COAS Course Banking Policy 

Faculty members sometimes engage in teaching activities, such as directing independent studies and supervising master’s degree theses, which fall outside the realm of the normally assigned teaching duties.  The purpose of this policy is to recognize and appropriately integrate these contributions into faculty workload. 


When approved by the department chairperson, the non-formal courses listed below are eligible for “banking”.  Each request for credit must be accompanied by a ‘product’ that will clarify the faculty member’s involvement in the effort, and demonstrate the outcome of that effort as well.  From this information, the department chair will assign units within the ranges provided below. For independent study courses to qualify, the faculty member should provide an explanation of why the course was taught as a directed independent study, the content of the course of study, the hours of student contact and meeting dates, and the respective responsibilities and requirements of the faculty member and student.


Banking units would be determined on the following basis:


0-3 Units:  Thesis Chair, Independent Study

0-2 Units:  Undergraduate Thesis Adviser, Honor’s Thesis Adviser, Graduate Thesis Reader/ Committee Member

0-1 Unit:  Honor’s Thesis Reader/Committee Member


Units will be earned based on each student supervised regardless of the credit hours for which the student registered and only upon successful completion of the non-formal course work or thesis and submission of the documentation designated above. If more than one student signs up for the same independent study topic or subject in a given semester, the faculty member will be eligible for a maximum of 3 units for that independent study.   

  • A faculty member is eligible to substitute 15 ‘banked’ units for 1 three-credit course in the faculty member’s workload.  Upon request for a course release by a faculty member, the chair, in consultation with the faculty member, will determine an appropriate semester for the course release to be taken.  
  • No one may claim credit for anything that is part of the regular teaching workload or for which monetary compensation is received.
  • A record of ‘banked’ and ‘cashed in’ units will be maintained by the department chairperson. 
  • No one may be assigned/paid an overload during a semester when he/she is taking a course reduction.