The DeCal Program at UC Berkeley allows students to create and facilitate their own classes on a variety of subjects.  Students who are interested in creating their own DeCal have the opportunity to do so while working with a sponsoring CNR faculty member.  

The CNR deadline for Spring 20 is Wed, Oct 16th. 

Facilitators must complete a UCFTR Training Workshop by the Senate's submission deadline (~Nov 6 for Spring 20). This is later than the CNR deadline (Oct 16th for Spring 20), you must submit your completed DeCal packet by the CNR deadline, not the Academic Senate deadline.
CNR DeCals must meet all of the following criteria:
  • DeCal can have a max of 3 facilitators. At least 1 facilitator must be in a CNR major or minor

  • DeCal must be facilitated by the student who received approval (facilitators may not switch)

  • Facilitator must be a full-time UC Berkeley student (unless approved for lower course load by DSP/academic department)

  • Facilitator must have a min cumulative 2.0 GPA and be in good academic standing

  • Facilitator may only facilitate 1 course per semester

  • Faculty sponsor must be active in the semester that the DeCal is offered (cannot be on sabbatical/ leave)

Steps to Propose a CNR DeCal

The student is responsible for completing all paperwork, obtaining signatures, and keeping a copy for themselves.  

  Fall 19 Spring 20
Student facilitator comes up with an idea for a course and writes a proposal. Prior to June 21, 2019* Summer/early Fall 19

Student facilitator reviews the CNR DeCal Packet Student develops syllabus according to required criteria: must be updated for the current semester, include an outline of course content, a reading list, statement of frequency of class meetings, clear description of assignments and requirements for passing the class including a weekly schedule of topics/assignments covered each day of class, key learning outcomes, method(s) of instruction, and method(s) of evaluation of student performance.

Each student faciliator must attend a UCFTR Training Workshop prior to the semester they plan to teach. Students who do not are not allowed to facilitate a Decal per the Academic Senate.

Prior to June 21, 2019* Summer/early Fall 19
Student facilitator approaches an instructor in CNR, who agrees to serve as instructor of record. The two work together to improve the syllabus. The instructor of record sings the Course Proposal Form (and Application for Independent Study Units as needed) indicating that they have reviewed and approved it. Instructor writes the Faculty Letter of Support. Prior to June 21, 2019* Summer/early Fall 19

Student facilitator obtains the Department Chair's signature. If submitting a proposal for an ESPM Decal, CNR will submit your packet to the ESPM deparment chair for review. Please turn in your entire packet except the ESPM department chair signature to 260 Mulford.  If your DeCal is for any other CNR department, you must submit your CPF form with the department chair's signature already on it. Students must keep a copy of the entire packet for themselves, CNR does not keep your original or a copy.

Prior to June 21, 2019* Prior to Oct 16, 2019
Student facilitator turns in entire CNR DeCal Packet including Course Proposal Form with signatures, Unit Value Worksheet, syllabus, and all proposal materials to 260 Mulford to Patricia Helyer.  Due June 21, 2019 Due Oct 9, 2019

CNR reviews the proposal. If there are any issues, CNR will contact the student facilitator and instructor of record.

Summer 19

Mid to late Fall 19

*For Fall DeCals, obtaining signatures before summer break is highly recommended as faculty may not be available in summer.

Next Steps After Turning in Your Completed Application

  Fall 18 Spring 20
Student facilitator fills out the DeCal Survey Filling out this survey is the only way to notify schedulers to request a room and a time for the DeCal. CNR schedules the DeCal based on those survey answers. By June 21, 2019 By Oct 9, 2019
After student facilitator completes the DeCal Survey, CNR will contact them with a course number. It is the facilitator's responsibility to share this with students for enrollment. By 1st day of classes Fall 19 By 1st day of classes Spring 20
Student facilitator contacts to list the DeCal on the DeCal website. CNR does not manage the website and cannot post your DeCal information to it. This is the only place where CNR DeCals will appear (not in the Schedule of Classes).    
CNR submits your proposal to the Faculty Senate.  The Senate reviews it and may provide edits.  CNR will contact the student facilitator if edits are needed.  The facilitator resubmits the packet with the revisions to CNR who sends it onto the Faculty Senate for final review. Summer 19 Mid to late Fall 19
In order to receive units for Facilitating a DeCal, facilitators must complete the Application for Independent Study & Research and turn it in to 260 Mulford Hall by the Wed of the 4th week of classes in which the DeCal is offered. (to avoid fees) Sep 13, 2019 (to avoid fees) Feb 7, 2020

How to Avoid Common Mistakes

  • Be sure to check that the weekly schedule outlined on your syllabus matches the Unit Value Worksheet.
  • Make sure that all the facilitators involved in the DeCal (max of 3 allowed) are listed on the Course Proposal Form, Syllabus, and in the DeCal Survey. 
  • DeCal Course Numbers (98 or 198) are based on course content, not student standing. Please consult with your faculty sponsor to determine the  appropriate class number based on your DeCal course material. You cannot offer it as both.
  • Planning in advance is strongly encouraged to give adequate time for obtaining all required signatures and to make any updates and revisions after receiving feedback about your application.

For any questions or concerns, please contact Patricia Helyer at