisions:

  1. Principles of distance education first approved by Faculty Senate on 9/28/1995 and approved by Chancellor 11/28/1995.
  2. Online course recommendations approved by Faculty Senate on 10/4/2006 and Chancellor approved on 11/5/2006.
  3. More online course recommendations approved by Faculty Senate on 2/11/2010.
  4. Definitions adopted by UCC on 1/31/2008; revision adopted by GCC on 2/4/2014 & UCC on 2/11/2014.
  5. Definitions revised and adopted by UCC 10/27/20, GCC 11/4/2020, and Faculty Senate 11/10/2020
  6. Definition of hybrid revised and adopted by UCC 3/31/2021, GCC 4/20/2021, and Faculty Senate 5/6/2021.

Other Curriculum Policies

Institute Guidelines expanding section

A. The initial establishment of an Institute or other organization conducting an academic program outside of existing departmental programs should be by action of the Faculty Senate. Proposals for Institutes, or their functional equivalents, should include completion of Academic Program Format C with particular attention to:

  1. Anticipated needs for administrative and instructional staff.
  2. Anticipated needs for Summer Session staff.
  3. The potential effect on existing departments and programs from which institute staff are drawn.
  4. The extent to which the proposed Institute will seek extramural funds.
  5. The standards by which the success or failure of the Institute and its academic programs are to be judged.

Proposals for Institutes are to be submitted to the Provost/Vice Chancellor. With the approval of the Provost/Vice Chancellor, the proposals will be forwarded to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee and upon approval by that committee, forwarded to the Senate for final consideration. Initial approval will be for a period of two years. During the second year of its existence, a new Institute must complete the Audit and Review procedure described in paragraph B of this section.

B. Continuing Institutes, those which have completed the initial Audit and Review after two years of existence, must complete the Audit and Review process every three years.  Institutes are to submit Audit and Review reports to the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee under the schedule announced by the Vice Chancellor for Academic Departments. The Audit and Review report of an Institute should devote particular attention to the evaluation standards defined at the time the Institute was initially approved. Continuation of the Institute following Audit and Review requires action of the Senate.

C. Institutes in existence at the time this report is accepted--Institute for Minority Studies, Institute for Women's Studies, and Honors Program--are to complete the Audit and Review process beginning during the 1979-80 academic year. Subsequently, these Institutes will be reviewed on a three-year cycle as specified in Paragraph B.

E. The Provost/Vice Chancellor may delay the scheduled review of any Institute for one year for the purpose of distributing Institute reviews more evenly in the three-year cycle. This provision applied only to the regular three-year reviews and not the initial review after two years.

International Courses expanding section
  1. All proposals from UWL faculty and staff for credit-generating courses which include travel beyond the region of the University’s customary activity are subject to review and recommendation by the Travel and International Committee.
  2. Once departmental and college approval has been given for a course involving travel, a curriculum course form for this course must be submitted to the Travel and International Education Committee. This committee screens such proposals for content and consistency in format and design. Once reviewed and recommended by this committee, these proposals are then forwarded to the appropriate curriculum committee, or Dean in the case of umbrella course topics, for review and final approval. (This final approval should be obtained before such courses can be advertised).
  3. Credit for courses involving travel shall be generated subject to the existing regulations for resident study.

Approved Faculty Senate December 15, 1988.

If you are serving on a curriculum committee or are a department chair, you will use CIM differently based on your role. These specific training materials will walk you through the process. The curriculum policies on the previous tab should also be reviewed to gain a more thorough understanding of the policies that govern curriculum at UWL.

UCC/GCC guides:

Guides for other approval steps:

Approvers in the workflow such as department chairs, college deans, and committee chairs should review the proposal from the Approval Page, a separate webpage from the Course Forms and Programs Forms. The Approval Page is where the proposal can be approved (and sent forward to the next step in workflow), edited, or rolled back to the proposer (for more editing or to reject proposal).

The link to this page is sent to the approver in the "Action Required" email that comes from the UWL Curriculum Team. Approvers can bookmark the Approver Page in their browser from the link in the email or by using the button below.

The Approval Page requires the same UWL login information as the CIM forms, so login using your normal UWL username and password. Once on the Approval Page, go to your specific approval role in the drop-down menu and select a proposal to review. 

Please note: once you have hit "Approve," you can no longer make edits because the form has moved on to the next step in workflow. If you accidently send the form forward, please contact the next person in workflow to roll the form back to you for more editing. 


Contact the UWL Curriculum Team at with questions or for in-person training.