Instruction: Estimates of Undergraduate Student Workload

The Induced Course Load Matrix (ICLM) is a tool that can be used to estimate the workload impact of undergraduate students at the college/division level. The matrix displays estimates of workload generated by majors in certain academic disciplines as percentages of total workload. These estimates are based on historical course-taking patterns over the previous two years and are available for all undergraduates and for lower and upper division undergraduates at the following links:

The ICLM tables clearly demonstrate that undergraduate student workload extends well beyond the college/division that contains their major, and this is particularly evident in the distribution of lower-division workload. For example, the lower division table indicates that on average, the 777 lower division students enrolled in the Agricultural Sciences discipline in 2015-16 completed 34.3% of their course units in the Division of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) and 17.5% of their course units in the Division of Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies (HArCS).

In some cases, the ICLM estimates of workload can be used along with other data that may be available at the college/division or department level to make more detailed estimates of workload impact. Consider the following hypothetical example:

  • 100 freshmen engineering students enroll in the College of Engineering.
  • Assume that each student, on average, takes 15 units per quarter.
  • Consequently, the total workload generated by these students in a quarter, is 1,500 units (i.e., 100 students times 15 units).

Based on the ICLM for lower division students, this workload would be distributed across colleges and divisions as follows:

College/Division Percent Workload
(ICLM Lower Division - Engineering)
Estimate of the Number of
Course Units Undertaken
CAES 3.2% 48
CBS 2.8% 42
COE 17.8% 267
HArCS 13.4% 201
MPS 51.5% 773
DSS 9.4% 141
Professional/Other 2.3% 34
Total 100.0% 1,500