Undergraduate Curriculum
Academic Policy Committee

Procedures and Guidelines for Preparing Major Programs

Major Programs

An officially designated major program at Wright State University is a structured and coherent primary concentration of study. It allows undergraduates to develop a specialized, in-depth field of study as part of their educational experience at the University. A major program may provide in-depth disciplinary study as part of a balanced bachelor's program, preparation for graduate study, or pre-professional, professional, or job-oriented training. All undergraduates must complete the requirements for one major program in order to earn a bachelor's degree from the University.

Majors are designed by academic departments or program units. Most major programs will lay out a single, prescribed course of study. Departments, however may choose to offer a major program that tracks students into optional concentrations. Some departments may offer more than one major; however, each major must bear the name of a recognized field within the discipline. Interdisciplinary majors can be co-sponsored by two or more departments or units. Although, needs of individual programs vary considerably, the number of hours required in a major program should not fall below one fourth or exceed one half of the hours required for graduation. Some professional programs may be an exception to this guideline.

A formal proposal for a new major program 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 Undergraduate Curriculum and Academic Policy Committee, the Faculty Senate, the Board of Trustees, and the Ohio Board of Regents.

Upon approval, each major program will be assigned a number by the registrar, and students who have completed the requirements for a major will have that noted on their transcripts. The major program is administered by the designing department or unit, which is responsible for formal admission, tracking, and final degree certification.

Procedures and Guidelines for Preparing Major Program Proposals

Proposals for new major programs ultimately must be submitted to the Ohio Board of Regents (OBR) for review and approval. Rule 3333-1-05 of the Ohio Administrative Code establishes the policies, procedures, and guidelines for preparing proposals to be approved by the OBR. In order to provide consistency between the WSU internal preparation, review, and approval of proposals and the OBR guidelines, all proposals submitted to the University Undergraduate Curriculum and Academic Policy Committee should adhere to the Rule 3333-1-05 procedures and guidelines.

Major program proposals are reviewed in two stages, each approved first through the WSU process and then by the OBR:

1. Advanced Notice. Initiating a new program requires the submission of a "Preliminary Prospectus" following the guidelines in Rule 3333-1-05 Appendix A. The "Preliminary Prospectus" is reviewed and approved through the WSU curriculum process before it is forwarded to the OBR. In certain cases, the submission of a "Preliminary Prospectus" may not be required by the OBR and, therefore, not required for the WSU review process. Prior to developing and submitting a proposal through the WSU process, departments, colleges, or schools should consult the Office of the Provost to determine whether it is advisable to develop and submit a "Preliminary Prospectus" or move directly to a "Formal Application."  [Note: The "Formal Application" can be submitted for WSU curriculum review before notification of the OBR's actions.]
2. Formal Application. Upon notification following OBR's review of the "Preliminary Prospectus" or upon advice from the Office of the Provost to forgo the "Preliminary Prospectus," a formal proposal is to be submitted through the WSU curriculum  review and approval process before it is submitted to the OBR . The proposal should follow the guidelines in the OBR's Rule 3333-1-05 Appendix B , Appendix C, and Appendix D.  The WSU Office of Budget Planning & Resource Analysis has primary responsibility for working with departments and program units in completing Appendix D Financial Statement For New Degree Proposal and should be consulted accordingly.
Guidelines, Appendices, and OBR policies and procedures, are contained in the following (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader) or copies may be obtained from the Office of the Provost:
Rule 3333-01-05
Policies and Procedures for Review and Approval
New Degrees and New Degree Programs
Other Than Graduate Degrees and Associate Degrees
Note: For Associate Degree Programs at the Lake Campus refer to and substitute Rule 3333-1-04. For Off-Campus Programs refer to and substitute Rule 3333-1-08. Copies of these may be obtained from the Office of the Provost.

Distance Education Programs

If the proposed program is to be offered 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:

When new courses or the modifications of existing courses are being proposed in conjunction with the program, the appropriate course inventory (Course Inventory Request Form) and course modification (Course Modification Request Form) requests and supporting documentation are required for the WSU review process and should be submitted along with the proposal (these forms are not required for the OBR process).

Proposals 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. Therefore, for purposes of the WSU curriculum review and approval process, these documents should be submitted along with the proposal. 

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.

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 new major programs 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