Proposing a New Course

Overview of Course Proposal Process

In order to ensure expeditious approvals of new courses, the CEP requests new course proposals one month prior to the intended meeting review date. For example, if you expect a newly proposed course to be on the agenda for November 6th meeting, then you should submit your materials to the CEP a month earlier. The list of CEP meetings can be viewed here.

While the CEP accepts new course proposals monthly during the academic year, we strongly recommend you follow the Registrar’s course offering dates as a guideline when submitting course proposals to CEP. For example, if your department proposes a Fall course, all materials must be submitted to CEP by May 1. 

  • Summer Term – by March 1
  • Fall Term – by May 1
  • Winter/Spring Term – by September 1

Please note, the CEP does not review courses in the summer. Exceptions will be granted to address emergency issues, such as last minute staffing changes due to an unexpected personal or medical emergency or similar issue.

All course proposal materials must be emailed to the CEP email box,

Required Documentation for Course Proposals

New course proposals must include the following documentation:

    1. New Course Proposal Form – All new course proposals must be submitted one month prior to the meeting date for preferred review. CEP reserves the right to place new course proposals on the following month’s agenda if not received within this timeframe.
    2. Syllabus: CEP requires all new courses use the approved CEP General Syllabus Template
    3. Letter of endorsement from the department/ program chair or (in case of ID courses multiple chairs)
    4. List of affiliated faculty members. – Anyone listed on a course proposal form must be approved to teach by Office of Faculty Affairs (all must have a designated appointment)
    5. Course description with specific directions around registration, if different from syllabi (for my.harvard course listing)
    6. Send reading list to Curriculum Center once approved: Newly approved syllabi will be sent by CEP to the Curriculum Center to start the process for course materials copyright approvals and review of affordability. Faculty/instructors should submit reading lists to the Curriculum Center at least 4-6 weeks before the start of the term/semester. Please refer to the Curriculum Center Reading List Submission Timeline.

Course Status Once Approved by CEP

Pending and Conditional Approval: New courses either receive “pending” approval (requires more information) or granted “conditional” approval for 1 year. Conditional approval may be extended for one year if the course is not evaluated or receives a student course evaluation rating of less than 4.0.

Formal Approval: “Formal” course approval is given to courses that received conditional approval for previous year, with course ratings higher than 4.0 and with more than 5 students enrolled.