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Classroom Protocols and Policies

For information specific to classroom policies, scheduling, maintenance, rules, and access for students with disabilities, please visit our Classroom Policies page.

Scheduling Changes After Registration

Departments are strongly encouraged to proof their schedules before priority registration opens for the term. Once registration begins, changes to the schedule are quite restricted.

Requesting changes to sections after registration begins:

  • Requests must be submitted via email stating the reason for the change and must have the support of the department chair.
  • Late day/time changes will only be approved under very unusual circumstances.
    • In the event a day/time change is approved, the section will be cancelled and a new section created. It will be the responsibility of the department to contact students to inform them of the change and invite students to enroll in the replacement section if the new day/time fits their schedule.
    • This cancellation process may be applied to other change types as well.
  • Courses newly approved through CIM, the curriculum proposal system, after registration begins will not be offered until the next term if there is an existing placeholder section with enrollment. Contact the Catalog Coordinator if you have questions about the effective term of a proposal.
  • Once registration begins, sections will no longer be deleted from the Schedule of Classes, but will be changed to “cancelled” status.
  • Faculty and departments must not change or trade assigned classrooms without approval from the Schedule Desk.       
  • Room changes are accommodated if an appropriate replacement is available. Departments should not continue to add students to a class with the expectation that a larger room will be found as there may not be one available.
  • In the event of an emergency closure of a classroom building, the Schedule Desk will attempt to relocate classes and will work with departments on this effort.

Related protocols: Changes to Courses and Academic Programs: Catalog Year Policy

Credit & Contact Hours

The Academic Catalog provides a definition of the correlation between credits and contact hours, which should be adhered to when scheduling course sections. 

Zone Requirements

Course section and classroom scheduling protocols help students to get the courses they need to graduate by reducing scheduling conflicts. For faculty, it optimizes access to instructional technology and facilities. The protocol applies to all classes scheduled in general purpose and departmental classroom space. See our Zone Requirements for more detailed information.

Adding Course Fees to Sections

Please notify the Schedule Desk of new course fees by completing the course fees web form. Course fees will not be added to a course section until they are fully approved and listed in the fee book for the corresponding term.


Waitlists should be maintained and monitored by the Department Scheduler.

Waitlists should not be added to sections with reserved seating applied.

If adding waitlists to linked sections (e.g. linked lecture with a zero-credit lab/recitation), the waitlist should be applied to the zero credit section(s) only in almost all situations. This allows students to waitlist the particular lab or recitation section that fits their schedule.

If adding waitlists to linked sections, waitlists may never be added to more than one schedule type in the linked group (e.g. a linked lecture lab cannot have a waitlist on the lecture and the lab, only on one section).

Crosslisting / Slash Listing

The Office of Academic Programs and Assessment (APA) describes parameters and guidelines with regards to crosslisting and slash listing courses at the catalog level; the Schedule Desk uses the term “crosslisting” interchangeably to describe both situations because they utilize the same types of crosslist codes. Sections are considered crosslisted at the section level when two or more sections are linked together via a crosslist code in Banner (consisting of two alphanumeric characters). Sections should only be crosslisted in Banner if they are taught in the same space at the same time, with limited exceptions for remote vs in person modalities.

While crosslisting in the scheduling world indicates mostly that two sections will be taught in the same space at the same time (classroom and/or Canvas site), the Schedule Desk also follows the spirit of those APA guidelines when determining which sections may and may not be crosslisted. At its very essence, crosslisting is intended for otherwise identical sections from different academic units, or for slash courses (graduate/undergraduate).

Courses do not need to be described as crosslisted in the catalog in order to be crosslisted at the section level, but must, in most circumstances, follow those APA guidelines, including:

  • Matching or closely matching titles
  • Matching credit amounts and schedule types
  • Matching or closely matching course descriptions
  • Matching or closely matching prerequisite course requirements

Limited exceptions may be made if the spirit of the courses dictates that the sections should be taught in the same space while not necessarily following those guidelines listed above. Mentor/mentee, teacher/student, presenter/audience, or other similar situations, for example, may involve different titles or credit amounts, but should by their very nature be taught in the same room at the same time and must be crosslisted sections. These types of course relationships should, ideally, be noted in the catalog course descriptions. Special topics courses can also be crosslisted with standard courses with permission from the Schedule Desk.

