Last updated 12/20/16.

Student-Facilitated Courses (Including DeCals)

COCI allows students to facilitate courses offered under the numbers 98 and 198 (directed/organized group study). These are offered as Passed / Not Passed (P/NP). Proposals for such courses must be reviewed and approved by an instructor of record and department chair, and then a copy of the approved proposal must be submitted to COCI. COCI will provide feedback only if there is an issue or question about the proposal.


Fall 2017: The deadline for submission of proposals to be offered in fall 2017 is Tuesday, July 11, 2017. (One month before the end of instruction in the preceding semester.)

Required Documents

The course proposal form must be completed each semester by the sponsoring department for every student-facilitated 98 or 198 course offered for academic credit. The following must be submitted to the Academic Senate:

  1. Course proposal form - The form, instructions, and three checklists are combined into a course proposal packet that must be completed entirely, including all relevant signatures.
  2. Fully developed syllabus - A fully developed syllabus will include at least the following: an outline of course content, a reading list, statement of frequency of class meetings, clear description of assignments and requirements for passing the class, key learning outcomes, method(s) of instruction, and method(s) of evaluation of student performance.
    An example of a fully developed syllabus can be found at the Center for Teaching & Learning. Additional resources may be found at the website for Undergraduate Course Facilitator Training & Resources (UCFTR).
  3. Unit value worksheet - The worksheet to calculate workload and resultant unit value is available for download. Beginning for courses offered in fall 2015, this worksheet is required to be submitted to the Academic Senate.

    Unit value worksheet PDF (open and fill out in Acrobat Reader, then print)
    Unit value worksheet Word version (can be printed and filled out by hand)

    When completing the Unit value worksheet ensure that the minimum total work hours are equivalent to the unit value of the course (e.g.: there are at least 45 hours for a 1 unit course). Also ensure that any requirements outlined in the worksheet are explained fully in the course syllabus.


Student Facilitators

COCI expects that students interested in facilitating a course have taken serious consideration of the time and responsibility required for preparing and facilitating a course. All students should review and affirm that each item on the Student Checklist in the Course Proposal Form has been addressed before facilitating a course.

Special Studies Website Provides overview information about Special Studies 98/198 courses as part of undergraduate education at Berkeley.

DeCal – Undergraduate student facilitators who wish to advertise their courses through DeCal should consult the DeCal website. Be aware that the DeCal student organization has different deadlines and requirements than the Academic Senate.

FAQ about Student-Facilitated Courses Provides answers to some of the more frequently asked questions.

Undergraduate Course Facilitator Training & Resources (UCFTR) Website - Provides a volume of information for training workshops, policies, and tools to support students developing their own course.

Instructor of Record

Instructors of record are expected to work with student facilitators to develop courses that are academic in nature and meet workload requirements, supervise the student facilitators, and submit final grades (among other requirements). See the Faculty Checklist in the Course Proposal Form for a detailed checklist of responsibilities for the instructor of record. 

FAQ for instructors of record - COCI has created a frequently asked questions document specifically for instructors who are considering sponsoring a student-facilitated course. COCI strongly recommends that instructors review this document before agreeing to sponsor a student-facilitated course.

Instructor of Record Responsibilities Signature Sheet – This sheet is intended to compel an additional level of attention by the instructor of record. If a department uses this sheet, COCI will have assurance that the course will be properly supervised. This sheet is not required at this time, but is strongly recommended.

Department Chair

COCI expects department chairs ensure that instructors of record are providing appropriate supervision, that courses have academic requirements, and that resources and administrative support are available to student facilitators. See the Department Chair Checklist in the Course Proposal Form for a detailed checklist laying out the responsibilities of the sponsoring department.

Departmental application form – This sample document is similar to ones used by departments across campus. This form is intended to be edited/customized for each department. Sections in blue/brackets must be edited; additional fields or information can be added as desired. This form is not required by the Academic Senate and is only for department use.

COCI Communication to Departments about Student-Facilitated CoursesDistributed to campus in 2015, this letter provides an overview of department and instructor responsibilities for student-facilitated courses.

COCI Memo about Student-Facilitated Courses and Student GroupsDistributed in 2013, this letter provides an overview of COCI’s recommendations for student-facilitated courses that include fundraising or partnership with outside organizations as part of the course content.