Undergraduate Curriculum
Academic Policy Committee

Procedures and Guidelines for Preparing Changes in Existing Programs

Changes in Existing Programs

Academic units have primary responsibility for determining the curriculum requirements for major, minor, and certificate programs. Upon review, the University Curriculum and Academic Policy Committee normally approves recommendations for program changes. However, changes in programs may have significant resource implications, sometimes for other academic units, and the following process is intended to facilitate appropriate levels of communication of changes and consideration of the implications of changes. Also, programs being changed should continue to meet general university guidelines as indicated in the applicable guidelines for proposing new major, minor, and certificate programs.

Changes in programs to be submitted for review and approval include changes in admission, program, and graduation requirements, including changes in the program of courses as would typically be listed in the undergraduate catalog, namely, the specific listing of course requirements and options and corresponding numbers of credit hours.

A formal proposal for a changes in existing programs must be reviewed and approved by the appropriate college or school curriculum committee, the college or school faculty if required by that unit, the University Curriculum and Academic Policy Committee, and the Faculty Senate.

Changes in general university graduation requirements and in college, school, or program admission requirements may be implemented no sooner than one full year after approval by the Faculty Senate. Exceptions to this waiting period will be routinely granted upon request with the proposed change if the requested implementation is considered not to inconvenience students planning to enter a program, for example by imposing new requirements typically taken in the first two years of study.

Procedures and Guidelines for Preparing Changes in Existing Programs

Requests for changes in existing major, minor, and certificate programs should observe the following format and guidelines::

I. Title of Program and college or school and department responsible for administering the program.

II. Program Changes: Description of  the existing requirements, proposed requirements, and the specific changes Where appropriate, such as changes involving admission requirements, program requirements, graduation requirements, and student performance requirements, provide existing requirements, proposed requirements, and specific changes.

When new courses or modifications of existing courses are being proposed in conjunction with the program changes, the appropriate course inventory (Course Inventory Request Form) and course modification (Course Modification Request Form) requests and necessary supporting documentation must accompany the proposal.

III. Transition Plan: Program changes may affect students currently enrolled in a program (for example, changing a course or courses from three to four credit hours, deleting a required course or courses from the program, or collapsing a three course sequence into a two course sequence so that the third course that was previously required is no longer required and offered). In such cases, provisions must be made to guarantee that students enrolled in the program will have sufficient opportunity to complete the program without any penalty in time or cost to graduation. When proposed program changes carry such implications, it is necessary to provide a transition plan of course offerings or alternatives that may include transition courses and a transition time line that guarantees students have sufficient opportunity to complete their program of study.

IV. Curriculum Coordination. Curriculum Coordination. Before proposals are sent forward for approval, they should be reviewed by all departments and program units that may be affected by the proposed program because of similar courses or course content, because of shared student clientele, or because the program of study, including course prerequisites, requirements, or electives carries scheduling or faculty and other resource implications.. Providing supporting letters or signed forms from potentially affected departments will facilitate the review. 

V. Resource Coordination. Proposals should assess needs pertaining to computer and library resources. In addressing the impact of those needs, the Director of Computing & Telecommunications Services and the University Librarian should be consulted, respectively. The results of this review should be included in the program proposal.

Distance Education Programs

If the proposed program change is to offer the program through distance delivery methods as defined in the following procedures and guidelines, then it is required that additional documentation be submitted and requirements be adhered to as specified in:

An original and nineteen copies of the proposal, Course Inventory and Course Modification Requests, and supporting letters or forms from potentially affected departments or program units should be submitted through the dean's office of the department's college or school to the Undergraduate Curriculum and Academic Policy Committee. At the same time, the dean's office should provide copies to all other deans of colleges and schools to be made available for additional review by curriculum committees, departments, and faculty and to the Office of the Provost, and other university offices as deemed necessary by the Office of the Provost and the Council of Deans.

A flowchart of the curriculum and academic policy review process for program changes is contained in the following (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader):


Undergraduate Curriculum and Academic Policy Committee, April 19, 2001
Faculty Senate, May 7, 2001
General Faculty, May 8, 2001
Undergraduate Curriculum and Academic Policy Committee, January 18, 2005
Faculty Senate, March 7, 2005

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Guidelines, Processes, and Procedures