Minimum Course Enrollments


To provide fairness and efficiency in the distribution of teaching workloads. To balance curricular needs against budgetary impact.


  1. Courses will be cancelled if they do not meet minimum enrollment levels. The levels in place will be those that have typically been applied at UM during summer sessions.
    • Graduate course sections must have at least 5 registered students.
    • Upper level undergraduate course sections must have at least 10 registered students.
    • Lower level undergraduate course sections must have at least 15 registered students.

    We recognize that occasionally an exception to these levels may be necessary. Any exceptions must be specifically requested from the H&S Dean’s Office and will require the Dean’s approval.

    The H&S Dean’s Office will monitor registration levels and notify departments of necessary cancellations as early as possible. In general, we will do this 2 weeks before the start of the semester, and earlier if possible. Department chairs are expected to review their course offerings, identify courses that often have had low enrollments in the past, and make the necessary adjustments for upcoming semesters.

  2. If a cancelled section was to be taught by an adjunct member of the faculty, no provisions for alternative assignments are required. However, if a cancelled section was to be taught by a tenure track faculty member, the department chair must reassign the faculty member to other forms of contribution to the department’s work and mission. For example, the faculty member may use freed up time to benefit research activities and then pick up additional teaching responsibilities equivalent to their cancelled assignment in the next semester. Or, the faculty member might be reassigned to another section in the same semester with adequate enrollment, in place of an adjunct member of the faculty. The faculty member might also be assigned to extra sections of courses which experience unexpected increases in enrollment pressure in the same semester. In all cases, the Chair should inform the Dean’s Office of the alternative arrangements that will be used.

Adopted: 23 October, 2009

Revised: 25 August, 2014