Class Scheduling

Class Scheduling Guidelines  

Effective: March 16, 2009

Last Updated: March 16, 2009 revised November 12, 2014

Policy Owner: Academic Affairs


These guidelines are for the purpose of maximizing the use of instructional space, improving student access to classes, and minimizing campus congestion. The guidelines are designed to apply to most situations, but special circumstances may justify exceptions to these guidelines.

All classes in all terms must comply with policies governing credit standards (academic work per credit and instructional time per credit).


Classroom: an auditorium, lecture room, or seminar room usable by various disciplines for instructional purposes. General purpose classrooms are rooms that are centrally scheduled by the scheduling office and may or may not have fixed demonstration equipment.

Teaching/Class Laboratory: a room with specialized equipment or use that is assigned to a department and used for regularly- or irregularly-scheduled instruction.

Scheduled Use: use of a room for classes with official department identifiers and course numbers for scheduled class and section meetings. Optional meetings, open labs, and tutorial sessions are not included in scheduled use.

Station Occupancy Rate: the percentage of student stations occupied when room is in use. In practice it is computed as the percentage of stations in a room theoretically occupied according to the official enrollment of the course/section. General purpose classrooms are considered "full" at 65% occupancy (Minnesota Facilities Model).

Time Utilization Rate: is the percentage of time that a room is used/scheduled during a specified block of time. The normal block of class time is defined as 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. General purpose classrooms are considered fully used at 71% time (Minnesota Facilities Model).

Full Use: General purpose classrooms are defined as fully used when the product of the time and station rates equal 46% (Minnesota Facilities Model).

Guidelines and Protocols 

1.  Classes will be scheduled each week of the term in 50 minute time blocks (plus a 10 minute break), in configurations appropriate for the class and in a manner to minimize class conflicts for students.

2.  Classes will start on the hour (8, 9, 10, etc.) Monday through Friday, except as noted below.

3.  Three-credit classes can be scheduled on two days (Tuesday and Thursday) instead of over three days by using 75-minute time blocks on each day. These classes must be scheduled between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. or between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.; class periods on this schedule would be 8:00-9:15, 9:30-10:45, 2:00-3:15, and 3:30-4:45. Departments should attempt to schedule two, three-credit courses within the three-hour block to use a classroom most efficiently.

4.  Non-standard class times will be scheduled before 9 a.m. or after 3 p.m.

5.  Exceptions to these schedule patterns may be allowed for pedagogical reasons and in a manner that will minimize possible conflicts in student schedules. Exception requests should be submitted through the college schedule coordinator to the VCAA office for approval. Non-Standard Request Form

6.  Departments will schedule classes for students on a five-day per week (Monday through Friday) basis.

7.  No more than 55% of a department’s class time shall be scheduled during the prime time hours. This measurement is based on the TOTAL hours, and/or fraction, of instruction by the department between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Prime time hours are defined as the hours between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Reference UM Report: Course Scheduling- Peak vs Non-Peak Minutes

8.  When classes cannot be placed, the campus scheduler will work with the department schedule coordinator to reschedule classes. Classes will be rescheduled first in departments which violate prime-time and/or other class schedule pattern rules.

9. If space becomes available in prime time for class placement, classes will be placed in the following order of priority: technology needed, location preference (from the scheduling software preferences), and best fit between class size and room capacity.

10. Academic offerings have priority on the space into which they have been scheduled. Departments should be certain that academic offerings are not displaced from departmental rooms by meetings, conferences, or other occasional activities.

11. The Room Scheduling Office ([email protected]) should be notified immediately if a class is cancelled or if there are any changes in when, where, or how a class is scheduled or delivered so that affected parties can be notified and/or the room can be rescheduled for other activities. 

12. Enrollment capacities (and therefore requested room capacities) will be limited to 10% above the actual previous term enrollment.

13. Classes with enrollment capacities equal to or less than 10 should be scheduled in departmental conference rooms whenever possible.

14. After priority scheduling, departmental classrooms will be available for general purpose scheduling before departmental meetings.

15. The availability of a larger classroom must be verified before faculty give students permission to enroll in a class beyond assigned room capacity.

16. Scheduling of teaching laboratories is the responsibility of the department and collegiate unit to which the lab is assigned. Departments are expected to achieve acceptable use of laboratory space (with a "full-use" goal of 44% time utilization and 80% station occupancy). Under-utilized laboratories are subject to reassignment by the EVCAA office.