Sac State University Policy Manual

New Degree Programs: Approval Process

Policy Administrator: Vice President for Academic Affairs
Effective Date:6/96
Index Cross-References:
Policy File Number: FSN00010.htm


A campus in accordance with its approved Academic Master Plan, submits detailed proposals for new degree major programs to the Division of Educational Programs and Resources for review and approval in the academic year preceding projected implementation. Approval of any degree major program is subject to campus assurances that financial support, qualified faculty, physical facilities and library holdings are available within current budgetary support levels to establish and maintain the program.

  1. Campus Review Process

    1. Campus initiatives to implement new degree programs follow the established university approval process which includes faculty review at the department and/or College levels (depending on where the proposal originates), Academic Senate review, as well as administrative review and approval. All proposals are to conform with the Chancellor's Office format for submitting proposals as noted below.

    2. Resources needed to support the new program are identified clearly in the new degree proposal. In transmitting the proposal for university review, the Dean indicates the source from which the resources will come. (See C. 1a.-1e., under projection of new programs on Academic Master Plan.)

    3. New degree proposals are directed to the Senate's appropriate curriculum committee for review of the College's analysis of the program's resource needs, including any impact funding the program as proposed by the College may have on other academic units. Concurrence or differences with the College's analysis will be noted by the Committee.

    4. The findings of the senate's appropriate curriculum committee become part of the degree proposal as it is directed to the Senate for review and recommendation.

    5. The Senate's appropriate curriculum committee recommends to the Senate the approval (or disapproval) of the proposed new degree.

    6. When the Senate recommends the approval of a new degree proposal, the President may consult the Council on University Planning concerning the significance of the proposed degree program to the University goals and objectives, before taking further action on the proposed program or directing it to the Chancellor's Office for review and approval.

    7. If the Chancellor's Office approves the campus offering the degree, final decision to implement rests with the College Dean based on a judgment of the impact the new degree will have on other existing College programs given the resources available to support the new program.

  2. CSU System Review

    1. Normally, new degree programs are projected on the CSUS Academic Master Plan one to five years in advance. The Chancellor's staff does not approve the curriculum until the degree program has been projected on the Master Plan.

    2. At least nine months, and preferably a full year before, before the University plans to implement a new program, the President submits a full program proposal for review and approval by the Chancellor. After the Chancellor's review and tentative approval, the California Postsecondary Education Commission is notified of the campus' intent to implement the program. The Commission has sixty days to comment on the plan. If no questions are raised within the allowed time period by the Commission, the Chancellor approves the program and determines an effective date for program implementation. Proposals for new degree major programs are to follow the format below. Submit fifteen copies of the proposal to the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs.

  3. Procedures for Submitting Proposals for New Degree Major Programs

    1. Complete Form B.

    2. Definition of the Proposed Degree Major Program

      1. Name of the campus submitting the request, the full and exact designation (degree terminology) for the proposed degree major program, and academic year of intended implementation.

      2. Name of the department, departments, division or other unit of the campus which would offer the proposed degree major program. Identify the unit which will have primary responsibility. Identify contact person.

      3. Name, title, rank of the individual(s) primarily responsible for drafting the proposed degree major program.

      4. Objectives of the proposed degree major program.

      5. Total number of units required for the major. List of all courses, by catalog number, title, and units of credit, to be specifically required for a major under the proposed degree program. Identify those new courses which are l) needed to initiate the program, and 2) needed during the first two years after implementation. Include proposed catalog description of all new courses.

      6. List of elective courses, by catalog number, title, and units of credit, which can be used to satisfy requirements for the major. Identify those new courses which are l) needed to initiate the program and 2) needed during the first two years after implementation. Include proposed catalog description of all new courses.

        Note: With regard to e. and f., a proposed program should take advantage of courses already offered in other departments when subject matter would otherwise overlap or duplicate existing course content.)

