Sample plans are tools that show the sequencing of academic requirements and co-curricular activities mapped across multiple sessions. Each sample plan is connected to an active program of study. However, each program of study may have multiple sample plans. Sample plans are intended to show one way to complete program of study requirements. A student’s actual course selection and sequencing is likely to differ from the sample plan as they work with their advisor to customize their individual plan.

Sample Plan Administrators, typically advisors within a department or college, are granted MAUI access to request new sample plans or update existing sample plans. Anyone with MAUI access may view sample plans.

Other Sample Plans of Study Help Pages

Which Form Should I Use?

Your program of study has never had a sample plan in MAUI before. Use the create form.
Your program of study has at least one sample plan, but you'd like to create another version. Contact for further guidance.
You are editing an existing sample plan. Use the update form.


Mile Markers

Each line of a sample plan is called a mile marker. Mile markers are limited to 350 characters and should typically be as brief as possible.

Sample plans are expected to represent a plan of study that meets the requirements displayed in the corresponding General Catalog.

Keep in mind that sample plans may be used not only by current students and advisors but also prospective students.

Mile markers can be assigned to a specific semester or session, a year, or the Academic Career section. For more information about these locations, see the Sample Plan Sections information below; the Academic Career section lists specific examples of mile markers that might appear in that location.

Mile marker uses include, but are not limited to:

  • a single course formatted as subject acronym, course number, and course title (course title is automatically populated by MAUI)
  • two or three courses separated by “or”
  • a text description of a requirement (e.g. “advanced technical elective”, “creative nonfiction or fiction writing course”, "first year seminar")
  • a standardized entry for a general education requirement (e.g. “GE CLAS Core: Diversity and Inclusion”)
  • “Elective course”

  • applications for selective admission programs; auditions; or applications for future study (e.g. graduate or professional program)
  • degree application – standard wording is typically used for the final semester of degree-granting programs of study
  • exams, such as the MCAT, GRE, or processes necessary for teaching licensure

  • typical or recommended timing for experiential learning such as research, service learning, study abroad, or internships
  • recommended activities such as meeting with a peer mentor, participating in a specific student organization, or attending a conference
  • helpful suggestions, such as preparing for future requirements; e.g.:
    • “Gallery booking for BFA exhibition” appears in the semester before ARTS:4195 – BFA Exhibition
    • “Prepare materials for Teacher Education Program application (e.g. essays, letters of recommendation)” appears in the summer before the admission application for the Teacher Education Program

Sample plans for undergraduate degree-granting programs of study should include, at a minimum:

Program of study electives (i.e. courses required for the program of study that students select based on certain criteria) are typically preceded by the program type:

Major: cognate course
Minor: core course
Certificate: quantitative analysis course

General education mile markers have standardized formatting:

GE CLAS Core: Social Sciences
GE: Values and Culture

Standard wording and footnotes are typically used.

This course is placed at the end of the first semester.

The degree application mile marker is placed in the final semester with standard wording and a standard footnote attached.

This might be a brief statement in the Academic Career section, or it might be broken up into mile markers representing different actions in specific semesters or years.

Sample plans for graduate degree-granting programs of study should include, at a minimum:

This information is included in the Academic Career section (see Sample Plan Sections, below). A standard global footnote is attached.

Courses in sample plans

Courses are automatically pulled in from MAUI Course Library based on the course number. Sample plans cannot support invalid course numbers (including dropped courses that previously existed on a plan) in either mile markers or footnotes.

A sample plan will automatically populate the course title and hyperlink to course information in MyUI. Sample plans do not support section-level information.

Making sample plans work for your students
We welcome and encourage creativity!

Beyond requirements, programs are encouraged to include additional information that could help a student plan for and complete the program. Many sample plans are fairly straightforward, but we love a challenge! If you want something represented on a plan but aren't sure how it would work, please reach out so we can brainstorm ideas.

Mile marker formatting

Some mile markers, such as general education courses, will include standardized formatting.

At times we also may make small adjustments to language, capitalization, and grammar in order to adhere to the university's or General Catalog's style guides.

Certificates, minors, and other programs of study

Sample plans for programs of study that don't grant degrees typically only include mile markers representing their own requirements. These might all be placed in the Academic Career section if there is not a recommendation for specific timing of courses.


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Footnotes may be attached to mile markers to provide more information. Footnotes are limited to 500 characters. A single mile marker may have more than one footnote.

Global footnotes are used across a large number of sample plans and have standard wording. Each plan can also include footnotes specific to its own mile markers. Examples of usage and wording for both footnote type are listed below, and you can feel free to copy language or refer to a global footnote by name on your Create or Update form.

