Skip to Main Content
Navigated to Standard Meeting Patterns.

Standard Meeting Patterns


Standard class meeting patterns are a set of common meeting times that all departments and instructors use across undergraduate and graduate schools to schedule classes. The purpose of the class patterns is to reduce course conflicts, thereby empowering students to take the courses they want and need.

Policy Rationale

Standard class meeting patterns were developed in response to recommendation of the SUES report and to a request by the deans responsible for undergraduate education (H&S, Engineering & Earth Systems) and the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education. The challenge was to develop a course of action that would mitigate enrollment conflicts that students noted during the SUES process.

To ameliorate this condition, three actions were recommended and adopted: simplify the meeting schedule matrix, use the class scheduling process to minimize conflicts and overlaps for students, encourage departments to coordinate their scheduling and distribution of courses.

Specifically the goals for the Revised Meeting Patterns Proposal are:

  • Optimize the ability of students to obtain classes because of simplified and flexible, non-overlapping scheduling patterns.

  • Reduction in classes with partial time overlaps.

  • Reduction of conflicts in final exam times (which is not provided for in academic policy).

  • Emphasize the values of teaching by reducing late arrivals and early departures for overlapping classes.

  • Optimize the ability of faculty to observe Stanford's policy on credit hours.

  • Optimize use of the classroom inventory.

  • Promote distribution of scheduling across the day.

  • Promote access to restricted or departmental rooms when not already in use.

  • Incentives in schools and departments to encourage off peak scheduling.

  • Minimum enrollment requirements to ensure good use of larger rooms (e.g., enrollment must be a minimum of 75% of seat capacity).

Policy Statement

  • Courses are expected to conform to standard meeting start times.

  • Courses that require more time than provided by a standard meeting period may occupy multiple periods.

  • Courses must begin at a standard meeting start time; courses may, however, conclude before the standard meeting end time.

  • Classroom space will be assigned to courses that efficiently use the space and its characteristics: course enrollment must be at least 75% of classroom seat capacity. Should enrollment not meet this threshold, the course may be moved to a smaller classroom.

  • It is the responsibility of the instructor and department to ensure that the actual attendance in the class does not exceed the capacity of the room set by fire and safety codes. Should enrollment exceed room capacity, the department should contact the Registrar's Scheduling department to make arrangements for a larger room.

  • It is recommended that no more than 50% of department/program classes should be scheduled to begin within the peak period (10:30am-2:30pm). This practice ensures that classes are offered at diverse times to meet student needs while ensuring that classroom space is fully utilized throughout the day.

  • Classes are not held on official University holidays unless the school has been granted an exemption.

  • Requests for exceptions must be made in writing to a joint C-USP/C0GS Subcommittee on Class Scheduling Patterns and, if approved, will be scheduled only after all other courses have been assigned a classroom. Instructor preference is not considered to be a valid basis for an exception.

  • It is extremely difficult to change classroom locations once classrooms have been assigned for the quarter. Priority scheduling will be given to instances where enrollment necessitates a change in the assigned classroom.

  • Changes to class schedules after students are enrolled should be avoided if at all possible.

  • It is not possible to guarantee assignment of a specific classrooms, but departments closely adhering to these policies will be given priority classroom scheduling.

  • Faculty and department should take advantage of enrollment management capabilities built in the Classroom Scheduling system, including waitlists, permission numbers, and section and component enrollment configurations, to ensure scheduling and enrollment effectiveness.

Standard Meeting Pattern Grid

Implementation Information

Registrar Office scheduling systems are configured to allow departments to schedule classes only uses patterns approved by the Faculty Senate.

Exception Process

Requests for exceptions must be made in writing to the joint C-USP/C-GS Subcommittee on Class Scheduling Patterns and, if approved, will be scheduled only after all other courses have been assigned a classroom. Instructor preference is not considered to be a valid basis for an exception. Any request for an exception must have the approval of the department or program chair.

Requests for exceptions should include a rationale for why the class or classes cannot fit the regular meeting patterns as well as an assessment of student impact resulting from the exception.

To request an exception to the meeting patterns, the department Curriculum Manager (typically the Student Service Officer) should submit an exception request through the Scheduling Management module of Coursedog.

Contact Information

Curriculum Management and Scheduling, Office of the University Registrar

Additional Information