UIC: Programs and Academic Assessment
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Establishing New Academic Degree Programs


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New Graduate Program Proposals

The process for submitting for review and approval proposals for new graduate degree programs is the same as that for establishing new undergraduate degree programs with the exception that additional review by the Graduate College is required.

The proposal for the new degree program must follow the format established by the IBHE (see the document Request for a New Unit of Instruction). Once the proposal has been completed by the initiating unit, it must be approved by the unit. From there the proposal is submitted to the college for review by its committee structure (Executive Committee, Educational Policy Committee, etc.) Some colleges also require that such proposals be voted on by the entire college faculty.

After the proposal has gained approval at the college level, it is sent to the Office of Programs and Academic Assessment (OPAA) where it undergoes a more thorough review than a simple programmatic revision. In most cases, there may be a series of meetings between the proposing unit or the college and OPAA in order to make certain that the proposal meets the requirements of the IBHE for establishing new programs.

When OPAA is satisfied with the proposal, it is then submitted to the Graduate College where it is reviewed by the Graduate College Executive Committee. The Executive Committee may well ask for further revisions of the proposal before it approves the document.

Once the proposal is approved by the Graduate College, it is returned to OPAA which, in turn, sends it to the Senate Committee on Educational Policy. SCEP's Graduate Program Subcommittee will review and act on the proposal and then submit it to the full SCEP. After SCEP has approved it, the proposal goes to the full Senate for action.

Since it is a new degree program proposal, further review and action are required by the University Senates Conference, the Board of Trustees, and the Illinois Board of Higher Education. Please refer to the section entitled Review Beyond the Campus for a detailed description of the higher level review process.