Global footnotes - Common uses include:

  • Electives: "Students may use elective courses to earn credit towards the total s.h. required for graduation or to complete a double major, minors, or certificates."
  • General education (CLAS plans include the information shown here in parentheses): "GE (CLAS Core) courses may be completed in any order unless used as a prerequisite for another course. Students should consult with an advisor about the best sequencing of courses."
  • Degree application: "Please see Academic Calendar, Office of the Registrar website for current degree application deadlines. Students should apply for a degree for the session in which all requirements will be met. For any questions on appropriate timing, contact your academic advisor or Graduation Services."

  • Chemistry or Math: "Enrollment in [subject] courses requires completion of a placement exam."
  • World languages: "Students who have completed four years of a single language in high school have satisfied the GE CLAS Core World Languages requirement. Enrollment in world languages courses requires a placement exam, unless enrolling in a first-semester-level course."

  • Alternate years: "Typically this course is offered every other year. Check MyUI for course availability since offerings are subject to change."
  • Fall or spring only: "Typically this course is offered in [XYZ] semesters only. Check MyUI for course availability since offerings are subject to change."

  • Grad College information: "Students must complete specific requirements in the University of Iowa Graduate College after program admission. Refer to the Graduate College website and the Manual of Rules and Regulations for more information."
GE CLAS Core on CLAS sample plans

CLAS sample plans and MyPlans automatically populate a GE footnote on courses that fulfill a GE CLAS Core general education requirement. This information comes from MAUI Course Library and will specify which requirement(s) a course meets.

Sample Plan footnotes - Common uses include:

  • "See General Catalog for list of approved courses."
  • "Work with academic advisor to determine elective graduate coursework and sequence. See General Catalog for specifics."
  • "Choose from CLSG or CLSL courses numbered 6011-6014."

  • "At least one elective in the major must be numbered 3000 or higher."
  • "Students who take BIOC:3120 also must take BIOC:3130."
  • "Elective must have EPID prefix or may be either BIOS:6210 or BIOS:6310."

  • "After completing BIOL:1412 Diversity of Form & Function, students are eligible to enroll in Lakeside Laboratory summer field courses. Registration for these courses is in winter of each year."
  • "Consider choosing a course that also fulfills the GE CLAS Core: International and Global Issues requirement."
  • "This course is recommended not required."

  • "Studio art majors are required to complete ARTS:1510 and ARTS:1520 by the end of their first academic year."
  • "Students must achieve upper-level status before they may present their senior recital."
  • "Must be completed within five years of Comprehensive Exam."

Sample Plan Sections

Academic Career

The academic career section is a standalone block that will appear at the top of a sample plan. This is a place for information that does not need to be tied to a specific semester or year.

Many plans for degree-granting programs do not have anything in the academic career section. Conversely, some programs of study (typically certificates or minors) place all requirements in the academic career section when there isn't a standard recommendation for the timing and sequencing of courses. 

Academic career uses include, but are not limited to:

These are often uniformly used or required within an entire college's sample plans.

  • "All courses (except electives) must be completed with a grade of C or higher."
  • "72 s.h. must be graduate level coursework. More information is included in the General Catalog and on department website."
  • "Students must maintain a GPA of at least 2.70 in professional education course requirements."
  • "Direct Admission is available only for high school students who meet the published criteria. All other students pursue Standard Admission."
  • "Students apply to the Nuclear Medicine Technology B.S. program through a selective process. Acceptance is not guaranteed."
  • "Prerequisites for admission into the Teacher Education Program for world language education include 12 s.h. of coursework in the language of the second degree."
  • "Students who need to complete the World Language requirement should consult with their academic advisor about when to add courses to plan of study. World Language counts as non-business coursework."
  • "A maximum of one course taught in English may be counted toward the major, except in the French and Arabic track."
  • "Program B is intended for students seeking secondary school teaching licensure."
  • "Students will choose a secondary emphasis area from chemistry, earth science, or physics."
  • "Students attend National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI) training prior to the start of 1st (fall) semester."

Semesters, Sessions, and "Any Semester"

Each year of the plan will allow text entry in one of five places: any semester, fall, winter, spring, or summer. See Mile Markers, above, for potential content.

"Any Semester" mile markers appear under the year description (e.g. "First Year") but above anything listed in a specific semester or session, if applicable.​​​​​

Second Year of a sample plan with a box around the Any Semester section
Representing semester hours on Sample Plans

Mile markers can be assigned a specific number of semester hours (including 0), a range of semester hours, or can be blank. Each academic career section, semester and year displays a total number of semester hours that is populated based on the hours assigned to each mile marker.

Footnotes & Other Comments

Use this space of a Create or Update form to include footnotes for your mile markers or provide additional information to the person building your sample plan. See the footnotes section above for potential footnote content; feel free to copy language or refer to a global footnote by name.

We may apply some global footnotes even if not specifically requested, such as the electives or general education footnote. If you submit suggested footnote wording that is similar to a global footnote, we will likely substitute the global footnote unless customization is necessary.


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Sample Plans

Assists faculty and staff with creating and updating multi-session plans for program of study completion.