Undergraduate Seminars Program - Staff Guidelines

Scheduling Seminars

  • Seminar Program approval is required to offer freshman seminars. Once a seminar is approved, the Seminar Program will request a section ID from the Scheduling Office and the department will be informed to begin the scheduling process. Seminars are held in department meeting space in rooms with capacity of at least 20 seats.
  • Seminars have a maximum enrollment of 20 students.
  • Seminars are required to meet between 8 and 10 hours during the quarter (excluding holidays). Most seminars meet once a week but faculty have the flexibility of offering seminars at various times.
  • The program office will follow the Schedule of Classes: Publication Schedule when scheduling seminars.
  • Please provide standard scheduling information (room, day, start and end times) to the Scheduling Office prior to or during the last look phase of the scheduling process. The program office will download the scheduling information you submit to Scheduling through a data query to populate the Freshman Seminar website.
  • If standard scheduling information is missing after the last look phase of scheduling, please email the Scheduling Office directly and copy April Burcham to update the seminar website.
  • The Seminar Program has an agreement with the Scheduling Office to maintain a website with class meeting dates -- this is required since seminars do not all meet on a regular schedule. The Scheduling Office does not list the meeting dates in the Schedule of Classes. 
  • The Seminar Office will contact you for the meeting weeks during the last look scheduling phase. Meeting weeks can be listed as dates or by weeks (i.e, Weeks 1-10, 2-9, 3-8 and etc.). Please note, when scheduling Thursday or Friday seminar meeting dates for fall to double check if the seminar starts zero week or first week.
  • Please note: if a faculty member is teaching a college seminar because the topic does not fit within your department, all the colleges do not provide support for scheduling the meeting room and often this seminar will be scheduled in your department meeting space.
  • Providing complete scheduling information by the time the Schedule of Classes is posted is essential to optimizing enrollment in seminars.
  • Faculty and staff should use the web proposal form to submit Freshman Seminar Proposals. Proposal due dates are posted on this page.
  • The instructor proposing the Seminar; the Seminar staff contact for the proposed seminar’s department, program, or college; and April Burcham receive an electronic copy by email of the proposed seminar once submitted via the web form.

Submitting Seminar Proposals and Approvals

  • Faculty can use the web proposal form to submit Seminar Proposals. Proposal due dates are posted on this page.  It is linked to Single Sign-On so only faculty teaching the seminar may use the form.
  • Fall 2018 Quarter deadline – Friday, March 9, 2018
    Winter 2019 Quarter deadline – Friday, June 22, 2018
    Spring 2019 Quarter deadline – Friday November 16th, 2018
  • The instructor proposing the Seminar; the Seminar staff contact for the proposed seminar’s department, program, or college; and April Burcham receive an electronic copy by email of the proposed seminar once submitted via the web form.

New Seminar Approvals

  • Approval is required by the Department Chair, Undergraduate Council (UGC) and the Seminar Program.
  • The Department Chair (or equivalent) must approve new Seminar proposal topics the first time they are offered and the Seminar Program will coordinate UGC approval (this approval is standard for topics courses).
  • The Chair/Director/Provost should review the proposal from two points of view:
  1. Is the level appropriate for freshman (freshman seminars) or seniors (senior seminars)?
  2. Is the content appropriate to be offered in your department?
  • We ask that the department staff email April Burcham after they have acquired department chair (or equivalent) approval. Please maintain your chair's approval in your department in the same manner you do for any new course.
  • If a Department Chair finds that the proposal is not appropriate for offering as a department/program Seminar, but thinks that it would be appropriate to be offered as a College Seminar, please contact April Burcham.
  • The seminar program office will acquire UGC approval for new seminar topics and will notify faculty and staff contacts once this approval is acquired. UGC approval can take two to three months.
  • The Seminar Program will coordinate UGC approval for new seminars and will notify departments when approval is acquired so you may start the scheduling process.
  • Please note for Senior Seminars: in addition to the “department stamp” prerequisite included on the Course Approval Form, prerequisites may be implemented for a specific Senior Seminar by including them on the web form in the ‘Prerequisite’ box. Prerequisites will be included in the seminar description when posted on the Senior Seminar website. Some examples of prerequisites that might apply to a specific seminar are: course co-requisites, department majors only, etc.

Repeat Seminar Approval

  • Once a seminar has acquired department chair and UGC approval this approval is not needed again to repeat the seminar in future quarters. If a faculty member is teaching outside of their department, additional approval is also required.
  • The program office will email faculty and staff contacts when repeat seminars are approved by the program. This approval will take place when the Scheduling Office starts the course building phase of developing the quarterly schedules.

Creating Course Approval

Most Departments, Programs, and Colleges have an approved (XX87) and (XX192) course. If your unit does not have an approved (XX87) or (XX192) course approval, you will need to use eCourse to initiate the process.

  • Please refer to the XX87 course approval template when filling out the online eCourses Approval Form for Freshman Seminars. This template has been approved by UGC and will ensure timely processing. Only the highlighted areas on the template should be completed by each department, program, and college.
  • Please contact April Burcham for guidelines and an example form for XX192 Senior Seminars.
  • Normal approvals are required to setup the course approval form for a Seminar (i.e., department chair, senate, registrar's office) and can typically take one quarter to finalize.
  • Please note prerequisites included on the xx192 Course Approval Form will apply to all 192s offered by a department, program, or college and may not vary by seminar.


  • Why are these seminars offered? To provide students with the opportunity to engage in a small class experience. This allows freshman to interact with faculty and peers in a small academic setting. First year seminar experiences are highly praised thoughout educational groups.
  • When will faculty receive their teaching payment? Second week of the quarter providing the seminar met the enrollment minimum of 10 on the first Thursday of First Week.
  • What can I do to help increase enrollment? Contact your majors and minors or students in majors and minors that are related to the topic being offered. Refer to the "publicity" section of the faculty guidelines for more information. Most seminars reach enrollment close to capacity about a week after the frehman enrollment period ends.
  • Why are seminars scheduled in department rooms? Faculty need the flexibility to offer the seminars when it fits into their schedules and regular campus classrooms are usually scheduled on a week 1-10 basis at the same time.