Manual of Rules and Regulations

This is the most up-to-date version (February 2018) of the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College.

Section XIII. Procedures for Approving New Certificate, Subprogram, and Degree Programs

  1. Considerations and Requirements for New Certificate, Subprogram, and Degree Program Proposals. Prior to the development and submission of any proposal for a new graduate program, it is necessary to evaluate the resources and support that will be required on a continuing basis. A sponsoring department or committee will:

    1. Obtain a supporting letter, or letters, from the college, or colleges, housing the faculty of the proposed program. The Graduate College will not initiate its review of the draft proposal until such documentation is obtained.
    2. Determine the level of faculty support for the program from related areas outside of the sponsoring department or committee. Letters documenting that support should be a part of the draft program proposal, and must be part of the proposal at the time that it is presented to the Graduate Council.
    3. Evaluate existing courses offered at the graduate level, seminars available for graduate students only, and the likelihood of arrangements that will encourage independent study. A compilation of such courses should be prepared.
    4. Compile a list of faculty in the department and in related fields actively engaged in research related to the proposed program, and the arrangements or mechanisms for including graduate students in those research activities.
    5. Determine the depth and breadth of library resources that will support the research. (This includes specialized journals, documents, and special collections.) A compilation of these resources should be created.
    6. Evaluate the laboratory facilities, equipment, funds for travel and field study, as appropriate to support the proposed program. A description of these facilities and resources should be created.
    7. Evaluate the availability of fellowships, scholarships, and assistantships, supported at least in part by the University,which will be available to ensure a group of students in residence on campus. A compilation of the available and/or likely sources of student support should be created.
    8. Compile a list of supporting conditions (i.e., changing accreditation and certification standards, academic strategic plan compliance, changing employment opportunities, etc.) which will justify further investment and help to increase the likelihood of success.
    9. Define the title of the program in a manner which will allow a person in an academic area well-removed from the discipline to understand how the proposed program will fit into the University's offerings.
    10. To the greatest extent possible, complete the Board of Regents' form entitled, "REQUEST TO IMPLEMENT A NEW BACCALAUREATE, MASTER'S, DOCTORAL, OR FIRST PROFESSIONAL DEGREE PROGRAM". Information from the Graduate College-mandated program proposal can, in many cases, be duplicated to complete the Board of Regents' form. This form should be available from all collegiate offices.

    As much of the foregoing information as possible should be in the draft program proposal sent to the Graduate College. It is understood that the program proponents may not have all of the necessary information at the time that the draft proposal is first submitted for review. However, item 1 must be present at the time the draft proposal is submitted to the Graduate College for review, and items 2-9 must be complete in the proposal that is presented to the Graduate Council. Item 10 will not be complete until all of the necessary program approvals have been obtained.

  2. Form of Proposal. Proposals should be drafted in accord with the considerations above and incorporated in the following outline:

    1. Purpose of the program
    2. Present need for the program
    3. Description of program, including areas of emphasis and comparisons with similar programs in other universities, specifically in regard to potential program duplication with another Regents' university.
    4. If applicable, relationship to program resources that have been developed by the CIC (Committee on Institutional Cooperation)
    5. Comparison with standards established by a regional accrediting association where these exist
    6. Analysis of the implications of the proposed program for undergraduate work and other closely allied programs in the University
    7. At least three external letters of support should be included. These letters should be from individuals in the field who are familiar with the proposed program and who can comment on the importance, design of, and need for the proposed program.
    8. A list of faculty available for the proposed program, including a clearance for the expected use of faculty in related departments. Faculty clearance will be achieved by the submission of letters of support from the appropriate department chairs.
    9. Statement of additional needed budget support
    10. Assessment of future needs, commitments, and opportunities
  3. Review Procedure. Copies of the new proposal in sufficient number for review purposes should be sent to the dean of the Graduate College, who then becomes responsible for the review according to the following steps:

    Degree Programs

    1. Preliminary review by the Graduate College
    2. Review and recommendation by the Graduate Council
    3. Review by consultants from outside the University, appointed by the Graduate College dean, whenever the Graduate Council deems such outside advice necessary
    4. Review and action by the Graduate Faculty
    5. Review and recommendation by the Provost
    6. Action by the Board of Regents

    Certificate Programs

    1. Preliminary review by the Graduate College
    2. Review and recommendation by the Graduate Council
    3. Review and action by the Graduate Faculty
    4. Review and recommendation by the Provost
    5. Board of Regents may choose to review the proposal


    1. Preliminary review by the Graduate College
    2. Review and recommendation by the Graduate Council
    3. Graduate Dean's option to submit the proposal to the Graduate Faculty for approval
    4. Review and recommendation by the Provost
  4. Time for Submitting Proposals. Proposals for new programs leading to advanced degrees will be presented to the Graduate Council two semesters before the semester in which its recommendation is expected.

  5. Changes in Existing Programs. Changes in the general requirements for a degree or certificate should be made in consultation with the dean of the Graduate College, who will then decide whether a broader review of the changes by the Graduate Council should be undertaken.