Classroom Policies

View this section for detailed information about classroom policies including room assignment, access for students with disabilities, maintenance, and appropriate use of facilities.

Scheduling Changes After Registration

Departments are strongly encouraged to proof their schedules before priority registration opens for the term. Once registration begins, changes to the schedule are quite restricted.

Requesting changes to sections after registration begins:

  • Requests must be submitted via email stating the reason for the change and must have the support of the department chair.
  • Late day/time changes will only be approved under very unusual circumstances.
    • In the event a day/time change is approved, the section will be cancelled and a new section created. It will be the responsibility of the department to contact students to inform them of the change and invite students to enroll in the replacement section if the new day/time fits their schedule.
  • Courses newly approved by Academic Programs after registration begins will not be offered until the next term.
  • Once registration begins, sections will no longer be deleted, but will be changed to “cancelled” status.
  • Faculty and departments must not change or trade assigned classrooms without approval from Scheduling.       
  • Room changes are accommodated if an appropriate replacement is available. Departments should not continue to add students to a class with the expectation that a larger room will be found as there may not be one available.
  • In the event of an emergency closure of a classroom building, scheduling will attempt to relocate classes and will work with departments on this effort.

Related protocols: Changes to Courses and Academic Programs: Implementation Term Policy 

Credit & Contact Hours

The Office of Academic Planning & Assessment provides a definition of the correlation between credits and contact hours.

Zone Requirements

This class and classroom scheduling protocol help students get the courses they need to graduate by reducing scheduling conflicts. For faculty, it optimizes access to instructional technology and facilities. The protocol applies to all classes scheduled in general purpose and departmental classroom space.

Classroom Policies

Room Assignment Policies are created to have the most positive impact on the largest number of students at Oregon State University. We use the following standards when assigning rooms:

  • Classrooms will be assigned based on class size and enrollment (with priority given to larger classes), room features, and proximity to academic units.
  • Seminars, colloquiums, classes and other regularly occurring events with a history of zero (or low) enrollment will be scheduled shortly before the term begins (approximately 5 business days).
  • Classes offered for credit take precedence over all non-class-related or non-credit events.

The institution uses many other detailed rules for scheduling that can be found on our website related to zone scheduling and assignments

Departmentally Controlled Classrooms

Departments that control classrooms or seminar rooms are expected to adhere to the time zones and to fully use those rooms before requesting a General Purpose Classroom.

Accommodations for Disabled Students

When an assigned classroom is determined to be inadequate for a disabled student or instructor, Disability Access Services will ask Scheduling to reassign the class to a suitable classroom.

Changes in Classroom Assignments

  • Any requests to change a classroom assignment must be made through the department’s scheduling coordinator. The coordinator will submit the request to Scheduling via the web form or email. Instructors may not move their class from an assigned room without prior approval from Scheduling.
  • In case of an emergency evacuation of a classroom or building, the department should ask Scheduling to relocate classes.

Room Size and Configuration

  • Seating capacity is specified in accordance with state and city safety regulations. If it appears that student demand will surpass the scheduled room, departments should contact Scheduling for alternate space. Overcrowding violates safety codes. It is unacceptable for students not to have appropriate seating.
  • Furniture and equipment such as overheads, chairs, and tables must not be removed from any classroom. If a room does not contain adequate facilities to meet the scheduled maximum enrollment or equipment needs, the instructor should contact the department scheduling coordinator for assistance. The coordinator will work with Scheduling to resolve the problem.
  • Departments should assess anticipated enrollment, and base any adjustments on actual course enrollment during the previous corresponding term; enrollment increases should not exceed 15 percent of the previous corresponding term. Departments projecting an increase greater than 15 percent must provide written justification to the Associate Registrar.

Appropriate Use of Facilities

  • Food service is not permitted in academic classrooms.
  • Some events may be denied use of classroom space if the event is inappropriate for the purpose of the classroom.
  • The possession, consumption, or furnishing of alcoholic beverages or controlled substances is prohibited in all classrooms.

