Courses with Low Enrollment

Meeting minimum enrollment standards

At IUPUI, undergraduate courses (000–499) must have a minimum of 10 students enrolled, while graduate courses (500–) must have a minimum of 6 students enrolled. If these minimums are not met, the registrar may cancel the course.

Note that individual schools may enforce a higher minimum enrollment standard.

Exceptions to the rule

The following are exempted from the minimum enrollment standard:

  • Labs
  • Independent studies
  • Clinicals
  • All courses taught by associate or adjunct faculty
  • Courses offered jointly at the same time and place, provided their combined enrollments meet the minimum

What happens if a course doesn’t have minimum enrollment?

Shortly before each semester starts, the Office of the Registrar will distribute to the schools a list of nonexempt courses where minimum enrollments haven’t been met. Upon reviewing the list, schools should:

  • Identify any courses on the list that should be exempted due to instruction type or part-time faculty status
  • Notify the Office of the Registrar of any necessary changes in how courses are coded
  • Inform the Office of the Registrar of any courses that have been cancelled

Justifying low-enrolling courses

Schools may choose to provide a rationale for why any remaining courses should be allowed to continue with less than minimum enrollment. Rationale examples may include:

  • New or experimental courses
  • Courses required for a major that are offered no more than once in an academic year
  • Courses in programs with semester-fixed offerings where the cohort is smaller than the minimum
  • Courses that are being taught by a full-time faculty member but not counted as part of their course load

The registrar will review all responses. If the registrar determines that sufficient justification has been provided, the course may continue. If sufficient justification has not been provided, the registrar will consult with the school before cancelling the course.

Schools have the right to appeal the registrar’s decision to the executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer.

The registrar reviews the list of approved low-enrolling courses regularly. Any concerns will be brought to the schools first and, if necessary, to the executive vice chancellor and chief academic officer.

Adopted by APPC 10/31/2006

Explore more about course standards