Canvas @ YaleAdministrator Guides Administrator GuidesNon-Academic Courses (Project Sites)

Non-Academic Courses (Project Sites)

In some instances, it is possible to create non-academic course sites (project sites) in Canvas.  Project Site requests will be honored on a case by case basis.  Please review the guidelines and restrictions for project sites below before you submit a request for a Project Site.

If your project site meets the criteria listed in this article, please fill out the Project Site Request Form

Upon receiving your request, you may be asked to schedule a consultation with a member of the Canvas @ Yale Support Team to further discuss your needs.

Project Site Requirements


  • All project sites request must come from a Yale faculty member or Yale faculty support staff member.
  • All project sites expire at the end of the term or fiscal year it was created.
  • After expiration, you will need to request a new site in Canvas via the Project Site Request Form.
  • Project Site requesters manage the content and enrollments in the site.


  • Project sites are not for staff training/sharing/communicating.
  • Project sites are not for student-led groups or organizations.


  • User Audience and Enrollments
    • Project sites may contain Yale NetID holders.
    • Project sites that enroll non-Yale users are subject to licensing fees.
    • Project site enrollments must not exceed 250 users (if you need additional users, you will need to consult with the Canvas @ Yale Support Team).
  • Site Content:
    • Project Sites cannot be made publicly available.
    • Project Sites must not contain high risk data anywhere within the site.

Project sites that violate the above policies are subject to re-evaluation and may not be renewed.

Alternative Solutions

Depending on your needs, there are other solutions that may better suit your situation. Please review these options as alternative solutions should Canvas not be the right fit for your request.

File Sharing

Box / Dropbox / Google Drive / OneDrive

  • Used for sharing files.
  • Has ability to set granular permissions on each file and folder.
  • If you have HIPPA, FERPA, or 3-lock data - you must use Box.
  • Check out Yale's help article comparing Box, Dropbox, and Google Drive.


Used for faculty search or review, promotions and tenure cases.  These use cases will not be allowed in Canvas due to their sensitive nature.  All search/review and promotion/tenure cases must use Interfolio or another Yale approved system specifically designed for these tasks.  

For more information, please visit the Interfolio - Introduction and Tips site.

Communication Solutions


  • Used for creating email lists (listserv email addresses).
  • Mailman lists can be public (anyone can join) or private (join by invitation only).

For more information, check out the ITS information page on Mailman Lists.

Project / Process Management


BaseCamp is a project management tool used to track progress and facilitate team communications during a project.  BaseCamp provides the ability to create, assign, and track to-dos, create discussions and feedback and to quickly and automatically summarize progress.  

BaseCamp is available for use to anyone in the Yale community with an active NetID.

Form more information please visit the ITS BaseCamp information page.

Scheduling Tools


Calendly is a scheduling tool that connects to your calendar to help you schedule meetings. You can set up the kind of meetings you'd like to schedule. Calendly then produces a link that you can share that allows people to select a time for that meeting that works for them, and is a free slot in your calendar.

NOTE: This is a free to individuals tool that is not Yale affiliated or supported.

Multipurpose Solutions


  • Multipurpose tool with capabilities:
    • Website
    • Blogging
  • Can be made publicly available or can be locked to site members.

For more information, visit the Yale CampusPress site.

EliApps for Education

EliApps (Google Apps for Education) is a collection of tools, apps, and collaboration services including email, calendars, and more used by undergraduates and students in the Yale Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

EliApps includes:

  • Google Classroom - a streamlined, easy-to-use tool that helps teachers manage coursework. With Classroom, educators can create classes, distribute assignments, grade and send feedback, and see everything in one place.
  • Google Groups - allows users to create and manage groups of people to communicate and collaboration.  Can be used for email communication and document sharing.
  • Google Drive - a personal cloud storage service which allows users to store and share folders, files, and collaborative documents (Google Docs, Google Sheets, etc...).
  • Google Sheet, Google Docs, Google Slides, etc... for cloud hosted word processing and document creation that allows for real-time document collaboration with other users.

For more information, go to the Yale ITS site on EliApps for Education.

Yale Connect (aka OrgSync)

  • Used for student organizations and groups.
  • Allows for posting/sharing content, creating events, and messaging.

For more information, check out the Student Organization's Yale Connect Information Site.

Microsoft Teams

  • Create different channels to communicate and collaborate
  • Share files and create a library for just your team on OneDrive
  • Integrates with your Outlook calendar

For more information, go to the Yale ITS site on Using Microsoft Teams

Non-Yale Canvas

Instructure, the the vendors or Canvas, offers a free to individuals version of Canvas. This allows you to create course sites and invite anyone. You and users you wish to participate to must create an account, as it is a completely separate instance of Canvas outside of Yale. While it is the full version of Canvas, it is only has the basic/native features, as any external applications that are provided by Yale do not exist in this free version.

NOTE: This is a free to individuals tool that is not Yale affiliated or supported.

Renewing an approved Project Site

If your project site has expired and you need a new site, please complete the Project Site Request form and select the option to renew.

Prior to receiving your new site, you may be asked to complete a consultation with our team so that we can update you on new tools and features and to ensure that your Canvas site is meeting your needs.

NOTE:  Renewals are subject to reevaluation.  Please review the information described above to ensure that your project/program meets Canvas project site requirements.  

For more help, please contact [email protected].