University of California, Riverside

Student Engagement




What are R'Courses?

R’Courses are small, discussion and/or experiential based courses designed by undergraduate students that are taken by other undergraduates at UCR. In December 2014, the UCR Academic Senate approved the student-initiated courses to help students develop leadership skills, innovate curriculum, and promote the ideal of democratic and experiential education. R'Courses are 1 unit, Satisfactory/No-Credit (S/NC) student designed and taught classes. Each course has a faculty instructor of record who provides mentoring and support behind the scenes. Oversight is provided by the R'Courses Governing Board and operated by Undergraduate Education



Want to lead your own course?

R'Courses are an opportunity to develop leadership skills, innovate the undergraduate curriculum, and promote democratic, experiential education on campus. Students apply in their current term, prepare in the next term, and facilitate in the final term. The process is conducted in three phases: think/apply, develop/learn, and facilitate.

  • The Think/Apply phase requires students to think of a course topic, identify a faculty mentor, develop the idea, and submit a proposal.
  • The Develop/Learn phase requires future facilitators enroll in 1-unit of 190 with their faculty mentor to develop the course and to enroll in EDUC 102 to learn about facilitation.
  • Finally, in the Facilitate phase, students lead the course for their peers.  

Join us for an information session:

  • Thursday, January 10, 11am
  • Wednesday, January 23, 9:30am
  • Friday, February 1, 2pm
  • Monday, March 4, 1pm

All sessions to be held in the Teaching and Learning Center in Rivera Library (first floor, to the left)

Please RSVP here

R'Course Process

Proposal Deadlines

  • Fall Quarter: November 15
  • Winter Quarter: February 15
  • Spring Quarter: May 15

Facilitating a Course

Here are the basic steps to get started on your R'Course (if you want more information, check out the full guide and checklist here).  

1. Complete this syllabus template, beginning by defining your objectives for the course.

2. Look through the UCR catalog to make sure that your course material isn't already offered through another course on campus.

3. Find a faculty mentor who can review your topic and objectives for your course idea and support you in the development of the course. You will need to plan to take a 190 course with this faculty mentor in their department during Fall 2018 (1 unit, either graded or S/NC).  You will also take a 1 unit course (ED 102) for your facilitator training workshop.  Give the faculty mentor this faculty guide for completing their part of the proposal.

4. Work with your faculty mentor to refine your syllabus (see for syllabus examples from other UC student-led courses).

5. Complete this proposal form  that includes a courseload worksheet and a place for the faculty mentor and department chair to sign and comment. Please remember that it can take some time to get the department chair signature, so a good rule of thumb is to submit it to them by the 1st of the month when your proposal is due.

6. Submit the completed forms via email (  Please send the syllabus as a word or google doc. 

Taking a Course

Click here to go to the student website with course descriptions, syllabi, and facilitator information. To enroll in a course, visit R'Web and enter the CRN for the specific course you are interested in. Class sizes are limited to 20 students and fill up quickly. Make sure you are properly enrolled BEFORE the start of class to ensure you get a seat. Each R'Course can only be offered a maximum of 2 times, so there is no guarantee that a popular class will be offered again.

Please fill out our information form to be notified when the class schedule has been set.

Being a Faculty Mentor

  • Click here for a one-page overview of the R'Courses program and a printable checklist for you and the department chair.
  • Each student applicant must identify a faculty mentor who will assist him/her with developing the course. The faculty mentor will sign a mentor agreement if they approve the concept and are willing to assist the facilitator by fulfilling the terms outlined in the agreement (see Faculty Checklist below). The student will register for 1 unit of Directed Study (190) credit with the faculty mentor the quarter before offering the R’Course. This preparation course will consist of assignments/research with the faculty mentor as well as five mandatory facilitator training workshops provided by the R’Course governing board and Undergraduate Education. The mentor will also be the instructor of record for the R’Course offered by the facilitator in the quarter in which they teach. This activity can be included in the faculty member’s merit and promotion file as an Undergraduate Mentorship experience.

Quarter 1

  • Review the student facilitator’s syllabus and proposal form and make suggestions for revisions or additions
  • Sign the mentor agreement and assist in facilitating departmental approval
  • Meet (in person or via phone/email) to outline expectations for the 190 directed study course (1 unit, either S/NC or letter grade—at your discretion)

Quarter 2

  • Assist the student in creating classroom assignments, resource/reading lists, guest speakers, etc. for the R’Course
  • Assign appropriate readings/assignments for the 190 directed study course with the student facilitator
  • Assign a grade to the facilitator for the work completed in the 190 course
  • Optional continuation of the 190 during Quarter 3 —at the discretion of the faculty and student facilitator

Quarter 3

  • Serve as instructor of record for the R’Course (a 198 through your department)
  • Meet (in person or via phone/email) with the student periodically to discuss the progress of the course
  • Periodically attend class sessions
  • Assign a grade (S or NC) to each of the course participants in collaboration with the student facilitator

Faculty Checklist

  • The student has approached you the term before a class is to be offered to secure your approval and sponsorship.
  • The proposed course is in compliance with Academic Senate guidelines on unit values, is graded on a S/NC basis, and has regularly scheduled meeting times.
  • The proposed course has explicit academic content and requirements, beyond classroom attendance, for receiving credit. In particular:
    • Students read, as part of the course, articles, books, and/or primary source documents that place the topic of the course in an academic context.
    • Students are informed in writing about what they need to do to pass the course.
  • The content of the proposed course is within the scope of your department’s academic program and does not duplicate existing courses offered in the department or at the university.
  • You have clarified the respective roles and responsibilities of the student course facilitator and the instructor of record. In particular:
    • You have reviewed and approved the course syllabus prepared by the student course facilitator. The syllabus includes an outline of course content, the reading list, states the frequency of class meetings, and specifies clearly assignments and the requirements, beyond classroom attendance, for obtaining a passing grade.
    • You have developed a plan for supervising the student course facilitator and reviewed this plan with the student course facilitator. Supervision should take the form of in-class observations, review of course materials, and meetings with the student course facilitator, along with additional support as necessary.
    • The student course facilitator understands that you, as the instructor of record, are the one who has the responsibility for supervising the awarding of all final grades and for reporting the grades to the Registrar. You and the student course facilitator have established a mechanism for keeping accurate records and documentation to support the awarding of credit to enrolled students.
    • You, as the instructor of record, are aware that you are the appropriate person to respond to and resolve complaints, conflicts, and grievances brought by students taking the course.
  • You have checked to see that the resources needed for this course can be provided by the department or are otherwise available to the student.
  • You have worked with the department to assign a space and time for the course (either through the general assignment process or independently). You, as the instructor of record, are aware that you are ultimately responsible for the success of your R’Course. In particular,
  • You are aware that R’Courses must comply with the same university policies that apply to other courses taught for unit credit at UCR. You should pay particular attention to issues of course content, instructional standards, and academic integrity. It is your responsibility to ensure compliance with applicable policies.
  • You understand that if the student facilitator does not comply with recommendations made by you, the department, or the R’Courses Board after the course has begun, or if the student is unable to continue as the instructor, that you may be responsible for completing instruction of the course.


Past R’Courses

More Information

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