University of Minnesota  Rochester Campus Policy

Low Enrollment Course Cancellation


Please use the contact section below.

Policy Statement

  1. Minimum enrollment for courses in the Center for Learning Innovation (CLI) is seven students  (summer courses may may have a lower minimum enrollment as determined on a case-by-case basis). .
  2. Courses will not be cancelled after the 5th day of the semester.
  3. The Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Innovation (C-AAI) and the Administrative Director of Academic Programs (ADAP) may decide that compelling reasons exist to offer courses with fewer than seven students enrolled. This decision will be made in consultation with faculty and staff. Compelling reasons may vary from one course to another, and may include the following (which should not be construed to be an exhaustive, necessary, sufficient, or prioritized list):
    1. students needing the course for graduation;
    2. students wishing to include the course in their capstone for professional or personal development;
    3. departmental need to offer a varied curriculum with depth and breadth;
    4. availability of alternatives (online, UMTC, etc.);
    5. sequencing of courses (e.g. course is a prerequisite for other upper-level coursework, language sequences, etc.); or
    6. courses that involve:
      1. Faculty research projects,
      2. Community-engaged projects,
      3. Travel,
      4. Grant support.

Reason for Policy

Maximum efficiency and optimal learning occurs within an enrollment range: it is not feasible or educationally sound to teach certain courses if enrollments are either too small or too large. Departments must be able to cancel a course if it is too under-prescribed to warrant offering it, as well as to limit the enrollment to maximize learning. Students need adequate time to select a replacement course if a course is cancelled.


Policy Contacts
Subject Contact Phone Email
Primary Contact(s) Norman Clark 507-258-8208 507-258-8066
[email protected]
Responsible Individuals
Policy Owner Primary Contact
  • Rochester Registrar
  • Norman Clark
    Administrative Director of Academic Programs


Low-enrollment courses should be cancelled early enough to allow students to find alternatives. To facilitate this, course cancellations may happen at the following times:

  • Prior to scheduling courses for the next semester, the ADAP will use previous enrollment data and polling of students to predict potential low-enrollment courses. Courses predicted to have very low enrollments may not be scheduled to drive students into other courses that might otherwise also end up with low enrollment.
  • During registration, the CLI Administrative team will monitor courses. If there are fewer than seven students registered for a course by the first day of final exams of the current semester,, the ADAP will consult with the VC-AAI, the faculty member involved in the course, the current and outgoing chair of the Curriculum Committee, CLI Administrative staff, and the Director of Advising prior to cancelling the course. If a decision to cancel is made, the ADAP will notify faculty and staff, and the CLI Administrative team will notify students, through email.
  • During the first week of the semester, the CLI Administrative staff will check course enrollments. If there are six or fewer students in a course by the 5th day of the semester, those courses will likely be cancelled (subject to the same discretionary criteria listed above). The ADAP will notify faculty and staff, and the CLI Administrative team will notify students, through email.

Other Information


Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Innovation (VC-AAI): makes final determination on course cancellations. Administrative Director of Academic Programs (ADAP): recommends course cancellations based on information gathered from records, predictive tools, faculty, coaches, staff, students, and other sources.

Related Administrative Policy:

Policy History

Published in Policy Library:
September 25, 2019
  • Initial Policy created Spring 2017, no vote taken, revisions made based on faculty input
  • Revision in Spring 2018 to clarify summer number issue
  • Grammatical revisions in Fall 2019 to post the policy in the Policy Library
August 31, 2017