Classroom Scheduling Policies

CLASS SCHEDULING GUIDELINESi 

Effective Fall Quarter 2017 

The University Registrar, assisted by the academic deans, has responsibility and authority for scheduling classrooms each term for the University’s general purpose classrooms and for establishing scheduling priorities for all classrooms including specialized teaching spaces.

A. Students and Faculty

  • Undergraduate and graduate students will have adequate scheduling flexibilityii to enable them to complete their degrees in a reasonable amount of time (four years for undergraduates) and to participate in co-curricular programs that enrich the educational experience.
  • In the scheduling of classes, work-life balance and the roles of faculty as teaching scholars will be taken into account, along with other factors that bear on scheduling.
  • Scheduling decisions will give priority to the needs of students and faculty with disabilities.

B. Classrooms

  • The University, the Schools (including the College) will provide and maintain adequate teaching space to meet the needs of students and faculty. Teaching spaces – general classrooms, laboratories, studio spaces, performance spaces, seminar rooms, etc. – will be used effectively.
  • General purpose classrooms will be scheduled by the Registrar and will be available to all academic units. Classrooms designed for specialized teaching purposes normally will be scheduled by departments or Schools (labs, studio spaces, performance spaces, seminar rooms, etc.). Specialized teaching spaces may be scheduled by the Registrar for general use after they have been scheduled by the department or School. The Registrar will consult with the department or School before scheduling classes in specialized teaching spaces.

Following national practices, the University has established 65-70% as an average utilization target for general purpose classrooms. That is, on average, in a standard class-week (i.e., Monday – Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Friday 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.), 65-70% of general classrooms will be scheduled for classes, using standard class times. Courses will be scheduled throughout the available standard class times in a reasonable distribution, allowing for higher utilization at some peak periods and lower utilization at other times. The Registrar will announce the timeline for submitting scheduling requests well in advance of deadline.

  • Utilization of specialized teaching spaces assigned by departments or Schools may be lower. (Current utilization of specialized teaching spaces for scheduled classes is, on average, 22%.) Specialized teaching spaces may be reserved by departments for students and faculty for nonclass lab time, studio time, practice time, department meetings, department events, etc. As noted above, specialized teaching spaces may be scheduled by the Registrar for general use after they have been scheduled or reserved by the department or School. 

A. Standard Meeting Times

  • Standard meeting times for all academic units, graduate and undergraduate, will be published. See below for standard meeting times.
  • Classes will be scheduled during standard meeting times whenever possible. Classes with nonstandard meeting patterns generally will be scheduled after 2:15 p.m. and may be scheduled in specialized teaching spaces rather than general classrooms. Non-standard meeting times will nest within standard meeting times whenever possible.

B. Distribution of Classes

  • To ensure that students have adequate flexibility in course selection, each undergraduate department should schedule at least 30% of its courses during non-peak times (i.e., at times other than 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.). The University is particularly grateful to those departments offering more than 30% of their courses during non-peak times.
  • Approximately 60% of classes will be scheduled on Monday, Wednesday, and/or Friday (including classes meeting on MW, WF, MF, and Friday only) and approximately 40% on Tuesday and/or Thursday.
  • Exceptions to the distribution guidelines may be granted by the Registrar in consultation with the academic dean. Exceptions may involve clustering departments with complementary scheduling needs. 

C. Proximity

  • Undergraduate and graduate programs have scheduling priority, whenever possible, in the buildings in which School, departmental, and faculty offices are located.
  • For faculty teaching back-to-back, classes will be scheduled, whenever possible, in the same room. When this is not possible, every effort will be made to schedule the classes in the same building.

D. Classrooms with Specialized Equipment or Size

  • Computer labs may be used across all disciplines. The Registrar will determine scheduling priority in computer labs in consultation with academic deans.  Departments with conference rooms and seminar rooms have scheduling priority in these rooms.
  • See comments on specialized teaching spaces, above.

E. Classroom Moves

  • Requests for classroom moves for undergraduate classes will be submitted to the Registrar through the chair and administrative assistant.
  • Requests for classroom moves for graduate classes will be submitted to the appropriate graduate program office.
  • Departments are responsible for notifying students of changes in classroom location. The email notification tool in PeopleSoft can be used for this purpose.
  • The Office of the Registrar will attempt to accommodate requests for classroom moves. Decisions are based on space availability and the following priorities: High priority: disability; enrollment exceeding capacity; instructor’s back-to-back classes. Medium priority: board type (white board; black board) and size; technology needs; furniture needs. Low priority; proximity to instructor’s office, seniority.

F. Exams

  • Final exams are scheduled by the Registrar. Students may view exam schedules on eCampus.
  • Administrative assistants will run the final exam query to notify faculty of the time and location of their exams.

