Winter Study Course Criteria

Departments approve Winter Study course proposals from Williams College faculty members.

The Winter Study Program Committee (WSPC) vets and approves course proposals from Williams staff, alums, and outside experts and practitioners. Instructors of non-faculty courses are called adjuncts.

The WSPC uses the criteria below to vet Winter Study adjunct proposals.


  • Quality/thoroughness of the course and its description
  • Feasibility—manageable in 3 ½ weeks
  • Appeal/merit of subject as WSP course (including student demand)
  • Expands the WSP curriculum
  • Falls into one of the four buckets—experiential/hands-on; self-expression; student exploration; wellness


  • Has Williams connection
  • Has appropriate training/experience in the field to teach the course
  • For returning courses only
    • Quality of instruction (as indicated by past student evaluations)
    • Past enrollments

Other Considerations

  • Costs per student
  • Sustainability
  • Ability to be taught online if necessary

Curricular Review

  • Overall curriculum is balanced—not too many of the same type of course
  • Within budget