Tips for the Course Proposal Form 

  • Cross-listing: Cross-listing requires the course to carry the prefix and number from another department or program. Indicate any department or program in which the course is to be cross-listed, and specify the cross-listed department/program and number. Please provide a rationale for cross-listing the course. Courses are very rarely cross-listed.
  • Scheduling: Indicate the frequency with which the department anticipates that the course will be offered, and identify courses intended only for summer or otherwise planned for special scheduling. If a course is to be offered only once, please indicate the term.
  • Prerequisites: If “permission of the instructor” is required for students to enroll, enter this requirement as a prerequisite, and state specifically what academically germane criteria will be used to permit enrollment.
  • Course Number: The course number should reflect the level of students for whom the course has primarily been designed. This does not prevent either more advanced students or qualified lower-level students from enrolling.
  • Grading: It is assumed that the standard grading pattern will be employed in the course proposed: letter grade or Pass/Fail at the student’s option. If a mandatory Pass/Fail system will be used, full justification must be provided. In general, only such activities as clinical experience or student teaching, where letter grades are impractical, should employ mandatory Pass/Fail grading. If In-Progress (IP) is to be used, a full explanation must be provided. IP grading should be used only where completion of the course requirements is designed to extend beyond the end of the semester. It should not be used interchangeably with the Incomplete grade.


About the Cover Letter

Submit a 1-2-page (approx.) cover letter that explains how the course fulfills the rubric of the KNOW graduation requirement. Where there is apparent overlap in content with courses in other departments, explain the distinctiveness of and the need for the proposed course.

  • The cover letter needs to address how the course fulfills the rubric of the KNOW requirement, specifically the guidelines. 
  • Core rubrics consists of “Learning Objectives” and “Guidelines.” As highlighted below, the Curriculum Committee evaluates and approves Core courses based on their adherence to the Guidelines, not the Learning Objectives.

    From "University Core Requirements — Detailed" in the Undergraduate Programs and Degrees section of the University Bulletin:

    Each core rubric consists of two sections, “Learning Objectives” and “Guidelines.” Faculty have developed the Guidelines section to achieve the particular Learning Objectives of the core rubric and, more broadly, the university’s educational goals. The Guidelines are intended to be used by faculty to develop core courses and the Curriculum Committee to review core courses. The Learning Objectives are intended to provide a clear statement to students of what they can expect to learn from any given core area. Although the Learning Objectives will assist the faculty in developing Core courses and meeting the Core area’s spirit, the Curriculum Committee will evaluate and approve Core courses based on their adherence to the Guidelines, not the Learning Objectives.
  • A course can potentially fulfill the KNOW requirement and some other core requirements, including EXLN, Language, and Connections 2XX-4XX. If a course is being proposed to fulfill the KNOW requirement and another core, the cover letter and the syllabus need to explain how the course fulfills both rubrics.
  • When an existing core course is proposed as a KNOW course, the proposer does not need to get approval for the previously approved core category.
  • The approval of KNOW courses is sometimes delayed because syllabi reflect how the course content speaks to the KNOW rubric, but not the methods of the course. Proposers should make sure to address the “what” and also the “how."


About the Syllabus

Submit a syllabus for the course that includes:

  • Clear enumeration of student learning outcomes
  • Statement that the course counts towards the KNOW graduation requirement
  • Outline of content and schedule of coursework
  • Student requirements (reading, assignments, written work, projects, etc.), including brief descriptions of major assignments and projects
  • Evaluation criteria and grading structure (as appropriate)
  • Bibliography
  • Required course material
  • Statement of policies regarding Academic Integrity (this statement is developed by the course proposer)
  • Required Syllabus Inserts

An incomplete syllabus may delay the course proposal review.  If a syllabus does not contain all of the items listed above, please provide a brief explanation in the cover letter.



Learning Objectives

Courses in Knowledge, Identity and Power (KNOW) provide a specific site for students to understand the dynamics and consequences of power differentials, inequalities, and divisions among social groups and the relationship to the representation and production of knowledge. Students also develop their capacity to communicate meaningfully about power, disparity, and diversity of experiences and identities in these courses.


  1. These courses provide regular opportunities for students to engage in dialogue about issues of knowledge, identity, and power, and promote critical understanding of the causes, nature, and consequences of individual, institutional, cultural, and/or structural dynamics of disparity, power, and privilege. 
  2. These courses require students to examine their own social positions and lived experiences, and make connections between themselves and course concepts related to disparity, power and privilege—whether local, international, global, historical, or contemporary in scope—in at least two substantive assignments that are part of the overall evaluation for the course. 
  3. These courses require students to engage at multiple points during the semester with materials focused on issues of disparity, power, and privilege that were authored or created by historically marginalized individuals, and/or materials that directly engage with experiences or creative works of marginalized individuals or communities. 
  4. KNOW courses may also fulfill other program or graduation requirements.