Do's and Don'ts for Writing Course Proposals


  1. Follow format guidelines exactly; format guidelines are high priority.

  2. Course objectives:

    Please write clear objectives that can be understood by faculty/staff not in your field.

    Please write behavioral objectives. See Bloom's taxonomy for appropriate levels of behavioral objectives in the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor domains.

  3. Graduate objectives:

    If this course is open to graduate students, it will need graduate objectives. Please make a separate listing of these graduate objectives following the undergraduate objectives, under a heading called Graduate Objectives.

  4. Course outline:

    In outline form, illustrate units or modules that make up the course. On the course outline, after each unit name, write the objective(s) number(s) that it supports. Each unit or module will list major concepts, ideas, and/or skills that are covered and/or developed. The course outline will be consistent with its catalog description and present the content in a concise, yet complete enough manner so that reviewers of the proposal, students and teachers have a clear sense of it.

  5. Course evaluation:

    Please only give general categories/methods of course evaluation, not specifics. The evaluation specifics may change from semester to semester and from instructor to instructor.

  6. Course revisions:

    For all course revisions, please include both the "old" and the "revised" course descriptions, course objectives, course outlines, etc., so that CIC members can see what changes have been made in each of these areas.

  7. Materials viewed as relevant to the course materials but not required as part of the new course proposal/course revision should be placed in an appendix.


If these "Do's" are not followed, the course proposal/course revision will be sent back to the originator before going before the full CIC.

CIC committee members are available to serve as resource people to members of their respective college/school who are writing course proposals.

Outstanding examples of new course proposals:

LIT-275 [PDF]                       HT-316 [PDF]


  1. Please do not attach actual course syllabi to course proposals.

  2. Please do not take actual tables of contents out of textbooks to use as your course outline. Course documentation requires a general course outline that will stand the test of time and that can be used by anyone teaching the course.

CIC Subcommitte on Format Guidelines
January 2005