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Concentrations

The term concentration is the official designation for groups of courses that define a specific area or sub-area of study. There are two types of concentrations:

  • Major-dependent concentrations exist within a single undergraduate, graduate, or professional degree.  Concentration requirements appear in the UIC Academic Catalog under the affiliated degree (e.g., the three concentrations within the BS in Liberal Arts and Sciences, Major in Biological Sciences).
  • Interdepartmental graduate concentrations can be earned by students in more than one graduate or professional degree, and appear in their own section of the UIC Academic Catalog.

Instructional units submit proposals for concentrations for formal approval when focused study in a substantial sub-component of an academic discipline is required in a degree, when those areas are clearly defined in terms of requirements, and only when the unit would like these concentrations to be formally recognized by the university, published in the catalog, and entered on students' transcripts.

Instructional units 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 related courses (a minimum of nine or more hours) that a student may take as part of a degree.

The procedures to establish, revise, or eliminate a concentration are described below. Please note that revisions include changes to concentration requirements, as well as requests to reorganize concentrations (e.g., rename, consolidate).

Establish or Eliminate a Concentration Heading link

The establishment and elimination of concentrations must be approved at each of the governance levels listed below before final approval is issued by Academic Programs.

  1. College. Proposals are approved according to procedures established by the college. This process may involve the college’s educational policy committee and, in some cases, the college’s full faculty. Use the Format for Academic Program Changes form to prepare the proposal.
  2. Academic Programs (AP). Once the college has approved the proposal, it should be forwarded via email it to Dana Wright.
  3. Graduate College. Reviewed and approved by the Graduate College Executive Committee and/or staff if graduate students may be impacted.
  4. Senate Committee on Educational Policy (SCEP)
  5. UIC Senate
  6. University Senates Conference
  7. Board of Trustees (BOT). Submitted to the BOT as informational items.
  8. Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE). Included on a list of program changes that AP annually submits to the IBHE.

 

Revise or Reorganize a Concentration Heading link

Proposals to eliminate concentrations are approved through a similar process, which is outlined below.

  1.  College. Proposals are approved according to procedures established by the college. This process may involve the college’s educational policy committee and, in some cases, the college’s full faculty. Use the Format for Academic Program Changes form to prepare the proposal.
  2. Academic Programs (AP). Once the college has approved the proposal, it should be forwarded via email it to Dana Wright.
  3. Graduate College. Reviewed and approved by the Graduate College Executive Committee and/or staff if graduate students may be impacted.
  4. Senate Committee on Educational Policy (SCEP)
  5. UIC Senate
  6. University Senates Conference
  7. Board of Trustees (BOT). Reorganizations may be reported to the BOT as informational items if the changes are of major significance and impact how the program is noted on student transcripts (e.g., renaming, consolidation). Revisions to program requirements are generally not reported to the BOT.
  8. Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE). Reorganizations are included on a list of program changes that AP annually submits to the IBHE. Revisions to program requirements are generally not reported to the IBHE.

The exception to this process are requests to make additional graduate and professional programs eligible to complete existing interdepartmental graduate concentrations. When such circumstances occur, the college(s) should immediately contact Dana Wright. The Format for Academic Program Changes form should also be completed, and will be shared with the Graduate College and SCEP for information. No additional governance is required.