Proposing a New Course

The joint Columbia College—General Studies Committee on Instruction (COI) must review and approve any course open to Columbia College or School of General Studies students that (1) is new, (2) has not been taught in five or more years, or (3) has been changed in content, title, course level, course type, requirements or instructor (i.e., changed in ways that might result in a substantially different course from the one originally approved).

These course submissions should be received by the Committee on Instruction by the following deadlines:

  • Courses to be taught in a Fall term:  March 15

  • Courses to be taught in a Spring term:  October 15

  • Courses to be taught in a Summer session:  November 15

These deadlines are necessary in order to allow the COI to have sufficient time to review a proposed course and to allow the Office of the University Registrar to have sufficient time to post the course to the online Directory of Classes/Vergil and to find a classroom for the course. The COI welcomes proposals at any time prior to the deadlines.

In the pages in this guide, you can learn more about expectations that the COI has for undergraduate coursework (Structuring a Syllabus), advice for promoting the course to undergraduates (Writing a Course Description for the Bulletin) and guidelines for determining course credit (Guidance on Course Points).

You will also find detailed instructions for submitting proposals to the COI (Submitting a Course Proposal to the Committee on Instruction), instructions for having the course considered for particular parts of the required undergraduate curriculum (Submitting a Course Proposal for the Global Core or Science Requirement), and special instructions for proposing a course that will be taught away from campus (Proposing an Off-Campus Course or Program).

The Columbia College—General Studies Committee on Instruction is jointly staffed by Lisa Hollibaugh, dean of Academic Affairs for Columbia College, and Caroline Marvin, dean of Academic Affairs for the School of General Studies. Both deans would be happy to consult with instructors about the development of courses and about the COI policies and processes, and they can both be contacted by emailing