Skip navigation

Section navigation

Scheduling Classes on Grid

Departments must adhere to common start and end times for all UIC classes in all terms including summer. This requirement is referred to here as "staying on-grid." Staying on-grid serves two key purposes: It allows the university to maximize classroom use, and it gives students maximal registration options, making it easier for students to create schedules, get needed classes, and therefore graduate sooner. On-grid scheduling also eliminates final exam time and space conflicts. The Classroom Scheduling Policies are intended for all sections up to and including 400 level courses. 500 level courses are allowed some leniency when necessary.

When courses are scheduled on-grid, each classroom is able to accommodate fifteen classes per week beginning at 8:00 a.m. and ending before 5:00 p.m., more when counting evening hours (see below). Scheduling off-grid has a negative impact on both classroom availability and student scheduling options.  For example, a three-credit class scheduled only on Monday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. eliminates the ability to schedule M-W-F classes in that room at 10:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m., and students in that class cannot take other M-W-F courses at 10:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. Scheduling off-grid also creates final exam conflicts for students and faculty members.

A few colleges or departments offer degree programs with course sequences students must take in lockstep. These programs schedule courses in “blocks” across the week, making on-grid scheduling impracticable. Students in such programs rarely still need to take other courses such as General Education requirements that might conflict with such blocks of courses. Therefore, programs with such course-scheduling requirements—those who offer courses exclusively, or nearly exclusively, to students who have been accepted into that program and who do not need to work general education and other courses into their schedule—are exempt from this on-grid policy.

Otherwise, permission for off-grid requests must be requested by the department to the college dean and forwarded to the Office of Classroom Scheduling (OCS) upon approval. Given the multiple benefits of on-grid scheduling, exceptions should rarely be granted.

OCS will maintain a list of approved exceptions.

New Scheduling Model starting Fall 2018

A new scheduling model will be implemented beginning Fall 2018. The model is a result of recommendations made by the Class Scheduling Committee and approved by the Provost. The new model will be utilized for all course scheduling beginning Fall 2018 and replacing the previous grid policy.


Meetings through the Week

  • MW courses:  at least 20%
  • TR courses:  no more than 40%
  • MWF courses:  no more than 40%

Large Room Scheduling

  1. Scheduling of large lectures will remain on the old grid of MWF/TR courses to ensure maximum usage/efficiency (back-to-back all day, every day)
  2. Scheduling of large lectures should be spread out across the day, following the ratios established for the new grid as a whole
  3. Departments offering MWF and TR large lectures should make every effort to distribute classes evenly across those day blocks
  4. Where Classroom scheduling runs into capacity issues, units may be asked to schedule WF lectures with M discussion sections or to re-balance the distribution between MWF/TR lectures.

Growing Capacity at UIC

For in-depth details on the new Fall 2018 classroom scheduling model review the Growing Capacity at UIC report from the Office of the Provost.

Three-credit-hour classes

The on-grid scheduling pattern for three-credit classes, which require 2 hours and 30 minutes of class time per week, must be scheduled as follows:

  • Monday, Wednesday, and Friday sections of 50-minute blocks.  The first class begins at 8 a.m., and subsequent classes begin every hour on the hour thereafter, with a 10-minute interval between classes. Thus, the first class runs from 8:00-8:50 a.m., the second class runs from 9:00-9:50 a.m., and so on throughout the day and evening.
  • Tuesday and Thursday sections of 75-minute blocks. The first class begins at 8:00 a.m. with subsequent classes beginning every 90 minutes thereafter, with a 15-minute interval between classes. Thus, the first class runs from 8:00-9:15 a.m., the second class runs from 9:30-10:45 a.m., with subsequent classes beginning at 11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 5:00 p.m., 6:30 p.m., and 8:00 p.m.
  • Monday and Wednesday sections of 75-minute blocks. The classes begin at 8:00, 9:30, 3:00, 4:30, 6:00 and 7:30. There is a 15 minute interval between classes.

Four-credit-hour classes.

If there is no on-line alternative for some of the necessary class time, four-credit-hour classes that meet in person four days per week must be scheduled Monday through Thursday, 50 minutes per day (see above for 50-minute block policy). This leaves open more Friday times for discussion sections of other courses.

Foreign language classes that meet in person four days per week must be scheduled Monday through Thursday, 50 minutes per day (see above for 50-minute block policy). This leaves open more Friday times for discussion sections of other courses

Final Exams

All course exams (except for final exams) must be given within the scheduled course meeting times. Final exams are given according to the official separate schedule after the end of classes.  The only exception is for officially scheduled combined-section exams.