University Scheduling Policy

Effective class scheduling is critical to the academic mission of the University. It enables students to take the classes they need and create viable schedules, assures faculty availability to teach, and contributes to efficient space utilization and good stewardship of our valuable institutional resources. This policy applies to all quarter-system courses that utilize University classrooms. Courses meeting on weekends or in specialized facilities such as labs, studios and performance spaces are excluded from standard class times/days and distribution.

Authority for Assignment of Space

Classrooms are scheduled by the Office of the Registrar, unless authority is delegated. Academic units with delegated scheduling authority for a classroom will have first priority for that space, providing that the requested classrooms are included in the Schedule of Courses submitted to the Registrar by the required due date. These units must assign seminars and classes with small enrollments to departmental spaces whenever possible.

The Office of the Registrar will publish a scheduling timeline with annual deadlines and dates. Departments that submit both scheduling and classroom information accurately, on-time and within the standard scheduling grid will receive a higher priority for scheduling times and classroom preferences. Schedules that are submitted past the deadline or meeting on non-standard meeting patterns will receive the lowest priority when classrooms are assigned.

Standard Distribution of Classes Across Days and Times

The most popular time for scheduling classes has traditionally been between 10:00-4:00, Monday through Thursday. Too many sections scheduled during these times creates scheduling conflicts for students and results in not having enough general purpose classrooms to meet the high demand during the peak time slots. As such, divisions are expected to follow the following distribution guidelines when assembling their schedules.

Divisions must schedule courses evenly throughout the day. At least 10% of a department’s sections must begin before 10:00 a.m., and at least 10% must begin at 4:00 p.m. or later. Approximately equal numbers of sections should be scheduled between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. The number of sections meeting in two hour blocks on MW/WF should roughly equal the number offered on TR/TF. Divisions that offer one day a week courses are expected to distribute their classes throughout the week.

Undergraduate classes meeting for two hours, twice a week between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. must be scheduled to include Friday meetings in accordance with the following formula:

  • Monday/Wednesday:
    • 30% to 40% (of total scheduled 2x2 seats per time slot)
  • Tuesday/Thursday:
    • 30% to 40% (of total scheduled 2x2 seats per time slot)
  • Tuesday/Friday:
    • 10% to 30% (of total scheduled 2x2 seats per time slot)
  • Wednesday/Friday:
    • 10% to 30% (of total scheduled 2x2 seats per time slot)

The purpose of this distribution is to make sure that there are approximately the same number of undergraduates in class every day of the week before 2 p.m.

Divisions that do not adhere to these scheduling guidelines may be asked to revise their schedules before classrooms are assigned.

Standard Class Times and Days

Standard meeting patterns are necessary in order optimize classroom utilization and for students and faculty to be able to create workable schedules. Classes that utilize standard patterns receive scheduling priority in centrally-controlled classrooms. The standard meeting patterns are:

  • Classes meeting for two hours, two days a week on MW, TR, TF or WF: Classes meeting in this pattern must begin on even number hours, i.e. 8:00, 10:00, 12:00, 2:00 or 4:00.
  • Classes meeting for one hour, three or more days per week on MWF, MTRF, TWRF, MTWR, MWRF, MTWRF: These courses should be distributed evenly over the two-hour blocks. For every course meeting on an even hour, another should meet on the subsequent odd hour.
  • Classes meeting for three to four hours one day a week: Four-hour courses should begin at 8:00, 12:00 and 4:00. Three-hour sections should begin at 9:00, 12:00, 3:00 and 6:00.
  • Classes meeting two days a week for three hours on MW, TR, WF and TF: These sections should begin at 9:00, 1:00 and 5:00.

General Classroom Assignment

General assignment classrooms are scheduled with utilization in mind, but divisions are able to request specific general assignment rooms when schedules are submitted. Schedules that meet the guidelines and are submitted on time will be given first consideration for these spaces. Room requests that meet that criteria are assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis. Faculty with health issues or disabilities will be given top consideration for room requests, but divisions must be sure to identify these sections before room assignments begin to ensure that these sections are placed in an appropriate classroom.