3.1.4 Guidelines for Instructors in “XB” Courses

(last updated 08/20/10)

According to Academic Senate Regulation 800.A: “All members of the University Extension staff . . . shall be members of University departments in which instruction is offered, or . . . shall be endorsed by the Committee on Courses of Instruction concerned . . .”

COCI prefers that “XB” instructors (for both upper and lower division courses) be Berkeley faculty members.

However, if an appropriate faculty member is not available, instructors appointed to teach “XB” courses should hold a doctoral degree.

 “XB” Course Instructors not Holding Doctoral Degrees

Persons who do not hold doctoral degrees will be approved as instructors for “XB” courses only under the following circumstances and conditions:


Requests for approval of an individual who does not hold a doctoral degree as instructor for an “XB” course must be justified by at least one of the following circumstances 

  1. The appointment is being sought in order to fill an unexpected vacancy (e.g., the sudden illness or leave of a regular instructor); or

  2. The appointment is being sought in order to present a course on a topic that is within a department’s intellectual area but for which it does not have an appropriate instructor during the semester in question (in this circumstance, the department should assure the Committee that it will, in the future, seek to have the course taught by either a regular faculty member or an instructor who holds a doctoral degree); or

  3. Staffing the course entirely with faculty members or instructors who hold doctoral degrees would seriously deplete a department’s other course offerings; or

  4. The proposed instructor possesses substantial professional and/or field experience that will, in lieu of possessing a doctoral degree, serve the best interest of the students.

 In all four circumstances, appointments approved by the Committee on Courses of Instruction will be effective for a limited time only, usually one term.


In order for an individual to be approved under one of the preceding circumstances, the proposed instructor must:

  1. Hold an advanced degree (e.g., Master’s or equivalent)3 or be a graduate student who has been advanced to candidacy;

  2. Have demonstrated ability as a teacher whose expertise is appropriate to the course, with at least two years of university- or college-level teaching experience and a verifiable proficiency in the English language as established by the Dean of Extension4; and

  3. Be recommended to the Committee by both the department chair (or designate) and the Dean of Extension.

Additionally, COCI requires documentation that the course syllabus has been reviewed and approved by a Senate faculty member in the department making the request (usually the department chair).


Requests for instructor approvals must be submitted to UC Berkeley Extension, which will forward the requests to COCI.

COCI must receive requests no later than two weeks prior to the first day of instruction in the term for which approval is being requested. With few exceptions, submissions received after this date will not be accepted. Failure to secure timely COCI approval for an instructor could result in cancellation of the course and/or the Office of the Registrar not awarding credit to students enrolled in the course. Please note that the two-week deadline is the date by which COCI must receive requests. Requests should be submitted to Extension well in advance to allow time for processing and review.

All instructor approval requests must include:

  1. UC Extension’s cover sheet with required signatures
  2. Syllabus (endorsed by a Senate faculty member from the department)
  3. Instructor biography (or biography forms)
  4. Three letters of reference (or reference forms) (this requirement is waived if the proposed instructor holds a current academic appointment at UC Berkeley)

COCI will not consider requests that do not contain all these materials.


3In cases where proposed instructors do not hold either a doctoral or other advanced degree, exceptional professional experience and achievement may be considered sufficient if the interests of the students will be best served by the appointment of the proposed instructor. However, all instructors must still meet conditions 2 and 3.

4In transmitting a request for the approval of an “XB” Instructor, the Dean of Extension should verify and confirm that the proposed instructor possesses proficiency in English sufficient for effective teaching. The Dean of Extension may establish appropriate examination/evaluation procedures (e.g., holding a degree from a U.S. institution or passing the SPEAK exam).