The development of cluster sequences is a challenging task that moves through two phases, each lasting about 9-12 months:

  • Phase I encompasses a “conceptualization and socialization” period of cluster course development. This phase involves the identification and organization of an “affinity group” of five or more faculty members from different departments and schools who share an interest in organizing a cluster around a given topic. Sometimes this process is initiated by faculty members and other times by the director and instructional coordinators of the Freshman Cluster Program.
  • Phase II can be described as a “development and implementation” period in which a faculty affinity group works with the cluster administrative staff to develop a course proposal for review and approval by the relevant Academic Senate Committees. Following the Academic Senate’s approval of a proposed cluster, a teaching team must be selected, a budget and syllabus needs to be prepared, and the graduate student instructors who will supervise cluster discussion sections and offer spring seminars need to be hired and trained.

The typical timeline for cluster course development is as follows:

Timeline of the Cluster Course Development Process

Fall Quarter
October – December
Winter Quarter
January – March
Spring Quarter
April – June
Year 1 Phase I
Socialization & Conceptualization
Identification and organization of a faculty “affinity group” whose members share an interest in developing a cluster around an interdisciplinary topic
Year 2 Phase II
Development & Implementation
  • Preparation and submission of detailed cluster course proposals to the GE Governance Committee (Deadline: December 1)
  • Selection of proposals for cluster course development and support in the following academic year.
  • Approval of cluster course proposals by the L&S FEC, Writing II Committee, and the Undergraduate Council
  • Identification and hiring of graduate student instructors for approved clusters
  • Integration of cluster teaching team
  • Development and organization of course syllabi and materials

If you are interested in developing a cluster course, or have any questions about the clusters, you should contact the Interim Director of the UCLA Cluster Program, Dr. Tony Friscia .