Guidelines for Short Courses

“Short Courses” are classes whose duration is less than a half semester (7 week module) and that are not generally a recurring part of the curriculum. Typical uses for Short Courses are courses offered in conjunction with the campus visit of a scholar with exceptional expertise or experience. Please consult the guidelines for course descriptions when preparing the Short Course for submission; when ready, use this form to send the Short Course description to the Curriculum Committee. The Curriculum Committee needs at least three weeks notice prior to the start of the short course to be able to consider the proposal.

Guidelines for Short Course Descriptions


  1. Use 100 words or fewer.
  2. Write in the present tense (e.g., “Students investigate…,” not “Students will investigate…”).
  3. Begin the description with a sentence fragment (e.g., “A study of…”)
  4. Use the word “course” sparingly.
  5. Avoid rhetorical questions.
  6. Avoid discipline-specific jargon or specialized terms unlikely to be understood by potential students.


  1. Provide a concise yet comprehensive summary of the course content.
  2. Include information about instructional formats other than lecture/discussion (lab, field work, field trips, etc).
  3. Include the length and times of meetings (two-hour evening classes, meetings over lunch, evening lectures, etc).
  4. Provide inclusive dates for the short course. These dates should be less than seven weeks and from the first required academic activity to the last, so should include any final presentation, exam, or assignment. If appropriate, include information about non-standard dates for meetings (e.g. during breaks).
  5. If inclusive dates are not yet available please provide the proposed duration of the course, but be aware that it cannot be posted to WebAdvisor or students enrolled until the exact dates are established.
  6. If appropriate, include information about additional costs and refund policies.