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Creating and Modifying Courses and Programs

Academic Committee

Meeting Dates and Submission Deadlines

Arts Council Room (Arts 160) 3:00 p.m.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Tuesday, November 25, 2014 (2:30 p.m.) 
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 (Room TBA)
Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Proposal forms should be submitted via e-mail to ac [dot] science [at] mcgill [dot] ca though they may also be sent to josie [dot] damico [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Josie D’Amico) or to geralda [dot] bacaj [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Geralda Bacaj). Forms should be submitted seven working days prior to a meeting. This allows time for proposals to be given a preliminary review and potential problems resolved.

Membership

The Academic Committee of the Faculty of Science consists of a representative from each unit offering a B.Sc. degree, seven undergraduate students, one graduate student, a library representative, and a representative from the Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (FAES). The Dean of the Faculty of Science serves as Chair, and the Associate Dean (Academic) serves as Vice-Chair.

Chair: Dean Martin Grant
Vice-Chair:  Associate Dean (Academic) Tamara Western 
Director of Advising Services: Ms. Nicole Allard

Members from Departments:

Anatomy & Cell Biology: Prof. Justin Kollman
Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences: Prof. Daniel Kirshbaum
Biochemistry: Prof. Julie St-Pierre
Biology: Prof. Thomas Bureau
Chemistry: Prof. Amy Szuchmacher Blum
Computer Science: Prof. Bettina Kemme
Earth & Planetary Sciences: Prof. Anthony Williams-Jones
Geography: Prof. Lea Berrang Ford
Mathematics & Statistics: Prof. Vojkan Jaksic
McGill School of Environment: Ms. Kathy Roulet
Microbiology & Immunology: Prof. Greg Marczynski
Pharmacology: Prof. Barbara Hales
Physics: Prof. Guy Moore
Physiology: Prof. Ana Nyzhnyk
Psychology: Prof. Gillian O'Driscoll
Undergraduate Students: T.B.A

Graduate Student:T.B.A
Library: Ms. Sara Holder

Overview

Summary of Approval Process

Proposal forms for new courses and programs and changes to existing courses and programs are filled out by units for submission to the Faculty of Science Academic Committee.

Approval Path:
Department >> Faculty of Science Academic Committee >> Faculty of Science Meeting >> SCTP >> APC >> Senate

How to modify courses and programs in the eCalendar

Departments fill out and submit course/program proposal/revision forms and submit them to the Academic Committee. After approval by the Academic Committee and by the Faculty of Science, the proposal/revision forms are considered by university committees. After approval by the relevant university committee (SCTP, APC or Senate, as appropriate), new and revised programs will be recorded in the e-Calendar by the Degree Evaluation Office, and new and revised courses by the Class Scheduling Office. During yearly preparation of the e-Calendar for publishing, departments have the opportunity to check their program entries via Webtop, and course entries via hard-copy (PDF).

Departments are urged to begin the approval process early in the Fall (September) in order to ensure that courses and programs are approved in time for the e-Calendar publication.

How to modify regulations in the eCalendar

  • There are three types of regulations: University, Faculty and Departmental. Faculty of Science regulations (at the beginning of the Faculty's section of the Calendar) must be approved by the Academic Committee and then by the Faculty of Science.
  • Departmental regulations (such as GPA and other requirements for admission to and maintenance of standing in departmental programs) must be approved by the individual department. These are normally modified in the Calendar during the Calendar preparation period (November to January).

Changes not requiring Submission to the Academic Committee

  • Course term change — e-mail should be sent to the classschedule [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Class Schedule Coordinator) informing her of the term change. Please note that any term changes that would affect many students or many programs should be carefully considered, and where appropriate affected units should be consulted.
  • GPA cut-off for acceptance into departmental programs and for maintaining standing in departmental programs — e-mail should be sent to kristina [dot] kotoulas [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Kristina Kotoulas) (Degree Evaluation Officer) to inform her. GPA requirements must be listed in the Calendar

Approval by Memo

In certain cases a memo can be used for course/program changes, e.g., where a simple change affects a number of different programs, or where many similar changes are being submitted simultaneously, such as multiple course retirements. Check with the Faculty office to verify if a memo is appropriate.

See example Approval by Memo Example [.pdf].

Course-Specific Information

Course Outlines

Course outlines are required when submitting either proposals for new courses or major revisions to existing courses to the Academic Committee. Course outlines should include a breakdown of marks for the course, and a reading list.Courses in Science normally require at least one midterm exam as well as a final exam, and often assignments are required. A small percentage of the final grade may come from class participation. If a larger percentage (more than 10%) comes from class participation, it must be rigorously specified how this will be measured.

How to decide whether course proposals/revisions require program revision forms

Course Retirements Program Revision Forms ARE Required

  1. when a course to be retired appears in the list of required Courses.
  2. when a course to be retired appears in a list of Complementary Courses where the choice is only two courses and similar situations where the removal of the course(s) eliminates any choice.

