Fall 2020 Scheduling (Staff)


Changes to the Fall 2020 Academic Calendar and Course Schedule Policy require the Registrar's Office to remove all fall term class data and student enrollments. Using the new Course Schedule Policy, new fall classes will be created and students will be required to reregister in early August.


Scheduling Timeline

Date Step
June 5 Scheduling spreadsheets available in Duke Box
June 26 Completed scheduling spreadsheets due to Registrar
June 29-July 21 Schedule processing by Registrar, including classroom assignments
July 22-24 Final schedule review by departments

Scheduling Spreadsheets

Scheduling spreadsheets are available on Duke Box. Access has been given to all DUSs, DUSAs, DGSs, and DGSAs. If you need access to your department's scheduling spreadsheet, email class-scheduling@duke.edu.

Each spreadsheet includes a department's current Fall 2020 schedule of owned courses. The spreadsheet lists non-crosslisted courses at the top and crosslisted courses below. Each spreadsheet includes a guide to the columns on the scheduling sheet with instructions and valid values.

Note: Columns highlighted in gray are informational and their field values should not be changed.

The primary columns to be updated for existing courses are:

Column Instructions
Mode (course format) Three modes are available: P (in-person), ON (online), OO (online & on-campus, otherwise referred to as hybrid)
Enrollment Cap The current scheduled enrollment capacity has been provided. Follow guidance on enrollment caps to make adjustments, create additional sections, and update instruction mode.
Meeting Start and End Times

The Registrar's Office has provided the closest recommended start and end times to the currently scheduled times for each section. These are only recommendations. If changing the meeting time of a class, keep in mind that all sections must start at an approved start time. Classes may end earlier than approved end times, but not later.

Approved start and end times are available as dropdown values in the spreadsheet. If a desired end time is not in the dropdown, include it in the Notes to Registrar column.

Exception: To accommodate students in different time zones, faculty may opt to schedule online discussion groups prior to scheduling period 1 or after scheduling period 7.

Online Section The following information should be provided for online versions of in-person and hybrid classes: Enrollment Capacity, Instructor(s), Optional Synchronous Meeting Pattern (if any).

Adding & Deleting Sections

To add new sections, insert a new row in the spreadsheet and complete the necessary scheduling information. If a course is permanently crosslisted, you do not need to include all of the crosslists. You only need to schedule the primary offering in your department.

If you do not wish to offer a section in the fall, delete the line from your spreadsheet.


The spreadsheet lists non-crosslisted courses at the top and crosslisted courses below. Crosslisted courses are grouped by combined section ID. This is a system-generated value and should not be changed. When making scheduling changes to a crosslisted section, copy the information down to each offering's row.

Permament crosslists are listed on the left side of the spreadsheet. Crosslists for special topics courses will not appear on the left side because they are not owned by your department. See the Crosslist column on the far right of the spreadsheet for crosslisted special topics sections.

Special Topics Classes

All special topics courses under owned subjects will appear in the spreadsheet based on catalog ownership. Do not update sections that originated in other departments. Delete them from your spreadsheet.

Instruction Modes

In-Person – will require attendance in a classroom setting as specified on the schedule. Accommodations will be made to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff. If the course has an in-person component, that means students must be physically on campus.

Online & On-Campus or Hybrid – will include both in-person and online meetings.

Online – may include required or optional synchronous meeting pattern. Online sessions must be recorded and made available for a student to review at a time convenient for the time zone in which they are located. All online-only sections will include an “O” suffix at the end of section numbers.

Generally, online sections should be asynchronous but optional synchronous meeting patterns may be included in the Class Notes. Some exceptions have been granted to schedule synchronous meeting patterns. If you want to request an exception, include it in the Notes to Registrar column. Please be aware that scheduled synchronous meetings may cause conflicts for students in other time zones, which will prevent them from registering for classes. 

Switching Instruction Modes

Classes will only be allowed to switch from in-person or hybrid to online once bookbags open. Online classes cannot switch to in-person or hybrid after bookbags open. 

Online Offerings

All classes must be available in an online format or have an online counterpart to accommodate students who may not be able to attend class physically (due to travel restrictions, reduced class sizes due to social distancing guidelines, etc.).

  • We expect most classes to be listed as hybrid or online.
  • Hybrid classes must have an online-only counterpart.
  • Online and hybrid classes may have an in-person counterpart, but one is not required.

Generally, online sections should be asynchronous, but optional synchronous meeting patterns may be included in the Class Notes to be visible to students on the Schedule of Classes. Online sessions should be recorded and made available for a student to review at a time convenient for the time zone in which they are located.

