Proposing a SAGES Seminar

For the descriptions of First Seminars and University Seminars, please refer here


Starting the Process


A faculty member leading a SAGES Seminar develops a syllabus that draws on her/his particular strengths and interests as a teacher and scholar. To develop a seminar, think of a topic that you want to use as a basis for leading a discussion, one you feel will be engaging for students. As you develop the seminar, please be cognizant of the learning outcomes of the level of seminar you are proposing. SAGES courses are divided into three thematic areas: Symbolic World, Natural/Technological World and Social World (follow this link for full descriptions). You will need to consider the most appropriate thematic area for your seminar.

If you are proposing a University Seminar, you can download the University Seminar Course Proposal Form.


Getting Your Seminar Approved


Courses are initially accepted for one-time approval. For one-time approval, we need:

• a title (30 or fewer characters including spaces)

• a course description (2000 or fewer characters including spaces)

• a list of readings

• the grading elements and the grade breakdown

• a draft syllabus, if you have one

• a brief rationale for your selection of the thematic area

• written affirmation that the course will be offered in a seminar mode and that approximately 1/3 of the regular class time will be devoted to writing instruction.


If a course has previously received one-time approval, we must obtain permanent approval before it is offered again. If you are unsure whether your topical seminar had one-time or permanent approval, ask Peter Whiting. For permanent approval, we need:

• a course action form

• a syllabus including readings

• the grading elements and the grade breakdown

Once prepared, the package of materials should be sent to the SAGES office. A group of faculty readers will evaluate the proposal and, based on their comments, the SAGES Director will make a recommendation for approval to the appropriate curriculum committee. The approval process for new seminars is congruent with existing course approval processes in each school. However, each school will require a memo from the SAGES office stating that the proposed seminar meets the requirements for SAGES courses.




We’re happy to answer any questions you have, and provide guidance as you design your seminar. Please contact the SAGES office, or refer to our faculty resources page.

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