Course Inventory Approvals

A proposal for a new course, change in course or withdrawal of a course must go through the curricular approval/review process. The following resources serve to assist administrators, faculty and staff with this process and the procedures related to undergraduate, graduate and professional course proposal approvals/reviews.

Courses that are approved/reviewed during the calendar year are added to course inventory (COMPASS) and catalog, and are effective the following academic year.  Courses are reported to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board each May during our annual course inventory reporting period.

Please go to Howdy to access the Curricular Approval Request System (CARS).

The following are additional resources that may assist in course preparation.
  1. A syllabus is required for new courses and changes to course hours and course numbers. 
  2. Refer to the Minimum Syllabus Requirements for a template and other details.
  3. Refer to our Style Guide for Catalog Course Descriptions for the preferred catalog course description format.
In order for courses to be taught in a non-traditional format (online or a different part of term), they must be submitted for approval through the Curricular Approval Request System (CARS). The question on the CARS form "Will sections of this course be taught as non-traditional?" must be answered. In addition, a non-traditional syllabus must be attached to the proposal and must clearly reference online coursework or the difference in duration. Reference University Rule 11.03.99.M1 for additional information.

Courses that are currently exempt from this process are special topics courses (x89). These specific courses are currently classified as non-traditional format exclude. 

Additional Resources

Beginning September 1, 2017, new undergraduate courses will need to comply with the guidelines for assigning course levels to undergraduate courses. Please reference guidelines for specific information.

Guidelines for Assignment of Undergraduate Course Levels

CTE Course Level and Hours Guidelines

CIP Codes, Course and Program Inventory

Visit the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) website for CIP codes, course and program inventory at Texas A&M University, and proposal tracking.

CIP Codes, Course and Program Inventory
  • THECB – Criteria for Assigning Texas CIP Codes
  • Instructions on how to access the course inventory list
    • Go to
    • Select Course and Program Inventories (under Online Applications)
    • Select University Courses
    • Under Inventory Year, select year (for example, 2014-2015)
    • Under Institution, select Texas A&M University
    • Under Rubric and Number, type course prefix (for example, GEOG) in the first empty block
    • Select desired output (screen, Excel, PDF)
    • Click on Display Courses

COMPASS Course Inventory - Helpful COMPASS Forms

SCACRSE – course inventory detail includes title, hours, first 6 digits of CIP code
SCADETL – cross-listed courses, core curriculum, course description
STVSUBJ – subject / prefix codes
SZACXRF – state CIPC 4 (last 4 digits of CIP code, includes fund code), admin unit number, course level
SZVTAUC – administrative unit and department codes
Cross-listed courses must be exactly alike (with the exception of the course prefix, and sometimes the course number). Approval by both department heads will be handled through workflow in the Curricular Approval Request System (CARS). To add a cross-listing to an existing course, simply edit the course in CARS. If the courses do not exist, create one new course and add the cross-listing. Only one course proposal is required.
Stacked courses are defined as courses in which graduate and undergraduate students meet for a class at the same time with the same instructor but at their respective level of instruction.  More rigorous activities (for example, extra laboratories, papers or assignments) are provided for graduate students to ensure work at the graduate level.

In order to offer a stacked course the following requirements must be met:
  1. The instructor of record must be a member of the Graduate Faculty.
  2. The head(s) of the department(s) in which the stacked courses are listed must approve the stacked course offering.
  3. The syllabus for the graduate students shall clearly indicate the additional work required.

Stacked Courses Policy - FS.18.033
  • Rule for Special Topics Courses-489 (FS.15.020)
  • Rule for Special Topics Courses-689 (FS.15.013)

Other Information

If a course has been removed from course inventory/catalog and the course needs to be reinstated, please submit the request through the Curricular Approval Request System (CARS) using one of the following options:
  • If the course is needed immediately, the course will be reinstated based on the last time the course appeared in course inventory/catalog. No changes to the course will be allowed. In addition to other boxes checked under "Rationale for Course Edit" on the form, select "Other" and indicate the course is being reinstated with the effective term. The course will be added to course inventory after approval is received from the department head and college dean. For tracking purposes, send an email of the impending reinstatement to so that adjustments can be made to workflow.
  • If the course is not needed immediately and/or changes are made to the course, it will follow the same course approval process and course inventory schedule as any edited course (reference top of this page).
A course number cannot be reused within a 10-year period.  For example, if a course was removed from course inventory in 2015, the next available term it can be reused is 2025. A report of currently used numbers is available through COMPASS Reports (PWS_COURSES_IN_USE_xx). If you don't have access to this report, please ask your PAA to add the security group to your account.

If you wish to use a course number from a previously inactivated course for a new course proposal, do not attempt to reinstate the course. Please email or call 979-845-8201 for assistance.
A course prefix is a four letter abbreviation of the program name; in some cases, it is a four letter abbreviation of the department/college name. We will not create a new course prefix that would otherwise give the impression that we are offering a program for which we have not been given approval.