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  to turn in all required paperwork for Fall 18 was Monday, June 25th. CNR is no longer accepting applications for Fall 18.

As of Fall 2018,  CNR DeCals must meet all of the following criteria:
  • DeCal can have a maxinum 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 through DSP/academic department)

  • Facilitator must have a minimum 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)

  • Facilitator must attend a "StartUp Workshop" hosted by the Student Learning Center.  

Steps to Propose a CNR DeCal

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

  Fall 18 Spring 19
Student facilitator comes up with an idea for a course and writes a proposal. Prior to June 25, 2018* Summer/early Fall 18
Student facilitator reviews the PDF iconCNR DeCal Packet.pdffor all relevant rules (required workshop, deadlines, syllabus criteria, Course Proposal Form, etc). Prior to June 25, 2018* Summer/early Fall 18
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 25, 2018* Summer/early Fall 18

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. 

Prior to June 25, 2018* Prior to Oct 8, 2018
Student facilitator turns in Course Proposal Form with signatures, Unit Value Worksheet, and all proposal materials to 260 Mulford to Patricia Helyer.  Due June 25, 2018 Due Oct 8, 2018

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

Summer 18

Mid to late Fall 18

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

You Must Complete the Following: 

  1. PDF iconCNR Course Proposal Packet.pdfincludes the Course Proposal Form (CPF), Unit Value Worksheet, instructions, and 3 checklists that must be completed entirely, including all relevant signatures.
  2. Unit value worksheet: The worksheet to calculate workload and resultant unit value. 
    • Please ensure that the minimum total work hours are equivalent to the unit value of the course (e.g.: there are at least 45 hours for a 1 unit course). Also ensure that any requirements outlined in the worksheet are explained fully in the course syllabus. Check that the weekly schedule outlined on your syllabus matches the Unit Value Worksheet.
  3. Syllabus: Must be updated every semester and 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. 
  4. Faculty Sponsor Letter of Support - A letter of support from the instructor of record must be provided for each course the instructor is sponsoring. The letter should address the five questions (listed in the link) explaining the role and relationship the instructor has with the course. It should be written on department letterhead and signed by the instructor of record. 

Next Steps After Turning in Your Completed Application

  Fall 18 Spring 19
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 25, 2018 By Oct 8, 2018
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 18 By 1st day of classes Spring 18
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 18 Mid to late Fall 18
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 end of the 5th week of classes in which the DeCal is offered. (to avoid fees)       Sep 7, 2018 TBD

Additional Tips & Helpful Information: 

  • Review the Student Checklist for 98 and 198 Courses (in the Course Proposal Form).  It includes instructions and guidelines for completing your syllabus, unit value worksheet, general processes, etc.
  • Be sure to check that the weekly schedule outlined on your syllabus matches the Unit Value Worksheet.
  • 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. 
  • 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.

For any questions or concerns, please contact Patricia Helyer at