STANDARD CLASS TIMES for graduate and undergraduate classes** 

Standard Times for Undergraduate Classes

Period  MWF  T and/or R* MW, WF or MF
1 8:00 am – 9:05 am 8:30 am  – 10:10 am 3:30 pm – 5:15 pm 8:00 am – 11:15 am
2 9:15 am  – 10:20 am 10:20 am  – 12:00 pm 5:25 pm – 7:10 pm 11:45 am – 3:00 pm
3 10:30 am –11:35 am 12:10 pm  – 1:50 pm 7:20 pm – 9:05 pm 3:30 pm – 6:50 pm
4 11:45 am – 12:50 pm 2:00 pm  – 3:40 pm    
5 1:00 pm – 2:05 pm 3:50 pm – 5:30 pm    
6 2:15 pm – 3:20 pm 5:40 pm – 7:20 pm    
7 3:30 pm – 4:35 pm 7:30 pm – 9:10 pm    
8 4:45 pm  – 5:50 pm      
9 6:00 pm – 7:05 pm      
10 7:15 pm – 8:20 pm      
11 8:30 pm – 9:35 pm      

Standard Times for Studio Art Classes 

College of Arts and Sciences 

Period  MW TR
1 8:00 am - 10:20 am 8:30 am - 10:50 am
2 10:30 am – 12:50 pm 11:00 am - 1:20 pm
3 1:00 am - 3:20 pm 2:00 pm - 4:20 pm
4 3:30 pm - 5:50 pm (share-able) 4:30 pm - 6:50 pm (share-able)
5 6:00 pm  – 8:20 pm (share-able) 7:00 pm – 9:20 pm (share-able)

Standard Times for Graduate Classes 

Leavey School of Business   
Period  MW/TR 2 or 4 unit MW/TR 3 units Sa  
1 5:45 pm – 7:20 pm  5:45 pm – 7:00 pm 8:30 am – 11:15 am  
2 7:35 pm – 9:10 pm 7:35 pm – 8:50 pm 12:00 pm – 2:45 pm   
Education and Counseling Psychology       
Period  T W R
1 9:30 am – 12:30 pm 9:30 am – 12:30 pm 9:30 am – 12:30 pm 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
2 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm 
3 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm 
School of Engineering 
Period M, T, W, R, or F (one day per week) MW TR WF
1 7:10 am – 9:00 am 7:10 am – 9:00 am 7:10 am – 9:00 am 7:10 am – 9:00 am 
2 5:10 pm – 7:00 pm 5:10 pm – 7:00 pm 5:10 pm – 7:00 pm 5:10 pm – 7:00 pm 
3 7:10 pm – 9:00 pm 7:10 pm – 9:00 pm 7:10 pm – 9:00 pm 7:10 pm – 9:00 pm 
4 Classes also offered throughout the day on Sa and Su 
School of Law 
Period MW TW    
1 9:00 am – 10:15 am 9:00 am – 10:15 am    
2 10:30 am – 11:45 am 10:30 am – 11:45 am    
3 1:10 pm – 2:25 pm 1:10 pm – 2:25 pm    
4 2:40 pm – 3:55 pm 2:40 pm – 3:55 pm    
5 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm 6:00 pm – 7:15 pm    
6 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm 7:30 pm – 8:45 pm    


*The Task force recommends a review of TR class times.  See Report.  

** WF, MF, and F options are new.  

Examples of specific requests: Math, Modern Languages, and Engineering request classes three times per week to meet pedagogical needs.   Modern Languages requests classes three times per week in the evenings: MTR, approximately 7:00 – 8:45 p.m. Studio Art classes require longer class times.  

iThis document was created, and is updated as needed, by the Registrar, in consultation with the academic deans.  It was revised in 2011-12 on the recommendation of the 2011 Task Force on Classrooms and Class Scheduling. The revisions reflect the Task Force discussions, research into practices at comparable institutions, research into SCU’s utilization patterns, and a survey of SCU faculty. The revision maintains the basic structure and content of the 2009 document. Changes include the following:

  • The 17 policies in the 2009 document are clustered into six groups of related policies;
  • Some content is moved into footnotes;
  • A set of foundational assumptions introduces the document;
  • The document is designed to encompass all class scheduling, in general classrooms and specialized teaching spaces, as well as in undergraduate and graduate classrooms;
  • The 85% target prior to 2:00 p.m. in the 2009 document is replaced with a 65-70% overall target to encourage classroom distribution throughout the day (late afternoon and evening as well as early morning and mid-day);
  • The length of the ~60 hour class week is clarified;
  • The availability of specialized teaching spaces for general use (after specialized scheduling has been completed) is emphasized;
  • MF, WF, and Friday only options are added;
  • Policies for non-standard class scheduling are clarified and “nesting” of non-standard meeting times in standard blocks is requested. 

iiStudent needs for flexibility in scheduling include the following:

  • Undergraduate students in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines must enroll in several integrated course sequences and in afternoon laboratory courses. Standard times for labs are 2:15 – 5:00 p.m. any day of the week. Morning classes provide the greatest flexibility for STEM students.
  • Student-athletes typically participate in practices beginning at 2:00 or 2:15 p.m. Morning classes provide the greatest flexibility for student-athletes.
  • Students in all majors can find it difficult to enroll in a full course load when a large percentage of classes are scheduled in the hours between 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. (peak time). Scheduling courses in the morning, throughout the day, and in the evening provides the greatest flexibility for students.
  • Students enrolling in classes scheduled during non-standard class periods sometimes find it difficult to enroll in a full course load. Scheduling courses during standard class times provides the greatest flexibility for students.