Other Schedule Desk rules for crosslisting include:

  • Ecampus sections cannot be crosslisted with on-campus sections.
  • Any graduate level section crosslisted (“slash” listed) with an undergraduate section must include the section comment “Does not meet Graduate School’s stand-alone requirement” prior to students registering for the class.
  • Any crosslisted sections will have individual section maximum enrollments, as well as a combined crosslist max enrollment (also referred to as an “internal max”). Internal max should not exceed the sum of the enrollment maxes for all sections.
  • Crosslisted courses will be automatically combined into one Canvas course. Instructors may also choose to use the Canvas Course Merge Tool to merge some non-crosslisted sections of a course into a single Canvas course. Contact Canvas Support for more information about merging Canvas sites.

Section Number Policy

Academic course sections will have section numbers based on the following protocols determined by campus and/or type.

  • 001-089 sections are for Corvallis campus
  • 090-099 sections are for EOP (Education Opportunities Program) Corvallis campus students
  • 100-179 sections are for Corvallis campus
  • 180-199 sections are for Corvallis campus exam for credit sections
  • 200-399 sections are not available for use
  • 400-449 sections are for Ecampus sections
  • 450-479 sections are for Portland/PDX Campus
  • 480-499 sections are for Ecampus Hybrid sections
  • 500-599 sections are for OSU-Cascades campus
  • 600-699 sections are for INTO OSU students
  • 700-799 sections are for EOU-La Grande campus
  • 800-899 sections are for HMSC-Newport campus
  • 900-979sections are for Study Abroad / OSU GO
  • 980-999 sections are for Study Abroad / OSU GO Cascades sections

Section Title Policies

Only specific variable topic and blanket course sections may have their title altered from the catalog title. Any custom section title will include a required prefix to indicate the course type, or another prefix as determined/approved by the Schedule Desk (see table below and https://beav.es/3ku). Some examples of these prefixes are listed below, but Department Schedulers should consult the Schedule Desk for guidance on custom section titles. All custom section titles are subject to review and edits by the Schedule Desk.

Course Type Prefix/Course Indicator
Special/Selected Topics ST/
Special/Selected Studies SS/
Topics TOPICS/ or T/
Advanced Topics AT/
Studies STUDIES/ or ST/
Research/Research & Conference RESEARCH/ or RES/
Thesis (403 only) THESIS/
Independent Study IS/
Writing & Conference W&C/
Reading & Conference R&C/
Projects PROJECT/ or PROJ/
Special Problems/Projects PROJ/ or SP/
Seminar SEMINAR/ or SEM/
Workshop WORKSHOP/ or WS/
Practicum PRACTICUM/ or PRAC/
Internship INTERNSHIP/ or INT/
Leadership LEADERSHIP/ or LEAD/
Overseas Study OS/

Schedule Types

Below is a list of commonly used schedule types, their definitions for scheduling, and the minimum number of contact hours required to be scheduled for them (if any). Types with "No Minimum" contact hours are typically expected to have scheduled meetings, but are not held to any specific guidelines for contact hours. Each credit earned requires 30 hours engagement per regular term. Contact hours vs outside of class requirements vary by schedule type. See credit hour policy

Schedule Type (Code) Description Scheduled Contact Hour Requirements
Activity (H) A course or educational procedure designed to stimulate learning via firsthand experience. No minimum
Discussion (B) A course that is used to facilitate consideration of a question or topic in open and informal debate. No minimum
Examination for Credit (V) A special examination for regularly enrolled student in good standing, either graduate or undergraduate; may petition for credit examination. See Academic Regulation 23 for details. None; exam period only
Experiential (O) A course relating to, derived from, or providing experience. None
Externship (U) An experiential course designed to provide on-the-job experience in an academic setting off campus, where students can earn academic credit. None
Hybrid (HYB) A section including both regularly scheduled on-site classroom meetings, and significant online out-of-classroom components that replace regularly scheduled class meeting time. 30-70% compared to traditional campus section
Independent or Special Studies (F) A course of organized instruction or research determined solely by a student and their instructor. None
Internship (J) An experiential course designed to provide on-the-job experience in an academic setting on or off campus, where students can earn academic credit. None
Laboratory (D) Part of a course set aside for experimentation, observation, or practice in a field of study. A proposal that goes through the full review process must be submitted to add the laboratory schedule type to a course. At least 2 hours per week per credit hour for a regular term
Lecture (A) An academic discourse given by an instructor before a group of students. 1 hour per week per credit hour for a regular term
Group Midterm Exam (MID) An examination held approximately halfway through the course and held at a different time than the regularly scheduled class. Group examinations are scheduled administratively. See https://registrar.oregonstate.edu/exams for more information. None; exam period only
Online (Y) A fully developed course where the dominant medium tool is the internet. Students spend a significant amount of time online in the areas of content, assessment, and interaction to the degree that the student must participate through the use of a computer to complete course requirements. None
Practicum (M) A course designed for the preparation of teachers and clinicians that involve the practical application of previously studied theory, knowledge, and skills under the supervision of a senior instructor. None
Project (S) A course with individualized instruction designed for students to complete an independent project of the students design. None
Reading and Conference (N) A course focused on designated subject matter to be read by a student and discussed in conference with an instructor. None
Recitation (C) Part of a course requiring a public exhibition of acquired skills and knowledge. At least 2 hours per week per credit hour for a regular term
Research (G) A course through which students earn credit for a studious inquiry or examination aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws, and/or the collecting of information about a particular subject. None
Seminar (E) A course pursued by a small group of students under the direction of an instructor for the purpose of presenting and exchanging ideas or research findings via lectures, reports, and discussions. 1 hour per week per credit hour for a regular term
Studio (R) A course incorporating practical experience where students receive individualized instruction and lectures in a studio setting. At least 2 hours per week per credit hour for a regular term
Thesis (Q) A course designed to cover the thesis/dissertation research and writing. Students may register for thesis/dissertation credit each term. None
Workshop (W) A brief intensive course for a small group which emphasizes problem solving.  Classes are expected to provide academic engagement throughout the entire part of term in which it is scheduled. No minimum

