With such a large campus and so many courses being offered, we must use some guidelines in order ensure maximum use of our general assignment classrooms and provide a fair distribution across campus departments. We have highlighted the most important guidelines below. Issues about policy are governed by the Campus Committee on Classroom Policy and Management.
Academic Scheduling Policies
Classroom scheduling occurs in 3 distinct phases.
Phase I: Room Assignment & Compliance
This is the scheduling phase in which you submit your requests for general assignment classrooms. At the end of this phase, when departmental schedulers enter their requests, the Scheduling Office runs compliance checks for:
- total number of hours requested by department
- prime time vs. non-prime time use of classrooms
- standard time blocks
- contact hours / instructional format compliance
These requests are then run through the optimizer (room assignment algorithm). Typically, the optimizer is able to fulfill over 90% of requests in this phase.
Standard Time Blocks
The heavy demand for classroom space requires us to assign general assignment classrooms to academic courses that fit standard time blocks (see table below). This allows us to minimize the number of unused half hours and is instrumental in accommodating room switches. Non-standard times must be assigned in departmentally controlled space. Standard time blocks remain in place throughout all phases of scheduling.
Room assignments begin on the hour or half hour; however, class meetings normally begin 10 minutes after the time displayed.
Click here to access the Ad Astra 2010 Capacity Management Study for the general assignment classrooms at UC Berkeley.
Prime Time Requests - 70% / 30%
The most impacted times are called prime time. As of Fall 2016, prime time is defined as follows:
You must limit your prime time requests for academic courses in general assignment classrooms to no more than 70% of your total general assignment space requests. Prime time requests for primary sections are calculated separately from prime time requests for secondary sections. Prime time hours are in bold type and highlighted in red on the table above.
Classes that do not meet every week for the full 15-week term (14 weeks excluding RRR week) will not be assigned general assignment classrooms at any point in the scheduling process, as this would be an inefficient use of scarce resources and would obstruct room changes.
Contact Hours & Instructional Formats
When requesting a general assignment classroom, each class is limited to the maximum number of contact hours per week approved by the Committee on Courses of Instruction for a 15-week course. For example, a course approved for 3 hours of lecture per week for 15 weeks may not request MW 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. for its lecture. Contact hours can be viewed in the Course Management System (CMS) at course.berkeley.edu.
Phase II: Schedule Review & Publication
During the review and publication phase of the classroom scheduling process, you have received the room assignments made by the optimizer. If any of your initial room requests were not fulfilled by the optimizer, you may submit revised requests to be manually processed by Classroom Scheduling staff. The schedule should be finalized as much as possible before its publication approximately two weeks before the start of enrollment.
Phase III: Adjustment Period and Semester Start-Up
General Assignment Classroom Requests at Semester Start-Up
Here are the guidelines for department schedulers to use that will help us respond to room requests. Please inform your instructors and student facilitators of the following deadlines:
General Assignment Classroom Requests for Academic Classes
- DeCal courses are considered regularly scheduled academic courses, so all the same deadlines apply, including the deadline to submit requests.
- Room requests will not be accepted after the Friday of the second week of instruction. The first week of instruction is defined as only the instructional days that occur before the first weekend. For example, if instruction begins on a Wednesday, then the first week consists of Wednesday through Friday, not of the first Wednesday through the second Wednesday.
- Room-switching (see below) will not be accepted after the Friday of the third week of instruction.
- You will receive an email notification regarding the outcome of your room requests by Friday of the third week of instruction, and of your room-switching requests by Friday of the fourth week of instruction.
Classroom Reservation Requests
We are unable to make any daytime reservations during the first three weeks of instruction (MTWTF 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.), because we are still accommodating requests for the academic class schedule. Classes that students enroll in have first priority for general assignment classrooms. Check our Classroom Reservations page for more information.
Disability Access to Campus Rooms
The campus is committed to ensuring the accessibility of all its courses, programs, and activities. The wheelchair accessibility of almost all rooms on campus can be ascertained in advance online: see "Classrooms" on the Campus Access Guide which has a wide range of campus information of value to wheelchair users.
For ADA accommodations for instructors, room requests should be submitted in the usual manner. For ADA accommodations for students, students should immediately notify their Disabled Students' Program counselor, and DSP will contact Classroom Scheduling directly.
To resolve issues related to physical access to a room scheduled for a non-academic purpose, promptly submit a Request for Mobility Accommodations or telephone 510.643.6456 or TDD 510.642.6376.
Course Enrollments Relative to Classroom Capacity
The enrollment limit of a class may not exceed the capacity of the room assigned to it.
In a very few cases, valid reasons exist for allowing registered enrollment in a specific course to exceed classroom capacity. (For example, some courses use ETS course capture services so that students in excess of the room capacity can view the lectures online.)
In these cases, department chairs may appeal to their deans in writing for special consideration. Special arrangements will be considered only in cases where (1) demand is high and enrollment in the course in question is vital to students' ability to progress through the curriculum and (2) departments can demonstrate that they have a plan in place to avoid over-crowding. Examples of such a plan include: statistical evidence regarding previous attendance relative to registered enrollments that indicates it is extremely unlikely that more than the allowable number of students will actually attend; or reservation of an overflow room and arrangements for instruction of students displaced to that room because the primary classroom is full.
It is the responsibility of the department and the instructor to ensure that actual attendance does not exceed classroom capacity. This responsibility obligates instructors in particularly crowded rooms to know the capacity of their classrooms, to count the number of students present, and, if necessary, to request that some students leave, for their own safety, before class can proceed. Questions about the capacity (i.e., legal occupancy) limits of classrooms may be referred to the Classroom Scheduling Office (510.642.0313) or to Space Management and Capital Projects (510.642.1781), which maintains the campus classroom inventory.
Any change to the day, time, and/or room of a colloquium in a General Assignment classroom must be approved by the Campus Committee on Classroom Policy and Management.
The General Assignment active-learning classroom inventory currently consists of:
- 110 Barrows (54 seats)
- 122 Barrows (36 seats)
- 118 Barrows (30 seats)
- 230 Mulford (30 seats)
DeCals (courses numbered 98 or 198) are not eligible to be scheduled in active-learning rooms.
When a given combination of day + time + room has been assigned to a class, the department scheduler may choose to transfer that combination to a different class within the same department or cluster. This is called room-switching. However, the room cannot be switched independently of the day and time; rather, the day, time, and room function as one unit. The switch may be a:
Class A has no room. Class B donates its day + time + room to Class A. (This may occur if Class B is being canceled or moved to a departmentally-controlled room.)
2-way mutual swap:
Class A and Class B both have day + time + room assignments and trade with each other.
Day + time + room combinations are transferred from Class A → Class B → Class C → Class D → Class A .
Only the exact combinations already assigned to you are at your disposal. This means that room-switching does not change room availability. If you wish to change any element(s) of a combination (e.g. the same room but a different time), that cannot be done via room-switching. Instead, a regular room request must be submitted.
All scheduling policies remain in effect. For example, room-switching cannot be used to transfer an active-learning room from a non-DeCal to a DeCal.
As of Fall 2016, room-switching may be submitted through Friday of the third week of instruction (one week later than the deadline for regular room requests). This is to ensure that the class schedule is finalized before the Scheduling Office begins scheduling final exams at the start of the fifth week of instruction.