Texas Tech University


[Minor revision–posted 2/3/23 (replaces 5/5/16 edition)]
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Operating Policy and Procedure

OP 36.07: Authorization for Small Classes

DATE: February 3, 2023

PURPOSE: The purpose of this Operating Policy/Procedure (OP) is to ensure a complete understanding for policy on small classes by faculty, administration, and students.

REVIEW: This OP will be reviewed in April of even-numbered years by the Vice Provost for Academic Innovation and Student Success with substantive revisions presented to the Provost and Senior Vice President (PSVP).


1.  The offering of small classes (undergraduate-level courses with less than ten registrations and graduate-level courses with less than five registrations) is a matter of academic and economic concern and shall be engaged in only when appropriate justification is offered.* In keeping with legislative directives and guidelines approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, organized small classes may be authorized if they meet the conditions stated below. *In accordance with Texas Education Code Sec. 51.403, and Section 04.10, Regents' Rules

2.  The PSVP or designee shall approve or disapprove the proposed offering of small classes, monitor the offerings, and provide reports in accordance with state requirements.

3.  Small classes that meet the requirements of any one of the following conditions,* may be authorized to be taught if the course is: *In accordance with Section 04.10, Regents' Rules

a.    Approved by the governing board of the university;

b.    A required course for graduation (the course is not offered each semester or term and, if canceled, may affect the date of graduation of those enrolled);

c.   A required course for majors in this field and should be completed this semester (or term) to keep proper sequence of courses;

d.    In a newly established degree program, concentration, or support area;

e.    Part of an interdepartmental (cross-listed) course taught as a single class by the same faculty at the same station, provided the combined enrollments do not constitute a small class;

f.    A first-time offering of the course;

g.    Class size limited by accreditation or state licensing standards;

h.    Class size limited by availability of laboratory or clinical facilities; or

i.    Voluntarily offered by a faculty member in excess of the institutional teaching load requirement and for which the faculty member receives no additional compensation.

Note: The guidelines for section 3 notwithstanding, small classes require justification and approval by the PSVP or designee before the third class meeting. Only rarely can small classes be allowed.

Operating Policies & Procedures