Course Retirements Program Revisions Forms are NOT Required

  1. when a course to be retired appears in a list of Complementary Courses or Elective Courses and the number of credits to be chosen is not affected.
  2. when a course to be retired appears as an alternative Required Course and the number of credits to be chosen is not affected.

Course Credit Weight Changes Program Revision Forms ARE Required

  1. when a course whose credit weight is to be changed appears in a list of Required Courses.
  2. when a course whose credit weight is to be changed appears in a list of Complementary or Elective Courses where the number of credits to be chosen is affected.
  3. when credit weights of research, project or thesis courses listed in an honours or graduate program is changed.

Course Credit Weight Changes Program Revisions Forms are NOT Required

  1. when a course whose credit weight is to be changed is listed in a group of Complementary or Elective Courses and the number of credits to be chosen in the program is not affected.

Course Number Changes Program Revision Forms ARE Required

  1. when a 600-level course is renumbered to a 700-level course or renumbered to an undergraduate level course.
  2. when a 700-level course is renumbered to a 600-level course or below.
  3. when a 500-level or other undergraduate-level course is renumbered to a 600 or 700-level course.

Coures Number Changes Program Revision Forms are NOT Required

  1. when a 200-, 300-, 400-, or 500-level course is renumbered at the undergraduate level.
  2. when a 600or 700-level course is renumbered at the 600or 700-level.
  3. when a subject code changes, but the number remains the same.

Thesis, Project, Special Activity Courses Program Revision Forms ARE Required

  • Changes to thesis (Honours, Master's), project, or special activity courses (that are listed in a graduate program) require a program revision form.

How to obtain and fill out forms for new (proposed) and revised courses

The forms for new and revised courses are available online via Minerva.

To obtain and complete these forms:

  • Log in to Minerva
  • On the “Main Menu,” academic staff should choose the “Faculty Menu” while administrative staff should choose the “Student Records Administration Menu”
  • Choose “Catalog and Schedule Menu”
  • Choose “Course Proposal/Revision”
  • Choose either “New Course” or “Course Revision”
  • Fill out the required fields (if needed, a “Help Menu” is available on these forms)

Note: for New Courses, the forms must be filled out from scratch whereas forRevised Courses, the Course Revision Forms already have the current data entered on the left. New data is to be entered on the right and will show in red)

  • If not ready to submit, save the data you've entered by choosing “validate” and then “save”

How to edit previously saved online forms for new and revised courses

 

  • Log in to Minerva
  • On the “Main Menu,” academic staff should choose the “Faculty Menu” while administrative staff should choose the “Student Records Administration Menu”
  • Choose “Catalog and Schedule Menu”
  • Choose “Course Proposal/Revision”
  • Choose "Search"
  • When the "Course Search" menu opens, you may search by: course number, proposal reference number (PRN), department, etc.
  • When the desired proposal is located, choose the "Edit" button to the right of the proposal and then edit the appropriate fields (if needed, a “Help Menu” is available on these forms)
  • If not ready to submit, save the data you've entered by choosing “validate” and then “save”
  • Consultation reports and other files (for example, a course outline) may be attached to the form in a variety of formats (i.e. Word, Text, PDF, etc.)

 

How to submit, and how to approve and submit to the next level

To submit a form:

 

  • First, save it by choosing "validate" then choose "Submit."
  • If the form is successfully saved, choose "Send Email to next Approver" and, in the "to" field, enter the e-mail address of the person to whom you are submitting the form (most often Josie D'Amico at josie [dot] damico [at] mcgill [dot] ca). In the "Body," a generic e-mail with the appropriate PRN and version will be automatically created - this text does not need to be amended.

 

To approve and submit a form:

 

  • First, search for the form (for instructions, see "How to edit previously saved online forms for new and revised courses").
  • When the desired proposal is located, choose the "Approve/Reject" button to the right of the proposal
  • On the "Course Approval" page, under "New Status", select the appropriate status for the proposal and fill in the "Meeting Date" at which this proposal was approved.
  • Choose "Submit"
  • If the form is successfully submitted, choose "Send Email to next Approver" and, in the "to" field, enter the e-mail address of the person to whom you are submitting the form (most often Josie D'Amico at josie [dot] damico [at] mcgill [dot] ca). In the "Body," a generic e-mail with the appropriate PRN and version will be automatically created - this text does not need to be amended.

 

Choosing Course Numbers when Creating New Courses

  • Numbers for new courses must not have been used in the last five years. To verify whether a course number has been used in the last five years, units should check on Banner for information effective September 2002 and onward.