To facilitate the scheduling of online versions of in-person and hybrid classes, departments will not be required to enter these sections individually on the spreadsheet. For in-person and hybrid classes, the enrollment capacity, instructor(s), and optional synchronous meeting patterns should be provided in the Online Section column. If no information is provided, an online section will be created with an enrollment capacity of 1 and "Departmental Staff" as the instructor. Departments will be responsible for updating this information in the Department Center.

Hybrid Offerings

Hybrid courses can have synchronous online meetings. Since the course has an in-person component, students can meet without time zone restrictions. The online meeting is encouraged to be at the same time as the in-person meeting, but it can be at a different time.

For hybrid multi-component courses, select the mode that corresponds to each component. For example, choose P for the lecture and ON for the lab or discussion.

Enrollment Capacities

Classes with enrollment capacities of 60 or more must:

  • transition the large class to online, or
  • create smaller sections of the class, or
  • develop asynchronous, online, lecture-style modules that students review in advance, and then create smaller discussion or group chat sections that meet each week in-person, online, or a combination.

For the third option, if the course will add a discussion and a version of the course does not already exist in the catalog with a discussion section, the Registrar’s Office will create one. No course request is required unless the new course will require changes other than the addition of the discussion section.

We strongly suggest keeping capacities for in-person and hybrid courses below 40 for the best chance of room assignment. We will attempt to place larger classes, but capacities may need to be reduced if classrooms are not available. In-person or hybrid courses with enrollment capacity requests above 60 will still be reviewed, but enrollment may need to be reduced if a room can't be assigned.

The maximum enrollment capacity for online seminars is 18.

Enrollment Restrictions

Enrollment restrictions (reserve caps and prerequisites) are permitted. They can be requested on the spreadsheet in the Notes to Registrar column.

Visit the Reserved Seats help guide to see how reserved seats appear on the Schedule of Classes in DukeHub.

Meeting Patterns

Meeting Days

The combination of days is flexible as long as the meeting pattern adheres to the approved time periods. Classes are encouraged to meet in more standard patterns (MWF, MW, WF, TTH) to facilitate room assignments.

Weekend Classes

Classes may be offered on the weekends. For in-person sections, the Registrar's Office will work with Facilities Management to ensure building access is available.

Multiple Meeting Patterns

The scheduling spreadsheet only allows entry of one meeting pattern per section. Multiple meeting patterns should be requested in the Notes to Registrar column. Please include the meeting days, start time, and end time.

Alternating Meeting Patterns

For hybrid classes that will meet in-person and online on alternating weeks with the same meeting pattern, the class will be set up as hybrid (OO) with only one meeting pattern. A note will be added to the class to indicate the meeting schedule. If you would like to request this type of meeting, include details in the Notes to Registrar column.

Alternating Attendance

For hybrid classes where half of students meet in-person one day and the other half meet in-person another day, two sections should be scheduled. For example, if AAAS 102 meets MW 8:30 AM-9:45 AM and has an enrollment capacity of 20, the setup would be as follows:

AAAS 102-01
Enrollment Capacity: 10
Meeting Patterns:
In-Person: M 8:30 AM-9:45 AM
Online: W 8:30 AM-9:45 AM

AAAS 102-02
Enrollment Capacity: 10
Meeting Patterns:
Online: M 8:30 AM-9:45 AM
In-Person: W 8:30 AM-9:45 AM

Multi-Component Classes

Per the Course Schedule Policy, in-person class meetings are limited to twice per week (excluding labs). Classes that meet more than twice per week must transition additional meetings (i.e., those beyond two) to an online format.

An exception can be made for discussions, although these are encouraged to be online if possible due to limited classroom availability.

Graduate (700+) & Professional Classes

Meeting patterns for graduate (700+) and professional classes are flexible, but departments are encouraged to follow the new approved meeting times as much as possible, especially if using general assignment classrooms. Owned rooms should follow the same policies regarding reduced capacity and 30 minutes between classes for cleaning.

Classroom Requests

All room requests, including owned rooms, should be requested in the Notes to Registrar column. Owned rooms should follow the same policies regarding reduced capacity and 30 minutes between classes for cleaning.

Distributional Requirements

Distributional requirements outlined in the Course Schedule Policy will not be strictly enforced, but departments are strongly encouraged to adhere to the requirements to accommodate the reduction in classroom availability resulting from necessary social distancing guidelines. The Registrar's Office will be flexible with requirements, but departments are expected to schedule classes throughout all times of the day and across days of the week to help with distribution.

Textbooks & Course Synopses

All information in DukeHub (which includes the course synopsis and textbook information) will be deleted starting the week of June 22. Instructors should make note of any previously entered information as a reference prior to this date.


Information about class data in Sakai will be shared as soon as it is available.