Carnegie Mellon University

Eberly Center

Teaching Excellence & Educational Innovation

Course Description

The course description typically appears in the Registrar’s course catalogue and is archived to record key information about your course. In addition, students use course descriptions to help select their classes, so be sure to include the following information in your course description:

  • What will students learn in the course (i.e., knowledge, skills, attitudes, as opposed to topics)?
  • Why will learning this matter to students?
  • How will the course help students develop as scholars, learners, future professionals?
  • What will students experience in the course (e.g., assignments, activities, etc.)?
  • What are the class formats/methods (e.g., lecture, recitation, lab, studio), and how will they support student learning?
  • How does this course fit into your department’s curriculum? Are there any prerequisite courses?  

See samples of course descriptions.

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