An off-cycle section is a section that does not run the full length of an academic session, as designated in the Academic Calendar. Course dates must be within the first and last day of a session unless:

  • The college follows an Alternate College Context Calendar which has been approved by the Office of Financial Aid in compliance with the Department of Education's regulations.
  • The start or end date is valid because it falls into a subset of offerings where it is understood a unique meeting date range is necessary.

These parameters are in place due to Department of Education financial aid compliance regulations.

Course categories have been created and added to course sections which follow alternate college calendars or have otherwise been approved to fall outside published academic session dates. Validation in MAUI will allow these sections to be submitted to the Office of the Registrar for review and approval. 

Beginning with the spring 2024 session, any course sections with dates that do not fall within published academic session dates and have not been assigned a course category will be denied submission through workflow. 

Email Registrar Offerings Compliance with questions related to date compliance. 

How to Create an Off-Cycle Section

In addition to ensuring start and end dates fall within the academic session dates, the department must also ensure contact minutes are met. 

Information on how credit hours are calculated is available on the Office of the Registrar website. 

Credit Hour Calculator for Off-Cycle Courses

1 and 2 Credit Hour Calculator by Days Met
Breakdown of required class time based on how many days the class will meet for a 1 or 2 semester hour course.
3 Credit Hour Calculator by Days Met
Calculates how many days a course must meet to fulfill contact minutes.

Off-Cycle Section Creation Steps

Add new section link in offerings planner.

Clicking the yes toggle opens up calendars to manually enter section start and end dates. 

In section creation screen user can toggle "Off cycle section" to "Yes".

Start and End date should match the planned meeting pattern for the course.

In this example, the class will meet on Wednesdays. The start and end dates chosen are both Wednesdays.

Calendar to enter off-cycle start and end dates when creating a new section.

Information in the time & location area should match the dates listed for the course. 

Dates entered in the time and location area are added and match the course start and end dates.

When the time/location dates match the start and end dates, no dates are shown in the time/location area. 

Course start and end dates and time/location information match on section summary page.
Submit to Workflow button listed at top of section in Planning status.

Instructions for off-cycle sections where time/location information does not match the override dates are also available. 

Date Validation Compliance

To ensure the University of Iowa remains designated as a standard term school, allowing financial aid to be disbursed at the start of the semester with all students progressing to the next disbursement period at the same rate, new course categories and date validation programming have been added in MAUI. This programming begins with sections submitted for spring 2024. 

Date validation occurs when the Submit to Workflow button is used and when departments submit revise offering forms to request section updates. 

If the action fails, a red banner will display informing the user that, “Errors prevented these sections from being submitted to workflow. Please review the details below.”  A secondary line of text explains the error in more detail along with the course section identification.

Off-Cycle Sections Following the Published Academic Calendar

As long as the off-cycle start and end dates fall within the published academic calendar session dates, departments will have the ability to submit sections through workflow.

The following is an example of what will happen if a department that is not approved to use an alternate college calendar and does not have another approved exemption attempts to submit an off-cycle section with dates outside the published calendar dates.


Example: Warning Message Progression with Non-Compliant Off-Cycle Dates

The warning message indicates the start date is before the session start date. A link to the Academic Calendar is provided, as well as a link to the Course Offering and Department of Education Financial Aid Compliance webpage. 

Yellow warning banner on off cycle section with start date outside approved session dates.

When a date is outside the approved start and/or end dates for a session, the date will display in red text and an information bubble provides the following information: "the start dates is before the UI standard Academic Calendar start date."

On section summary screen a yellow bar displays warning message about date outside standard session dates and the date is displayed in red text.


The submit to workflow button is displayed on a course section.

The error message will indicate which date needs to be adjusted to comply with session dates. 

Department attempted to submit to workflow with invalid start date and an error message displays with section prevented from being submitted to workflow.

With the dates corrected, they appear in black text and the yellow warning banner is no longer present. 

Corrected date now shows in black text instead of red and yellow warning banner is gone.
Section with adjusted dates is successfully submitted to workflow with green confirmation bar.

Off-Cycle Sections Following a College Context Calendar or Another Approved Exception

Our professional schools follow a college context calendar rather than the UI standard academic calendar. As a result, a course-level category which replicates, called “Course Offerings Collegiate Calendar,” has been placed on all professional schools in the course library which will bypass the financial aid warnings and date validation.

Additionally, if the start or end date is valid because it falls into a subset of offerings where it is understood a unique meeting date range is necessary, Classroom Scheduling will apply the "Course Offerings Date Blanket Compliant" category which will allow submission of sections through workflow. If a department believes this category should be added and it is not already in place, they should reach out to Registrar Office Compliance for assistance. 

The following are examples of what a department attempting to submit off-cycle dates outside the academic calendar would see, and how to move forward, as well as an example of what a professional college will see when reviewing off-cycle sections for submission. 

Example: Off-Cycle Section Using College Calendar Dates
Academic Calendar dates for spring 2024 with College Context highlighted
College of Dentistry Prosthodontics calendar with dates outside standard academic calendar.
Course Offerings Collegiate Calendar category was applied so section with start date outside standard academic calendar was able to be submitted.
Office of the Registrar applies Course Offerings Date Session Compliant category.
Section summary page shows Date Session Compliant category which confirms Office of the Registrar reviewed and validated course dates.

Course Categories for Approved Dates Outside Standard Academic Calendar

Course categories have been applied to spring 2024 sections for colleges and departments that follow alternate collegiate calendars, and for departments with other approved exceptions. These categories will allow course sections with dates outside the standard academic session to be submitted for review and approval by Classroom Scheduling. 

Colleges and departments with approved exceptions include:

  • College of Education (MATTLC/STEM) following module format within UI term
  • College of Dentistry
  • College of Law (LAW and LWAB course subjects)
  • College of Medicine
  • College of Pharmacy
  • Some Iowa MBA programs following module format within UI term
  • Study Abroad courses, if not a UI home school at a foreign location

The following categories are applied by the Office of the Registrar. 

Date Validation Course Categories

The “Clinical Experience” course category bypasses the financial aid warnings and date validation programming. You may find a pairing of both “Clinical Experience and Course Offerings Collegiate Calendar” on some professional school offerings as a result of the category upload.

The Course Offerings Collegiate Calendar category is applied at course level in the course library. It will bypass the financial aid warnings and date validation placed for all professional schools, allowing sections with off-cycle dates outside standard academic session dates to be submitted to workflow. 

This category replicates. 

If the start or end date is valid because it falls into a subset of offerings where it is understood a unique meeting date range is necessary, Classroom Scheduling will apply the "Course Offerings Date Blanket Compliant" category.

This category replicates and will allow sections with course dates outside the standard academic calendar dates to come through workflow for review. 

The Course Offerings Date Session Compliant category is applied at the section level by Classroom Scheduling after the submitted course dates are verified to be in accordance with the college context calendar. 

This category does not replicate and will be applied to course sections during each review period. 

Additional Help with Off-Cycle Courses

Person with question mark icon.

Registrar MAUI Support

Assists faculty and staff with processes in MAUI under the Registrar tab, including Administrative Registration, Section Offerings, Grades and more.
Person standing a white board.

Classroom Scheduling

Classroom Scheduling manages and schedules the central pool of University Classrooms throughout campus. This includes coordination of classrooms for schedule of courses, special academic events, and general maintenance and upkeep.