Login to Banner by entering USERNAME, your personal password, and under 'DATABASE' enter Banner:

  • Go to SCACRSE
  • Enter the subject code
  • Go to the Course field, and click on down arrow
  • In the Existing Courses box, expand the box and scroll down to see your unit’s course numbers, to see the start and end dates of courses

For years prior to September 2002, contact the Faculty office, as this information is on the cumulative course table.

The Faculty of Science has devised Guidelines on Course Levels to be used for determining course levels. 

Double-Prefix Courses

Double-prefix courses are courses given by two units. The two courses are identical, and the course number, title, description, credit weight, etc., must be the same. However, there are two subject codes, e.g., ANAT 205/EPSC 205, Astrobiology. In the example given, Anatomy & Cell Biology students would take ANAT 205, and Earth & Planetary Sciences students would take EPSC 205. See also Restrictions, below.

How to retire courses

 

  • To retire only one course, submit a course revision form.
  • To retire a number of courses, list the courses in the Retirement Master Excel file with the following column headings:

Faculty code, subject code, course number, course title, unit code, name of unit, credit weight, effective term of retirement (year/month), status (inactive or active). Group the Excel entries according to the reason for retirement.

See example/template Retirement Template [.xls].

 

Forms Explained…

Course Titles

  • There are two fields for course titles in course proposal and revision forms. Course Title on Transcript: This will be the course title that will appear on the student's transcript (max 30 character), including abbreviations, punctuation and spaces. Any abbreviated words will be written in full in the Calendar title and on the web course catalog (see next item).
  • Course Title to Appear in the Calendar: Optional, maximum 59 characters. This can only be an expansion of word (s) abbreviated in the Course Title on Transcript field (this allows for abbreviated words to be spelt in full). Words may not be added/deleted from the 30 character title.

Example:
Exptl. Methods in Org. Chem.
Experimental Methods in Organic Chemistry

Rationale

The reason or explanation for new course or program proposals or for revisions to courses or programs. The rationale is not an expansion of the course description. Explain why the new course/new program/revision is required and how it relates to the overall offerings of your unit.

Course Descriptions

Descriptions should reflect course content only: teaching and grading methods, restrictions, etc. are maintained elsewhere. Descriptions should give a brief, concise, and clear idea of the course content and must be limited to 50 words. Avoid using “A study of the relationships…..” or “An in depth analysis of…” instead use “The relationships….” or “An analysis of….”.

Administering Faculty for Courses and Programs

For undergraduate Science programs, the administering faculty is Science. For 100 to 500-level courses, the administering faculty is Science.

The Faculty of Science also administers programs and 100 to 500-level courses offered by the Departments of Anatomy & Cell Biology, Biochemistry, Microbiology & Immunology, Physiology and of Pharmacology. Thus, for these courses and programs, the administering faculty is Science and the offering faculty is Medicine.

The Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies Office (GPSO) is the administering unit for 600 and 700-level courses, and for graduate programs.

Permission of Instructor: Requirement for Background but NOT Specific Prerequisites

"Permission of Instructor" may be used in the prerequisite field on course proposal/revision forms, either with or without listing specific prerequisite courses. If no specific courses are listed, it is useful for advising purposes to give some indication of the background required, e.g., "Six credits of calculus courses and permission of instructor."

Restrictions

Restrictions are designed to prevent students from taking for credit two or more courses that overlap substantially in content. Restrictions are always in place for Double-Prefix Courses. Another common use is in the case of a course renumbering. Also, many statistics courses have mutual restrictions applied. The standard format for a restriction is "Not open to students who have taken or are taking WXYZ 123."

Required Fees

For new courses, if additional course charges must be paid by students, the proposal should be submitted to the Fee Policy Committee as soon as possible. For example, field courses may require additional charges.

Required Teaching, Physical or Financial Resources

For new courses or new programs requiring teaching, physical or financial resources not currently available in the unit(s) involved, the proposal must be submitted to the Dean of your faculty before submission to the Academic Committee.  When submitting such a proposal to the Academic Committee, confirmation of funding must be attached.

Consultation Reports

Consultation reports should be obtained, and included with submissions to the Academic Committee. Among other situations, consultation reports should be obtained when a proposed course could overlap with an existing course anywhere in the university; when a change to a course would have an effect on another unit's program; when students for a proposed course could potentially come from other units; and when one unit lists another unit's course as a prerequisite.

Program-Specific Information

How to obtain and fill out forms for new and revised programs

The forms for the new and revised programs are electronic (Word and RTF format) and can be obtained from the Web at: http://www.mcgill.ca/sctp/guidelines. Guidelines for filling out the forms are available at the same address.

For an example of a Program Revision Form please click here: Program Revision Example [.pdf]

For an example of a New Program Form please click here: New Program Proposal Example [.pdf]

Normally, the forms should be filled out completely, including the side-by-side comparison of programs in the program revision form. For Program Revision Forms, if you are adding new courses, these should be in bold type in the proposed lists of courses. If you are deleting courses, these should be in the list of current courses. Finally, please note that under item 6.0 - "Revised Program Description" - the CURRENT Program Description should be included as well as the proposed program description.

