What are class descriptions?

In order to make known what will be offered in upcoming terms, and to give students information to help them make class choices, Northwestern offers descriptions of classes online before and during registration. As mandated by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, class descriptions must include or link to information on a class’s textbooks (as available). The descriptions also remain available after registration closes to serve as an archive of descriptions of what was offered for a specific term. The descriptions contain the type of information commonly given in syllabi (except for week-to-week assignments – see the list in the next section). Descriptions are generally provided by professors and entered into the system by individual departments and schools.

What information do the class descriptions contain?

Information about classes:

  • Overview
  • Registration requirements
  • Learning objectives
  • Teaching methods
  • Evaluation methods
  • Class materials, required
  • Class materials, suggested
  • Class notes

Information about instructors:

  • Faculty web page link
  • Biography and/or personal statement
  • Phone
  • Address
  • Office hours
  • Email (optional)

Where do the class descriptions appear? 

The class descriptions appear on various places on the Northwestern website. They are available for viewing by the Northwestern Community with a CAESAR login and to the general public on the guest login page. They will also be available for browsing (in the future) on the Registrar’s page. Specifically, the class descriptions are:

  • Located on the class descriptions page.
  • Linked from the class detail page found after using the class search in CAESAR

How do I get access to edit the class descriptions?

Those who need to edit descriptions will need access to the editor in SES. Please visit our SES access request page.

When will I be editing classes?

You can begin editing your classes upon receipt of your department’s proof. Note that the most updated information, including new classes and changes to existing classes, will be available for editing two weeks AFTER the proof deadline. Editing for a quarter closes at the end of that quarter.

What if I need to edit an old description?

The class description system serves as an archive and as such descriptions are not open for editing once a quarter’s drop/add has ended.

If typographical errors or in accuracies exist contact ctec@northwestern.edu.

Note: when the class is offered again, you will have the option to change or correct old descriptions before re-using them.