Classroom Maintenance

  • Academic Technologies, 541-737-2121, maintains and repairs all audio/video technology in a classroom. For immediate assistance, pickup up the help phone in the classroom for direct connection to the Academic Technologies help desk.
  • Facilities Services Work Coordination Center, 541-737-2969, handles classroom cleanliness, damage, lighting, seating, requests for lecterns, podiums or additional tables or chalk.

Zone Requirements

OSU Zones for Classes Needing Rooms

Percentages indicate maximum number of classes a department may schedule in each zone.

Scheduling Zone
Zone 1
20% 0800–0950
Zone 2
20% 1000–1150
Zone 3
20% 1200–1350
Zone 4
20% 1400–1550
Zone 5
20% 1600+

This class and classroom scheduling protocol helps students get the courses they need to graduate by reducing scheduling conflicts. For faculty, it optimizes access to instructional technology and facilities. The protocol applies to all classes scheduled in general purpose and departmental classroom space.

Departments should not expect that faculty members will be assigned the same space on a continuing basis.

The Registrar’s Office coordinates all class scheduling and room assignments with departmental coordinators who, in turn, coordinate with their instructional faculty members. Academic departments should do the following:

  1. Determine class offerings and submit schedule information no later than the specified deadlines.
  2. Notify Scheduling of section changes or cancellations immediately.
  3. Enter and maintain in Banner instructor information and maximum enrollment of all sections offered by the department.

Class Meeting Times and Zone Protocol

  1. Classes that meet two days per week for 1 hour and 20 minutes must meet on TR.
  2. Classes must begin on the first hour of the zone with the exception of TR Zones 1 and 5, which may start at 8:30 am or 4:30 pm.
  3. Classes that meet for longer than two hours (110 minutes) per session must be scheduled in Zone 5.
  4. Class meeting times may not cross time zones. Departments may cross time zones when scheduling 500- or 600-level graduate classes that meet for longer than two hours per session if they use their own department-controlled classroom.
  5. Each department must distribute its classes across all five days of the week (approximately 20 percent per day) and across the full class day (according to the percentages defined for each zone). Each class day has five zones. All classes must comply with the zones whether they are assigned to general purpose classrooms or departmental classrooms.
  6. Non-credit sections (those sections that have zero credit) are scheduled after all credit-bearing sections are assigned rooms.
  7. Use of classroom facilities for non-academic events must be approved and assigned by Scheduling.

Scheduling for MW, WF or MF, 3-Credit Sections and/or 4-credit lectures meeting 3 hours per week.

We will not reserve rooms for 3-credit or 4-credit lectures that meet for 3 hours on MW, WF or MF.

Three-credit or 4-credit lectures that meet for 3 hours can be scheduled in any zone if they are taught on MWF.

Scheduling for Lectures Meeting One Day a Week

Because of the demand for classrooms in the middle of the instructional day, it will not be possible to schedule sections that meet one day a week except in Zone 5 or on Friday.

If a department can schedule additional sections of similar course capacity with "complementary" day and time schedules in the same time slot on different days, then we may be able to accommodate requests for one-day-a-week meetings. If, for example, one 3-credit course is scheduled into a room on M at 10–11, then a different section can schedule its meeting from 10–11 on W or WF in the same room.

Scheduling Classes on Fridays

Fridays are often used for department meetings, instructor office hours, research responsibilities, or other tasks related to instructional work. However, Friday is primarily an instructional day and the zone percentages specifically take Friday into account, asking for 20% of sections for each day.

Please make use of Friday as an instructional day. The increased use of Friday for class sections makes more effective and efficient use of classrooms.

Scheduling in Departmental Classrooms

The zone percentages were established for two reasons—to assure student access to classes, and to ease the difficulty in assigning rooms. Though the zone percentages are applied regardless of whether the sections are scheduled in general purpose or departmental classrooms, if you can schedule sections in departmental rooms, that will alleviate some of the pressures on assigning GP classrooms.

Using departmental rooms is not an option for all departments, and departments may not be able to assign all sections to departmental rooms; however, if you are able to assign sections to departmental rooms, please do so.