After unit approval, both electronic and hard copies of these forms should be submitted via e-mail to ac [dot] science [at] mcgill [dot] ca though they may also be sent to josie [dot] damico [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Josie D’Amico) or to geralda [dot] bacaj [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Geralda Bacaj).

Hidden Prerequisites in Programs

To avoid upper level students being previously unaware of prerequisites for Required Courses, programs should not have 'hidden' prerequisites. Prerequisites for upper level Required Courses should be listed in the program description.Additionally, if students are required to choose among a very limited number of Complementary Courses, prerequisites for these courses should be indicated as part of the program. Where prerequisites are given by other units, these units should be consulted as appropriate.

How to retire programs

To retire a program, submit a program revision form and include a rationale as well as the effective date of retirement (e.g. Fall 2012).

BSc and BA&Sc Interdisciplinary Programs

This document provides a snap shot and some insight into the B.Sc. and B.A. & Sc. interdisciplinary programs.

Below please find a full listing of interdisciplinary programs both within the B.A.&Sc. and the BSc.

BA&Sc PROGRAMS

ADVISOR

Cognitive Science

wendy [dot] brett [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Ms. Wendy Brett)

(514) 398-7330

Environment

kathryn [dot] roulet [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Ms. Kathryn Roulet)

(514) 398-4306

Sustainability, Science & Society

navin [dot] ramankutty [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Prof. Navin Ramankutty)

(514) 398-8428

 

BSc PROGRAMS

ADVISOR

Environnent

kathryn [dot] roulet [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Ms. Kathryn Roulet)

(514) 398-4306

Earth System Science

mckenzie [at] eps [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (Prof. Jeffrey McKenzie)

(514) 398-3833

Neuroscience

wendy [dot] brett [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Ms. Wendy Brett)

(514) 398-7330

Immunology (Interdepartmental)

monroe [dot] cohen [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Prof. Monroe W. Cohen)

(514) 398-4342

Atmospheric Sciences & Physics

frederic [dot] fabry [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Prof. Frederic Fabry)

(514) 398-3652

 

bruno [dot] tremblay [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Prof. Bruno Tremblay)

(514) 398-4369

Biology & Mathematics

frederic [dot] guichard [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Prof. Frédéric Guichard)

(514) 398-6464

 

claire [dot] demazancourt [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Prof. Claire de Mazancourt)

(514) 398-6508

Computer Science & Biology

jackie [dot] vogel [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Prof. Jackie Vogel)

(514) 398-5880

Physics & Computer Science

fritz [dot] buchinger [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Prof. Fritz Buchinger)

(514) 398-6486

Math & Computer Science

vetta [at] math [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (Prof. Adrian Vetta)

(514) 398-3822

Stats & Computer Science

d [dot] stephens [at] math [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (Prof. David Alan Stephens)

(514) 398-2005

Mathematics & Physics

jaksic [at] math [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (Prof. Vojkan Jaksic)

(514) 398-3827

Physics & Chemistry

fritz [dot] buchinger [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Prof. Fritz Buchinger)

(514) 398-6486

Physics & Geophysics

 

fritz [dot] buchinger [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Prof. Fritz Buchinger)

(514) 398-6486

Physiology & Mathematics

glass [at] cnd [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (Prof. Leon Glass)

(514) 398-4338

 

mackey [at] cnd [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (Prof. Michael C. Mackey)

(514) 398-4336

Physiology & Physics  

michael [dot] guevara [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Prof. Michael Guevara)

(514) 398-4320

 

mackey [at] cnd [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (Prof. Michael C. Mackey)

(514) 398-4336

 

Guidelines for Ad Hoc Programs

Ad hoc programs are initiated by the student, and are usually joint programs. Normally, the student discusses the proposal with advisors in the two departments involved, and once approved by the departments, an advisor is assigned from each department. Next, the student submits the proposal to the Director of Advising Services, Nicole Allard nicole [dot] allard [at] mcgill [dot] ca. Ad hoc programs must then be approved by the Academic Committee and by the Faculty of Science.

The following are guidelines for ad hoc programs:

  1. Students should propose ad hoc programs near the beginning of their undergraduate degree.
  2. The Director of Advising Services will check to see if an existing program could accommodate the student, and if so, will propose that the student follow the existing program.
  3. The number of credits for a joint honours program should not exceed 81, and for a majors program should not exceed 75 (with the aim of 72).

Credits in Ph.D. Proposals

Ph.D. programs have "0" credit value. This "0" value should be indicated on the proposal/revision program form for Ph.D. programs. If courses have "0" credit weight, this should be indicated as well, rather than leaving a field blank.