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Definitions and Guidelines for Degree Program Concentrations

Definition and Guidlelines for Degree Program Concentrations

• The term “concentration” will be the official designation for course groups that define a specific area or sub-area of study.

• Establishment of a formal concentration is required (i.e., proposed to campus and University review bodies) where focused study in a substantial subcomponent of an academic discipline is required in the degree program, where those areas are clearly defined in terms of requirements, and only when the sponsoring units want these areas or sub-areas to be formally recognized by the campus.

• Concentrations submitted for campus approval must be developed within the sponsoring units’ degree programs. However, consideration will be given to interdisciplinary/multidisciplinary concentrations at the graduate level that may be associated with several degree programs in different departments or colleges (e.g., Gender and Women’s Studies).

• Sponsoring units whose degree programs are accredited by specialized or professional accrediting agencies should take special care to develop concentrations within the scope of their programmatic offerings and, if necessary or required, develop official concentrations according to the criteria and standards of their accrediting organizations.

• An approved concentration will be the only formal designation entered on the transcript besides the title of the degree earned.

• Sponsoring units will determine the number, type and level of courses that constitute a concentration within their disciplines. Typically, a concentration is defined as a minimum of three (3) related courses (a minimum of nine or more hours) that a student may take as part of a degree program.

• Establishment of formal concentrations will require review and approval by the line college (where required), the Graduate College Executive Committee (where Graduate College programs are involved), the Senate Committee on Educational Policy, and the Senate. New concentrations are required to be reported to the University Board of Trustees and the Illinois Board of Higher Education.

• All currently approved concentrations will be submitted for quick review by campus bodies. A list of approved concentrations will be submitted to the Graduate College Executive Committee, the Senate Committee on Educational Policy, and the Senate for review. Existing concentrations that have never received formal approval by the campus will also be placed on the list for approval.

• The descriptions of concentrations will be published in campus catalogues.

Effective Date: Fall 2004

Approved by the UIC Senate on April 29, 2004
Amended by the Senate Committee on Educational Policy on November 10, 2004