Teaching Policies & Resources — Low Enrollment Policy

The CLAS policy on low enrollment is overseen by the Executive Associate Dean who works closely with all DEOs of CLAS academic programs to find satisfactory solutions to courses with a low enrollment.

Each semester, the DEO of a CLAS academic department or the director of a CLAS program must submit the required Low Enrollment Report form. The form is due as soon as feasible after the end of the Early-Registration period. The Executive Associate Dean uses this reported information to inform decisions relating to under-enrolled courses.

Defining Low Enrollment

Benchmarks for low enrollment are reviewed regularly and are raised or lowered as resources change.

Effective Spring 2010, the College considers an undergraduate course with fewer than 16 students or a graduate course with fewer than 8 students as under-enrolled.

In courses with both undergraduate and graduate students, enrollment counts are adjusted, with each graduate student counted as two members of the course. For example, a 10 person course with 4 graduate students and 6 undergraduates would have an adjusted enrollment of 14 members. A course must have at least 16 student members with the adjusted count to be considered sufficiently enrolled.

Reporting Low Enrollment

The DEO monitors enrollment in courses and sections offered by the academic unit. Undergraduate and graduate courses and sections with a low enrollment must be reported to the Executive Associate Dean as soon as possible after the end of the Early Registration period. Please use the online Low Enrollment Report form, which may be submitted electronically.

Every semester, the Executive Associate Dean reviews these reports and discusses low enrollment with the DEO.

The reports allow the College to find alternative strategies to balance teaching assignments more quickly, thus avoiding the last-minute cancellation of courses and giving the College a better understanding of the action that the unit has already taken or the reasons for the low-enrollment.

DEOs with concerns may contact the Executive Associate Dean at any time.

Exempted Courses

The following courses are excluded from the required low enrollment report:

  • arranged courses
  • first-year seminars
  • GIS courses
  • independent studies
  • internships
  • practicum