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Degrees

The Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) defines the number of semester credit hours and years of full-time study that are required for each type of degree granted by a university in Illinois. These degree definitions are consistent with those of the federal Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) and have been adopted by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees and the UIC Senate.

Proposals to establish new undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees follow an IBHE-provided template, and must include a description of the program’s learning goals and expected outcomes; the need for the program; the resources that will support it; and the quality assurance process that will be followed to ensure that the expected outcomes are attained.

In addition to meeting IBHE guidelines, degrees must also meet UIC policies and guidelines (e.g., all undergraduate degrees must fulfill UIC General Education Program requirements, a dissertation is required of all doctoral programs in the Graduate College, policy for degree program concentrations).

Below you will find information about the:

  • Policies and procedures to establish, revise, suspend admission to, or eliminate degrees. Please note that revisions include changes to degree requirements, as well as requests to reorganize degrees (e.g., rename, consolidate).
  • Policies and procedures for establishing, revising, and eliminating joint degree programs.
  • Process of changing how a degree is delivered (e.g., face-to-face to online) and making programs available at off-campus sites.

Establish a Degree Heading link

Proposals 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 Notice of Intent/Application for New Degree form to prepare the proposal, and complete the Proforma for New Academic Programs. If coursework from other colleges is being considered as potential requirements or selectives for the new degree, please make this request from the head/chair/director of the course’s controlling unit and include their letter of approval as an appendix to the proposal.
  2. Academic Programs (AP). Once the college has approved the proposal, it should be forwarded via email it to Dana Wright.
  3. Budget and Financial Analysis (BFA). Approve the pro forma submitted when new degrees are proposed.
  4. Graduate College. Reviewed and approved by the Graduate College Executive Committee and/or staff if graduate students are impacted.
  5. Senate Committee on Educational Policy (SCEP)
  6. UIC Senate
  7. University Senates Conference
  8. Board of Trustees (BOT)
  9. Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE). Formal approval is required for most new degrees. In some cases, such as when a new degree is created from reorganizing an existing program, IBHE staff will review the request and determine if the degree is a reasonable  and moderate extension (RME) of UIC’s existing program authority.
  10. Higher Learning Commission (HLC). HLC approval or notification may be required if unique conditions apply. For example, a new degree is a significant departure from programs included in UIC’s institutional accreditation, or requires the allocation of substantial financial investment or resources. AP will consult with UIC’s liaison to the HLC if needed to make this determination.

Revise or Reorganize a Degree Heading link

The revision and reorganization of degrees 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. Minor revisions, most commonly the addition or removal of courses from a list of selectives, can be administratively approved by AP.
  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.

Suspend Admission to a Degree Heading link

Admission to a program may be suspended if an instructional unit does not have the capacity to offer it temporarily, needs time to make significant revisions to program curriculum, or if the unit plans to formally initiate the process of permanent elimination.

It is the responsibility of the sponsoring unit to: ensure that continuing, enrolled students can complete the program; inform prospective students who are in the process of applying for admission and provide them with assistance in finding alternative programs; and notify any other affected organizations, units, or individuals (e.g., accreditation agencies,  support programs, advisors).

The suspension of admission to a degree must be approved at each of the governance levels listed below before final approval is issued by Academic Programs. Once approved, the program is removed from applications for admission and a note is made in the UIC Academic Catalog.

  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 as an informational item by the Graduate College Executive Committee and/or staff if graduate students may be impacted.
  4. Senate Committee on Educational Policy (SCEP). Reviewed as an informational item.
  5. Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE). Notified by AP.

Eliminate a Degree Heading link

A degree may be eliminated of an instructional unit no longer has the capacity to offer the program, or if enrollment has diminished as to no longer be sustainable.

It is the responsibility of the sponsoring unit to: ensure that continuing, enrolled students can complete the program; inform prospective students who are in the process of applying for admission and provide them with assistance in finding alternative programs; and notify any other affected organizations, units, or individuals (e.g., accreditation agencies,  support programs, advisors).

The elimination of a degree must be approved at each of the governance levels listed below before final approval is issued by Academic Programs. Once approved, the program is removed from applications for admission and the UIC Academic Catalog.

  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 are impacted.
  4. Senate Committee on Educational Policy (SCEP)
  5. UIC Senate
  6. University Senates Conference
  7. Board of Trustees (BOT)
  8. Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE). The action will be included on a list of program changes that AP annually submits to the IBHE.

Once the elimination is approved, the degree is removed from applications for admission and the UIC Academic Catalog. Continuing students are allowed to finish degree requirements (either until they graduate or leave the program). However, no new students are allowed to matriculate into the program. This period of time is referred to as phase-down status. The degree’s program code is modified in Banner to reflect this status. Once all continuing students have completed the degree or left the program, the program code in Banner is terminated so that students cannot register or be awarded the degree.