Blanket Courses

Certain section numbers are reserved for blanket courses in the Catalog. These are:

  • 401/501/601: Research and Scholarship
  • 402/502/602: Independent Study
  • 403/503/603: Thesis/Dissertation
  • 404/504/604: Writing and Conference
  • 405/505/605: Reading and Conference
  • 406/506/606: Special Problems/Projects
  • 407/507/607: Seminar
  • 408/508/608: Workshop
  • 409/509/609: Practicum/Clinical Experience
  • 410/510/610: Internship/Work Experience

Blanket courses should have only one instructor listed per section, unless that section has meeting days and times and is being taught by more than one instructor. Multiple instructors should not be listed on blanket course CRNs to act as a "catch all." This avoids confusion as to which instructor should be grading which student when grades are due.

It is strongly recommended that blanket courses should have Departmental Approval (DP/SAPR) restrictions in place to avoid students registering for incorrect sections.

  • Banner/SYASECT rules (terms 202200 and earlier): Departments should not update instructors for 503/603 Thesis sections. Requests to update those sections should be sent to the Schedule Desk.
  • CLSS rules (terms 202201 and after): Departments should update their 503/603 Thesis instructors in CLSS, which will be reviewed by the Schedule Desk prior to being pushed to Banner. Thesis sections may not have "Staff" listed (i.e. may not have no instructor listed); all 503/603 sections must have an instructor listed at all times. 503/603 Thesis sections may only have one instructor listed.

Individualized blanket courses may be offered to students wanting to explore areas of special interest that are not provided in the existing curriculum. A faculty member and student must together negotiate a course of study. The department must then create an individualized CRN before the student can register. All individualized blanket courses must require special approval (SAPR-Departmental Approval). The department should request a CRN that will reflect the individual course of study (including a unique course title) and an assigned instructor of record. Please advise students to register for the section with their unique course title and instructor. Departments should not advise students to register for any available section as a placeholder. This will help to avoid late registration petitions later in the term. Incorrect registration could also negatively impact grade collection, end of term processing, academic history, and degree clearance.

Instructor of Record and Graduate Teaching Assistants

In consultation with the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, the following changes were implemented beginning with the Spring 2010 term:

Instructor of Record:

The “Instructor of Record” will be designated for all courses at Oregon State University by the primary instructor indicator flag assigned to that course. The “Instructor of Record” for a course will have the following requirements and responsibilities with respect to the recording of grades for that course:

