The Physics Department has a "topics" course listed as Special Topics PHYS-UA 800. These are typically used when a visiting or late-arriving new faculty member makes it possible to offer, on short notice, a worthwhile new course; when a department wishes to try out a new course before submitting it as a regular course; or when a new course is unlikely ever to be given again. The specific topics courses do not require further approval.
How do I create a topics course?
Speak with the Department Administrator about scheduling your course using a topics number. They take only a few weeks to create rather than the several months that a new course proposal can take.
All new courses must be approved by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee (UCC) and the FAS faculty before courses for the semester in which they are to be given are posted on Albert.
All undergraduate new course proposals should be submitted to the Director of Undergraduate Studies, who will send them to CAS on behalf of the Physics Department.
All new course proposals should include an Undergraduate New Course Proposal Form and a Syllabus.
- Fall Courses: February 1st
- Spring Courses: September 1st
- Summer Courses: November 15th
Questions to consider when creating a new course:
- Is the topic/area to be covered presented clearly and coherently?
- Does the short description suitably advertise the course to students?
- Is the workload for the declared level of the course (including readings, assignments, tests, research projects, and papers) comparable to that of similar courses in the College? (The UCC recommends 60-100 pages of reading per week, and 20 pages of writing per course.)
- Does the syllabus list all readings, assignments and due dates, exams, etc., clearly and in detail?
- Does the new course overlap with courses offered in other departments? (The DUS is responsible for checking for overlap within the department.)
- Does the course have the proper prerequisites?
- Has the proposer consulted with other faculty teaching courses on the topic or related topics, inside and outside her/his department? Should the course be cross-listed?
- If the proposer is not a regular full-time member of FAS, what plans does the department have for staffing the course in the future?
For more information about the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee, click here.
Graduate New Course Proposals
Deadlines for new course proposals can be found on the GSAS Curriculum Committee website. Please keep in mind that new course proposals are usually due at the beginning of the semester prior to the one in which the course will run, i.e. Spring 2014 courses are due at the start of the Fall 2013 semester.
All new course proposals should include an Graduate New Course Proposal Form and a Syllabus.
New syllabi should contain all of the following:
- a description of the course as it would appear in the bulletin (250 words or less)
- a description of the aims of the course
- a detailed list of the weekly topics and the assigned and recommended readings
- a description of all examinations, papers and/or other requirements
- a description of how the students will be evaluated along with a breakdown of how each of the course requirements constitutes the final grade