Course Cancellation Policy

Overview

Course Categories 1, 2, and 3 require a signed letter from the department chair. For more information on what needs to be in the letter please review the CEP Course Cancellation Policy below.

All canceled courses require that a Course Cancel Form be completed and submitted to the Registrar’s Office and CEP.

Course Cancellation Policy

Any proposal to cancel a course requires a Course Cancellation Form, which must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office (coursescheduling@hsph.harvard.edu) and the Committee on Educational Policy (cep@hsph.harvard.edu).

Timing

A course should be cancelled before the following dates:

  • For the Summer term: mid-January
  • For the Fall/Spring term: mid-April

Please note, these dates align with the Registrar’s Office course offering deadline. All course must be moved to “ACTIVE” or have cancellation forms submitted by these dates.

Cancellation Policies by Course Category

Category 1 courses

Category 1 courses meet school-wide core requirements for master’s and/or doctoral students.

In general, a Category 1 course may not be cancelled after the course schedule is published because the academic plans of many students could be affected. Departments or Programs responsible for these courses should have contingency plans in place (e.g., substitute faculty) in the event that exceptional circumstances arise after the course schedule is published (e.g., instructor illness).

If a department or program believes that there are extenuating circumstances that justify the cancellation of a Category 1 course, the department or program must submit a letter from the department chair or faculty director that demonstrates the following:

The school is offering another course (or courses) that can fulfill these requirements and that is suitable (in terms of level, covered competencies and pre-requisites) for all students who would have taken the required course • There is sufficient capacity in the other course(s) to accommodate all students who have to take the required course • All of the affected departments/programs have been consulted in advance and agree that the alternate course(s) are offered at a time that works for their students given other curriculum requirements • Department/programs have a clear plan for communicating to affected students sufficiently in advance of the beginning of registration to allow students to adjust their course schedules.

Category 2 Courses

Category 2 courses are required for students in one or more degree programs and/or fields of study within a degree program.

In general, a Category 2 course may not be cancelled after the course schedule is published because the academic plans of many students could be affected. Departments or Programs responsible for these courses should have contingency plans in place (e.g., substitute faculty) in the event that exceptional circumstances arise after the course schedule is published (e.g., instructor illness).

If a department or program believes that there are extenuating circumstances that justify the cancellation of a Category 2 course, the department or program must submit a letter from the department chair or faculty director that demonstrates the following:

Option 1: The departments or programs affected agree to waive the requirement that students in the relevant program(s) take the course.

Option 2: The departments or programs have developed another plan for affected students to obtain the required competencies that are covered in the cancelled course.

This could include:

  • The department or program is offering another course (or courses) that can fulfill the course requirement and that is suitable for all students (in terms of level, covered competencies and pre-requisites) who would have taken the required course.
  • There is sufficient capacity in the other course(s) to accommodate all students who had to take the required course.
  • All of the affected departments/programs have been consulted in advance and agree that the alternate course(s) is offered at a time that works for their students given other curriculum requirements.

Departments/programs are not required to accommodate other departments or programs that have designated courses in other programs as required for their students without advance consultation and agreement by the department/program that offers the course.

In both Option 1 and Option 2, the departments/programs must show a clear plan for communicating to affected students sufficiently in advance of the beginning of registration to allow students to adjust their course schedules.

Category 3 Courses

Category 3 courses are essential to the mission of the department or program but have been designated as one of several options for meeting a degree requirement.

A Category 3 course cannot be cancelled unless the sponsoring departments/programs demonstrates the following:

  • The department or program is offering another course (or courses) that can fulfill the course requirement and that is suitable for all students (in terms of level, covered competencies and pre-requisites) who were interested in taking the required course.
  • There is sufficient capacity in the other course(s) to accommodate all students who cannot now take the course being canceled.
  • The other courses are offered at times that do not conflict with the scheduling of other required courses for the affected students.
  • All of the affected departments/programs have been consulted in advance and agree that the alternate course(s) is an acceptable option for students given other curriculum requirements.
  • Departments/programs are not required to accommodate other departments or programs that have designated courses in other departments/programs as required for their students without advance consultation and agreement by the department/program that offers the course.
  • The departments/programs have a clear plan for communicating to affected students sufficiently in advance of the beginning of registration to allow students to adjust their course schedules.

Category 4 Courses

Category 4 courses are electives and are not required to be taken by students in any degree program or field of study.

A Category 4 course cannot be cancelled unless the sponsoring department/program provides:

  • A clear plan for communicating to affected students sufficiently in advance of the beginning of registration to allow students to adjust their course schedules.
  • This plan should ideally include information about other courses at Harvard Chan or the University that are similar to the course being cancelled and might be of interest to students looking for alternatives.