  • The “Instructor of Record” will be responsible for the final determination, entry, and/or changing of all final grades associated with their course(s).
  • The “Instructor of Record” may not be a peer to other students taking that course (e.g., undergraduate to undergraduate, graduate to graduate, and/or professional to professional), except in cases where:
    • 1) the instructor of record is teaching a lower level course that another peer happens to take (i.e., graduate TA acting as an instructor of record for an undergraduate course that happens to have a graduate student taking that course), or
    • 2) an instructor of record is also simultaneously acting as a student pursuing either an undergraduate degree or graduate degree in another area that may be taught by another graduate TA.
  • The “Instructor of Record” may not be an undergraduate student with responsibility for either credit bearing or non-credit bearing portions of a course (lectures, recitations, 0-credit laboratories, discussions, etc.).
  • The “Instructor of Record” may not be an administrative staff member if they have no role in actually teaching the course (beginning in the Fall 2010). Emergency situations for an administrative staff to post grades for an individual course can be approved by a unit head each term. Those requests must be made to and approved by the Registrar.
  • Instructors occasionally ask that their graduate students be added as an instructor to a course, so that the graduate student can enter grades for them. Under no circumstances should a graduate student be added as an instructor for this purpose. To do so gives that graduate student access to FERPA protected information, and violates university policy by allowing someone other than the instructor of the course to enter grades. Instructors are required to grade the courses they teach.
  • Do not list any individual on any course, unless that individual delivers instruction in that course section.
  • The “Instructor of Record” may not knowingly provide to others their user account identification/passwords as per the Acceptable Use of University Computing Resources Policy.
  • The "Instructor of Record" must follow the guidelines for the release of student information outlined in the Guidelines for Release of Information.

Graduate Teaching Assistants:

  • Must complete the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Online Tutorial, Online Privacy & Confidentiality Statement, and agree to the Online Acceptable Use of Computing components that are integrated with the online FERPA training.
  • Upon a graduate student’s completion of the online FERPA/Privacy/Acceptable Use of Computing tutorial, the graduate teaching assistant can be an “Instructor of Record” for an undergraduate course.
  • Or, upon completion of the Online FERPA/Privacy/Acceptable Use of Computing tutorial, the “Instructor of Record” can establish that graduate student as a teaching assistant using a course management system (i.e., Canvas). Appropriate roles allowed to such graduate teaching assistants are as a “tutor”, “course builder”, “grader”, and/or full graduate teaching assistant with all roles including “tutor”, “course builder”, and “grader” with grading privileges for assignments and exams for undergraduate students.

Adding/Activating Instructors and GTAs to Banner

When attempting to add an instructor to a CRN in Banner, you may come across the error "Person not an instructor," which will prevent you from saving the section. In order for Department Schedulers to assign instructors and GTAs to course sections, the instructor/GTA must first be given faculty status in Banner by the Schedule Desk. This is a manual process and does not take place unless a Department Scheduler initiates a request for it to be done via email. Instructors are never automatically given instructor status. Instructors must have passed a FERPA exam and have their results logged into Banner before they will be granted faculty status.

Likewise, in CLSS you may notice that and instructor is not showing up when you search for them. This is likely for the same reason as above - the instructor has not been activated in Banner yet, so they cannot be added as instructors to sections (and thus do not show up in CLSS Instructor searches). There are other reasons an instructor may not show up in search, but this is rare - in most cases it will be because they are not active for the term you are scheduling.

Undergraduate TAs are not added as instructors to Banner, but can be added to Canvas (contact Canvas support for guidance).

Steps for Activating an Instructor/GTA:

  1. Instructors/GTAs should take the FERPA training module if they have not already done so.
    • As much as possible, requestors should verify that the instructor has taken FERPA training and that their results have been recorded in Banner BEFORE they submit a request to add them as an instructor.
    • You can verify that training has been completed and recorded using CORE reports BIC2098 or BIC2907.
    • When taken correctly, the FERPA training will require the individual to log in with their ONID through my.oregonstate.edu.
    • After successful completion of training, results may take 2 to 3 business days to be recorded in Banner and begin showing up in CORE reports.
  2. When the training module has been completed, an email is sent to the Office of the Registrar (not to the Schedule Desk).
  3. Once received, their training results are manually logged into Banner and added to a skill completion page.
  4. The Department Scheduler (or another department designee) will then need to fill out the online request form (https://beav.es/3yk) to request that person be added to Banner as an instructor or GTA.
    • The following will be required on the form:
      • Instructor's full name
      • Their OSU ID number
      • Starting/effective term
      • Primary Department
      • Verification that the person being added has completed FERPA training
    • Important: Individuals are not activated as instructors in Banner unless a department requests them to be; simply completing FERPA training does not complete or initiate this process.
  5. Once a request has been received, the Schedule Desk will:
    • Verify whether FERPA training results are recorded in Banner
    • Verify student/non-student status
    • Add the individual as an Instructor or GTA in Banner.
      • Instructors are given Faculty and Grader status
      • GTAs are given Faculty status only
      • TAs are not added to Banner, but can be added to Canvas.
    • Respond to the requestor to verify whether they have been given Instructor/GTA status.
  6. Once this is completed, the Department will be able to add the instructor/GTA to course sections as needed.
  7. The database of instructors in CLSS will update overnight so a newly added instructor may not be available in CLSS searches until the following day.