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Creating and Revising Subjects

The two types of subjects offered at MIT are "regular" subjects, i.e., subjects that have been approved through a review by a faculty committee, and "special topics" subjects, which departments set up at their discretion to pilot new subjects, present traditional subject matter in novel ways, experiment with new teaching methods, offer a subject for which the topics of focus change frequently, offer a subject taught by a visiting or newly hired faculty member, or sponsor independent study.

Regular Subjects

All regular subjects are reviewed and approved by faculty committees. Proposals for new subjects, as well as for changes to existing subjects, are submitted electronically to the Registrar's Office by each program's catalog coordinator; the Catalog Office can put you in touch with the correct person.

The general review cycle is as follows:

Contact your departmental coordinator for specific departmental deadlines. In working with your coordinator to prepare a proposal, you may also find it helpful to review the style guide for the Bulletin. Feel free to contact with Catalog Office with any questions about the review process or catalog standards.

Subjects with Digital Content

For proposals involving substantive use of digital content, the Committee on Graduate Programs and the Committee on Curricula require completion of a supplemental form in conjunction with the normal proposal form. 

Departments are encouraged to consult with the Office of Digital Learning (ODL) concerning the planning, development, and/or review of digital materials for the class, and with the Teaching and Learning Laboratory (TLL) concerning student learning assessment and feedback.

Special Subjects

Even though committee approval is not required for these subjects, the Catalog Office and the Schedules Office must be aware of plans to offer these subjects prior to the start of the term so students will be able to register for them. If you would like to offer a new subject under this option, contact your departmental catalog coordinator for assistance; the Catalog Office can put you in touch with the correct person.

Some restrictions on special subjects:

For more details, see Special Subjects: Guidelines.