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Administrative Offices
Office of Academic Affairs

Program Approval Process

This document summarizes the approval process for programs. For this document, “programs” refer to degrees, certificates, minors, tracks, concentrations and specializations. This process applies to:

  • New programs
  • New online versions of programs
  • Name changes to programs
  • Terminations of programs

This document focuses on the processes on our campus. When changes leave our campus, they follow the processes of Indiana University, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, and the Higher Learning Commission, as applicable. These processes are summarized on the University Academic Affairs site.

When this document refers to “the faculty member,” this refers to the faculty member responsible for guiding the proposal through the approval process. This may be a faculty member with no administrative duties, or it may be a faculty administrator, such as a department chair.

If faculty need help with this process, they should contact their dean or the Associate Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

Step One: Draft the Document

Program changes come from the faculty and begin at the academic department level. First, the faculty member must write a proposal, as follows

  • New degrees and certificates should follow the format mandated by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.
  • New collaborative programs between campuses will follow a drafting process guided by IU Online. While the drafting process is different, the proposal must follow the same approval process outlined below in this document. If you are working on a collaborative program, please notify the Executive Assistant for Academic Affairs (Marsha McKinley) as soon as you begin drafting it.
  • Name changes should take the form of a letter of request and justification.
  • New minors, tracks, concentrations and specializations should take the form of brief report, providing a rationale for the new program and detailing the program requirements
  • Program terminations should take the form of a letter of request and justification.

Step Two: School Approval

The proposal must be approved following the procedures of their school. If the school has department-level procedures, these must be followed as well. Once the proposal is approved at the school level, the dean should notify the Executive Assistant for Academic Affairs (Marsha McKinley).

Step Three: Faculty Senate Approval

The faculty member should submit the document to the chair of the appropriate faculty senate committee. All undergraduate program proposals should be sent to the Educational Policies Committee. All graduate program proposals should be sent to the Graduate Programs Committee.

The faculty senate committee decides whether to approve the proposal, and whether it also needs approval from the full faculty senate.

Step Four: Submit the Proposal to Academic Affairs

The dean should notify Executive Assistant for Academic Affairs (Marsha McKinley) once the proposal has completed step three. They should send her the following, via email:

  • Program Title
  • Brief Description of Program
  • Rationale            
  • Desired Implementation Date
  • Campus Approval Date (Faculty Senate)
  • For minors/tracks/concentrations, the date the department approved it
  • The proposal

Additional Approvals

From this point on, the proposal will follow the processes summarized on the University Academic Affairs site. The next step is approval by the AVCAA and Chancellor, and then submission to the Academic Leadership Council.

Please check periodically with the Executive Assistant for Academic Affairs (Marsha McKinley) on the progress of the proposal. Academic Affairs is not always notified when a proposal is approved off campus, so we may need to check on its status.

Post Approval Activities
Once a program is approved, the faculty member must do the following:

  1. Inform the Registrar, making sure changes are in systems, such as degree maps and AAR (Academic Advising Report)
  2. Inform the Director of Advising and other relevant advisors
  3. Update the department website
  4. Update SIS if changes are being made to prerequisites or course descriptions
  5. Make arrangements to make sure the proper person will update the Bulletin during the Bulletin revision period
Last updated: 10/06/2017