Note: To facilitate timely approval of proposals at times when the CoC is not meeting, the Committee delegates to its chair the authority to review proposals for undergraduate seminars.
All first-year advising seminars (FAS) are graded P/D/F and normally carry three units of academic credit.5 The numbering of these subjects is distinguished by an A following the decimal point (e.g., 2.A04).
When reviewing advising seminars, CoC is mindful of their less formal, more spontaneous nature. However, just like other subjects, seminars will be reviewed for academic content. If there are doubts about academic content, the proposal will be returned for clarification.
Non-faculty instructors must obtain the authorization of a department head or dean before submitting a proposal. CoC does not normally undertake evaluation of instructor qualifications. However, a brief statement of the teaching credentials of non-faculty instructors will facilitate the approval process.
Faculty have blanket departmental approval to teach seminars within their department. To teach a seminar with a number from a different department, they must obtain authorization of the other department head.
If the subject matter is outside the "official" area of expertise of the instructor, the biographical statement in the proposal should indicate the instructor's credentials or qualifications in the relevant field. If the content extends into areas within the jurisdiction of another department, CoC may ask the administrator who submitted the proposal to contact the relevant department.
- 5 In 2018-19 (for Fall 2019), the number of units normally awarded for first-year advising seminars was reduced from six to three to bring the credit hours in line with the expected time commitment. As part of the CUP's Experimental Grading Policy to Increase Flexibility for Exploration and Discovery in the First Year (Phase 2), FAS will count toward the discovery-focused credit limit that allows students to take up to nine units of discovery-focused subjects beyond the regular 48-unit credit limit. See https://registrar.mit.edu/system/files/2019-07/CUP_Experimental_Grading_PNR_Phase2_2019.pdf.