DeCal Classes

DeCal classes provide a valuable opportunity for undergraduate students to take the initiative in the design and facilitation of academically sound courses under faculty supervision, and should be about topics not normally covered in the department’s curriculum. Music performance courses offered recently include DeCal Chamber Music for Fun (98 & 198, DeCal Carillon (98 & 198), DeCal Chamber Orchestra (98 & 198). DeCal Contemporary Pop Harmony. (DeCal classes are not necessarily offered regularly; check or for current offerings.)

Course meetings, rehearsals and performances are held in the Department of Music facilities.

DeCal is the Program for Democratic Education at Cal. a student-run organization on the UC Berkeley campus. It is a registered student group through Office of Student Life (OSL) and is sponsored in part by the Associated Students of the University of California (ASUC); its mission is to provide support for student facilitators. Each semester over 150 accredited pass/no pass student-facilitated courses are offered on the campus. In order to facilitate a course, a student must find a faculty sponsor in a specific department. Between 3000 and 4000 UC Berkeley students take DeCals each semester.

For information on the University’s policies regarding DeCal classes and for required forms, see the DeCal website.

Procedures for Facilitators of DeCal Classes

Department deadlines:

Students must meet with and submit all required paperwork to the Undergraduate Advisor, via email at by November 1st for Spring DeCal courses and June 14th for Fall DeCal coursesThis ensures proper departmental processing in order to meet the COCI deadline.

Please make an appointment with our Undergraduate Advisor at to review your DeCal paperwork. Electronic, late, or incomplete submission will not be considered.

The department will notify student facilitators regarding the approval status of their DeCal courses by December 20th for Spring DeCal courses and August 1st by Fall DeCal courses. Please see “Class Scheduling” below for information on scheduling DeCal courses.

Required paperwork:

Students must also complete and include all the following forms in the DeCal proposal packet:

1. Course Proposal Form, signed by your faculty sponsor.

2. Detailed course syllabus. Please consult the Center for Teaching and Learning guidelines for creating a syllabus or syllabi for your undergraduate classes.

  • Generally, a syllabus should include the following information:
    • Course Description: A paragraph or two that describes the course objectives and content.
    • Course Schedule: Frequency and length of class meetings (e.g., TuTh 6-8pm, 3105 Tolman Hall).
    • Course Outline: Outline of each week’s topic that includes reading(s) required for that week and/or planned activities and discussions.
    • Assignments: Clear Description of each assignment, including requirements, due date, and the percentage it will contribute to the final grade.
    • Performance Evaluation Guideline: How will student performance be evaluated; a grading rubric as applicable.
    • Reading List: If applicable.
  • More information may be included in the syllabus as appropriate.

3. Responses to the five questions listed on the Course Proposal Form. If responses can be found in the syllabus, you should clearly indicate which section of the syllabus can an answer be found. If responses are not incorporated into the syllabus, they must be typed on a separate sheet of paper.

  • Please leave Question #7 in the Course Proposal Form blank until you have met with the Undergraduate Advisor.

4. Unit Value Worksheet, click here to download.

5. A Faculty Sponsor Letter of Support on departmental letterhead.

5. DeCal Scheduling WorksheetYour application will be considered incomplete without this form.

Please only use the most current version of these forms.

Obtaining Departmental and Academic Senate Approval:

You are responsible for obtaining the faculty sponsor signature and submitting the packet to the Academic Senate. The Undergraduate Advisor will review your DeCal proposal packet, submit to the Department Chair for review, and then return the signed packet to you to submit to the Academic Senate. Please do not submit directly to the Department Chair or Academic Senate without consulting with the Undergraduate Advisor first. If the Department Chair is also the faculty sponsor of your DeCal course, you are still required to meet with the Undergraduate Advisor and turn in your DeCal proposal packet.

Class Scheduling:

The information on your Music DeCal Questionnaire will be used to schedule the class. Once the class is set up, the Department Scheduler will contact you regarding the course CCN and meeting day/time, and the Operations Manager regarding the room reservation, respectively.

Publishing Your Course:

To publish your course on the DeCal website,must create an account and submit your approved course proposal on the website.

Student Musical Activities (SMA)

Student Musical Activities (SMA), part of Cal Performances, is comprised of three distinct programs designed to offer over five hundred students, faculty, staff and alumni members the opportunity to experience a wide array of musical education and performance opportunities at the University of California at Berkeley. SMA is home to the University of California Marching Band, UC Jazz Ensembles, and UC Choral Ensembles, which include the University of California Men’s Octet, UC Men’s Chorale, the Cal Jazz Choir, BareStage, UC Women’s Chorale, the California Golden Overtones, Perfect Fifth, Noteworthy and UC Alumni Chorus.

Check the SMA website for specific participation and audition information for each group.

University of California Jazz Ensemble (SMA):
University of California Marching Bands (SMA):
University of California Choral Ensembles (SMA):