      7. If any formal options, concentrations, or special emphases are planned under the proposed major, explain fully.

      8. Course prerequisites and other criteria for admission of students to the proposed degree major program, and for their continuation in it.

      9. Explanation of special characteristics of the proposed degree major program; e.g., in terminology, units of credit required, types of course work, etc.

      10. For undergraduate programs, provisions for articulation of the proposed major with community college programs.

      11. Provision for meeting accreditation requirements, where applicable, and anticipated date or accreditation request.

        ( Note: Where applicable, establishment of a master's degree program should be preceded by national professional accreditation of the corresponding bachelor's degree major program.)

    3. Need for the Proposed Degree Major Program

      1. List of other California State University campuses currently offering or projecting the proposed degree major program; list of neighboring institutions, public and private, current offering the proposed degree major program.

      2. Differences between the proposed program and programs listed in "a." above.

      3. List of other curricula currently offered by the campus which are closely related to the proposed program.

      4. Results of a formal survey in the geographical area to be served indicating demand for individuals who have earned the proposed degree and evidence of serious student interest in majoring in the proposed program. Justify any discrepancies between national/statewide/professional manpower surveys and local findings.

      5. For graduate programs, the number of declared undergraduate majors and the degree production over the preceding years for the corresponding baccalaureate program.

      6. Professional uses of the proposed degree major program.

      7. The expected number of majors in the year of initiation and three years and five years thereafter. The expected number of graduates in the year of initiation and three years and five thereafter.

        ( Note: This degree major program will be subject to program review evaluation within six years after implementation.)

    4. Existing Support Resources for the Proposed Degree Major Program.

      ( Note: Sections 4 and 5 and Form C should be prepared in consultation with the campus administrators responsible for faculty staffing and instructional facilities allocation and planning.)

      1. Faculty members, with rank, appointment status, highest degree earned, date and field of highest degree, and professional experience (including publications if the proposal is for a graduate degree), who would teach in the proposed program.

        ( Note: For proposed graduate degree programs, a minimum of five full-time faculty members with the terminal professional degree should be on the program staff.)

      2. Space and facilities that would be used in support of the proposed program. Show how this space is currently used and what alternate arrangements, if any, will be made for the current occupants.

      3. Library resources to support the program, specified by subject areas, volume count, periodical holdings, etc.

      4. Equipment and other specialized materials currently available.

    5. Additional Support Resources Required

      ( Note: If additional support resources will be needed to implement and maintain the program, a statement by the responsible administrator(s) should be attached to the proposal assuring that such resources will be provided.

      1. Complete Form C (Optional for Fast Track Programs). Enrollment and faculty positions should be shown for all discipline categories which will increase because of the new program and for all discipline categories which will decrease because of the new program. If faculty positions are to be transferred into the new program from other areas, the reductions in faculty positions should be shown on the appropriate discipline category or categories.

      2. Any special characteristics of the additional faculty or staff support positions needed to implement the proposed program.

      3. The amount of additional lecture and/or laboratory space required to initiate and sustain the program over the next five years. Indicate any additional special facilities that will be required. If the space is under construction, what is the projected occupancy date? If the space is planned, indicate campus wide priority of the facility, capital outlay program priority, and projected date of occupancy.

      4. Additional library resources needed. Indicate the commitment of the campus to purchase or borrow through interlibrary loan these additional resources.

      5. Additional equipment or specialized materials that will be l) needed to implement the program and 2) needed during the first two years after initiation. Indicate source of funds and priority to secure these resource needs.

    6. Abstract of the Proposal and Proposed Catalog Description.

      Attach an abstract of the foregoing proposal, not to exceed two pages, and a complete proposed catalog description, including admission and degree requirements.

Approved by:
Graduate Policies and Programs Committee--March 31, 1986; 1995
Fiscal Affairs Committee--April 1, 1986
Academic Senate Curriculum Committee--April 14, 1986; 1995
Academic Senate--May 7, 1986; 1995
Edited by Academic Affairs Staff--April 1990; June 1996