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.
  • Courses newly approved by the Office of Academic Programs and Assessment (APA) after registration begins will not be offered until the next term if there is an existing placeholder section with enrollment.
  • 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: Implementation Term Policy 

Credit & Contact Hours

The Office of Academic Programs and Assessment (APA) 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.

New Course Fees

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.

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
  • 900-999 sections are for Study Abroad / OSU GO

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. 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/
Seminar SEMINAR/ or SEM/
Workshop WORKSHOP/ or WS/
Practicum PRACTICUM/ or PRAC/
Internship INTERNSHIP/ or INT/
Service Learning SERVICE LEARNING/ or SERV LRN/
Leadership LEADERSHIP/ or LEAD/
Overseas Study OS/

Blanket Courses

  • 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.

Departments should not update instructors for 503/603 Thesis sections. Requests to update those sections should be sent to the Schedule Desk.

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.

Instructors, GTAs, and TAs

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.