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Overview of the Graduate Council Curricular Review Process

Prior to Official Submission for Graduate Council Curricular Review

For new graduate programs and significant program changes, such as online delivery of existing programs, the proposers are required to submit a prospectus to the Advisory Committee for Graduate Education (ACGE). The intent of the prospectus is to alert other academic units of potential programs under development, so the prospectus should be submitted in the early stages of program development. The prospectus should be brief (one page or less), and should be submitted to the college's ACGE member, who will forward it for distribution to the group. ACGE members have 30 days following distribution of the prospectus to submit feedback to the proposers.

All graduate program and course proposals undergo program-specific and college-specific curricular reviews prior to official submission for Graduate Council review. The graduate program head and the college’s/school’s administrator for graduate education can provide information regarding the required procedures for a specific unit.

The Graduate School offers proposers the opportunity to consult with the Director of Graduate Education Administration prior to official submission for Graduate Council curricular review. We recommend taking advantage of this opportunity as early in the process as possible, and encourage consultation at the conceptual stage of program development, as well as review of initial proposal drafts.

Guidelines for the preparation of graduate program proposal documents may be found on the Graduate Faculty Policies website.

Official submission of graduate program and course proposals is encouraged throughout the calendar year. The Graduate Council Joint Curricular Committee does not meet in June, July, or August. Complete proposals officially submitted during the late spring or summer will be included on the September meeting agenda.

Graduate Program Proposals: The Graduate Council Curricular Review Process

Graduate program proposals for Graduate Council curricular review are submitted to the Dean's Office in 211 Kern. The original Graduate Council Program Proposal Form, signed by the head of the graduate program, the college/school representative to the Graduate Council Subcommittee on New and Revised Programs and Courses, and the college/school dean, must be submitted, along with 2 hardcopies of the graduate program proposal document, with a copy of the proposal form attached to each.

Proposals for new graduate programs and new dual-title graduate programs must include a Graduate Program Cost Analysis form. This form can be requested from the Dean's office. The form must be accompanied by the program proposal and cannot be reviewed in advance of submission. The cost analysis form must be reviewed and signed off by the Graduate School before the proposal can be added to the next Joint Curricular Committee agenda.

Graduate program proposals are reviewed by the Graduate Council Joint Curricular Committee at monthly meetings throughout the academic year. After a proposal has been submitted for Graduate Council curricular review:

  • Complete proposals are placed on the agenda for the next meeting of the Joint Curricular Committee. Incomplete proposals may be returned to proposers by the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School or held until all required information is submitted.
  • After each Joint Curricular Committee meeting, formal minutes from the meeting are prepared and reviewed at multiple levels to ensure thoroughness and accuracy. These minutes contain extensive, complex comments, revisions, and queries about the proposals that provide meaningful feedback to proposers. The Graduate School makes every effort to expedite the preparation and review of this feedback, but this feedback cannot be distributed to proposers until the meeting minutes have received final approval by the Committee chairs.
  • After the minutes have been finalized, memos containing the relevant feedback for each program proposal are sent via email to the proposer, the program/department head, and the college/school administrator for graduate education.

After approval by the Joint Curricular Committee, the proposal is published in the Graduate Council Curriculum Report. A 30-day comment period begins on the date of publication of the Graduate Council Curriculum Report. After the comment period ends, information about major program changes, such as all new and dropped graduate programs, degrees, options, and minors, is forwarded by the Dean of the Graduate School to the Provost for presentation to the Board of Trustees.

If a program proposal must be presented to the Board of Trustees, the earliest a program can be effective is the semester after that presentation occurs. If a program proposal does not require presentation to the Board of Trustees, the earliest a program can be effective is the semester after the expiration of the 30-day comment period following its publication in the Graduate Council Curriculum Report.

For new programs and all other program proposals that need to be presented the Board of Trustees, it will take a minimum of 12-16 weeks after the proposal is approved by the Joint Curricular Committee to be presented to the Board of Trustees. After approval by the Joint Curricular Committee, the program proposal still needs to be published in the Graduate Council Curriculum Report, undergo a 30-day comment period, be reviewed by the Provost, and submitted for inclusion on the Board of Trustees agenda. This is the absolute minimum timeframe for final approval, and actual approval time can vary widely depending on the type of proposal. The Graduate School cannot guarantee final approval by a specific date, since all post-publication steps are beyond its purview.

Graduate Course Proposals: The Graduate Council Curricular Review Process

All graduate course proposals must be initiated in the Curriculum Review and Consultation System (CRCS), and all consultation on each course proposal must be obtained via the CRCS. No hardcopy submission of graduate course proposals is required at any point in the Graduate Council curricular review process.

After a new course proposal has been approved through level 7 (review on behalf of the Dean of the Graduate School), it will be included on the next meeting agenda of the Graduate Council Joint Curricular Committee.

After each Joint Curricular Committee meeting, formal minutes from the meeting are prepared and reviewed at multiple levels to ensure thoroughness and accuracy. These minutes contain extensive, complex comments, revisions, and queries about the proposals that provide meaningful feedback to proposers. The Graduate School makes every effort to expedite the preparation and review of this feedback, but this feedback cannot be distributed to proposers until the meeting minutes have received final approval by the Committee chairs.

After the minutes have been finalized, relevant feedback is entered directly into the course proposal in the CRCS on behalf of the Joint Curricular Committee and the proposal is returned to the proposer via the CRCS for further action. The proposer’s response via the CRCS is required.

Course change proposals and course drop proposals undergo expedited review on behalf of the Joint Curricular Committee. The timing of this review is not dependent upon the monthly meeting dates of the Joint Curricular Committee. However, if there are any issues or concerns about these proposals, they may be forwarded to the co-chairs or the Joint Curricular Committee for full review.

After approval by the Graduate Council Joint Curricular Committee, course proposals are published in the Senate Curriculum Report; a 30-day comment period follows publication. Courses are effective the semester following the expiration of the comment period.

For additional information or to request consultation on a proposal, contact the Director of Graduate Education Administration.

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