30+ SAMPLE Academic Course Proposal

What Is an Academic Course Proposal?

An academic course proposal is a formal proposal that highlights information on a specific academic course including the course title, description, course content, grading system and other key details relevant to the course. Whether it is for a high school academic course or an undergraduate course, the proposal must be both comprehensive and educational.    

According to an online article published by Top Universities, computer science and information systems topped the list of most viewed academic subjects. Engineering and technology and business management studies come close taking second and third place, respectively.   

Forms of Academic Courses

When it comes to academic courses, there can be a variety of ways and forms of learning that a student can take advantage of. The following are just some examples of forms of academic courses that are a way to attain learning objectives.

Lectures. Lectures are essential to any academic course. It is perhaps one of the most common and basic forms of teaching. These are typically held in big lecture halls with a single instructor or multiple resource speakers giving the lecture. Whether it is in medical school, business school or college, lectures are simple and straightforward ways to establish learning and get a topic across. Lectures are usually for big groups of people, from several dozens of students to an audience of hundreds of attendees. Lectures are versatile and relatively easy to pull off because of its basic requirements. Discussions. Discussions are similar to lectures only in that they are typically targeted at smaller groups. Unlike a lecture where up to hundreds of people can attend, small group discussions are more intimate and they have the potential for more in-depth sharing. Focused group discussions are ideal for students and classroom settings. Whereas lectures have the resource speaker mostly dominating the session, discussion provides the opportunity for all participants to engage and contribute knowledge and information. Laboratory. Academic courses, particularly science-related courses, are known for a variety of classes held in laboratories. Whether it is chemistry, physics, botany, zoology or even environmental science, the scientific method demands experiments and careful study. Thus, laboratory classes are needed in order to establish facts and prove hypotheses. Academic courses such as science and engineering courses, require several laboratory classes for various different subjects. A laboratory is different from a traditional classroom setting. And depending on the course, each laboratory may have unique equipment and facilities that cater to a specific discipline or body of science. Seminar. Similar to lectures, a seminar can also be an effective tool for academic learning. Seminars may also be held over a specific time period. Workshops that target specific skill sets or offer certain knowledge are ideal not just for students, but for professionals who seek career development as well. Whereas lectures are usually part of a series of topics, seminars and workshops can either be part of a larger series or just a one-time event. Depending on the course, a seminar may be an academic requirement as a supplement to regular lectures and classroom discussions. Studio. Many colleges have fine arts programs that offer undergraduate degrees in theater, music, creative writing, visual arts, art management and other related majors. These creatively inclined academic courses also come with unique learning methods. If laboratories are generally for science and engineering related courses, a studio can be used to cater to fine arts related academic courses. For example, drawing, painting or even sculpting courses and classes can be held in an art studio designed for it. Because just like a laboratory, certain unique facilities and tools can be found in a studio that are specifically for art classes or fine arts students.

Core Academic Courses in College

Over the course of a student’s general education. There are several core subjects that are often considered universal and are required as part of the basic educational curriculum. Although, not all educational institutions may follow this strictly or some may also choose to modify the courses according to their organizational needs. The five examples listed below are both broad and basic core courses that most schools offer:  

Mathematics. Math and numbers are one of the fundamental subjects that is taught from a very young age. From preschool all the way to college, the study of math is as traditional as formal education itself. Math not only trains logic and objectivity, it helps encourage problem solving and even business skills. Even for non-science majors in college, math is often still required as a core subject and is a prerequisite for other more advanced subjects. Whether it is calculus, algebra, trigonometry or even statistics, math is an essential part of traditional education and its application plays a key part in everyday life. Science. Just like math, science is a fundamental and essential part of any educational system. From elementary school to high school and even up to graduate school, science courses are core subjects that all students are made to learn. From biology to physics to more advanced fields such as biotechnology or medicine, the body of science is broad and is continually evolving. Without the advancement in science and technology, society would not have reached the level of progress and development it has today. Social Sciences. If there are natural and physical sciences, there is also the realm of the social sciences. This pertains to the broad understanding and complex functions of individuals and groups with regard to the dynamics and relationships of a functioning society. From the study of markets in economics, to the human mind in psychology, and to the study of mankind’s past and development overtime in history, the social sciences have a lot to offer that help students and professionals get a better grasp of the systems and norms around them. If the natural sciences study the physical world and laws of nature, the social sciences on the other hand study people and their ways of living, their man-made laws and everything in between. Humanities. Similar to the social sciences, the humanities also study people but tend to focus more on the interior and cultural aspects such as philosophy, theology, languages and the arts. Academic courses that are on the humanities track help students foster a sense of sensitivity and deep understanding of the world around them. Both the humanities and liberal arts are focused on the study of the human person and both the inner world and external factors that make human beings the way they are. English. English is a widely-spoken language and is the official language in different parts of the world. In some countries, colleges and universities offer English as a major degree where students under the program obtain training in all areas of the English language, including literature and writing. English as an academic course can be a versatile course and a good foundation for higher learning.

How to Create an Academic Course Proposal

To create an academic course proposal, simply follow the structured steps below. If you prefer not to start from scratch, you can easily select any of the editable templates above for more convenience and efficiency. 

Step 1: State the Learning Objectives

What is the main purpose for proposing this particular academic course? Your introduction in your proposal should open with first establishing the learning objectives. Enumerate what the specific student learning goals are. What can the student attain or get from the academic course program? What gains are there if the student were to take enough units and finish the academic course? It is important to state these at the beginning so the wider educational community may know what to expect and in addition, knowing the objectives may facilitate key administrative decision-making as well.   

Step 2: Describe the Course Details

The next section of your academic course proposal should contain relevant details about the course itself. Make sure to include the course description, course title, implementation date, course outline, grading system, enrollment data, prerequisite guidelines, course units or credits and other essential information. Since it is a proposal, you need to prepare not just accurate but compelling information that will persuade school administrators to allow the implementation of your proposed academic course. 

Step 3: Prepare the Core Curriculum

Once you have covered all the course details, you need to take it a step further by outlining and describing in detail the core curriculum. It is essentially expounding on the course description and the topics to be covered. Your proposal needs to contain a comprehensive syllabus detailing the proposed topics and subjects to be tackled in the academic course. Expanding the course outline in a structured and organized manner is critical because a lot of the arguments for approval of your proposal will depend on how well-prepared your core curriculum is. 

Step 4: Establish a Timeline

Lastly, your academic course proposal should also contain a projected timeline as to the topics and lessons to be covered in the course. A typical four-year college degree is a mixture of core subjects, major courses and minor or elective courses. Thus, it is important to map out the schedule and time frame of each subject. Do not neglect to include the session date and proposed time for each subject as well. You can opt to create a table or chart for a more organized timeline schedule for your course proposal. 


How do you write an academic course proposal?

To write an academic course proposal, you need to first establish the learning goals or objectives. Once you have covered the objectives, provide as many key details as you can such as the course title, course description, curriculum, timelines, schedules, proposed class size, etc. Refer to the information above for a more detailed discussion of the steps.

What should a course proposal include?

A typical course proposal should include the course title, proposed curriculum, syllabus, projected timeline, medium of instruction, number of units or credits, and other relevant data.

How long is a course proposal?

Ideally, a course proposal should be brief but informative enough for the reader to be able to get a thorough idea of the course and its requirements. One page or a couple of pages would suffice but the important thing to remember is to avoid making your proposal excessively long.

Introducing a new academic course can be tedious work. But if you want to save time and energy, you can conveniently use an existing template from the wide selection of time-saving sample proposals above for more efficiency and convenience. Browse the collection above now to get started!