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Graduate Council

Overview of the Graduate Council Curricular Review Process

All graduate curricular proposals and prospectuses must be initiated in the CourseLeaf Curriculum Inventory Management (CIM) system, and all consultation on proposals must be obtained via the CIM. No hardcopy submission of graduate proposals is required at any point in 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) via CIM Prospectus Management. 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. After the prospectus has been approved by the ACGE member of the submitting college and reviewed by the Director of Graduate Council Administration, it will be forwarded to the full committee. ACGE members have 30 days following distribution of the prospectus to submit feedback to the proposers via the ACGE member who distributed it.

If the proposal is to offer a graduate program online through World Campus, proposers are encouraged to consult with World Campus early in the process, shortly after the prospectus is submitted. An MOU with World Campus is required for submission of the program proposal.

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 Council 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 are available.

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 via CIM Program Management.

Proposals for new graduate programs and new dual-title graduate programs require a Graduate Program Cost Analysis form. This form can be requested from the Dean's office. Completed cost analysis forms should be submitted via email to the Director of Graduate Council Administration. 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, relevant feedback for each program proposal is sent via CIM to the proposer.

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 sign off.

If a program proposal must be sent to the Provost, the earliest a program can be effective is the semester after the Provost signs off. If a program proposal does not need to be sent to the Provost, 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. Some types of program proposals, such as new degree types not previously offered by the University or changing the name of an existing graduate program, may require additional time to be made effective due to the systematic updates necessary to implement the change.

For new programs and all other program proposals that need to be sent to the Provost, it will take a minimum of 8-10 weeks after the proposal is approved by the Joint Curricular Committee to be signed off by the Provost. 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, and be reviewed by the Provost. This is the absolute minimum time frame 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

Graduate course proposals are submitted via CIM Course Management, and all consultation on each course proposal must be obtained via the CIM. No hardcopy submission of graduate course proposals is required at any point in the Graduate Council curricular review process.

After a course proposal has been approved through the program-specific and college-specific curricular reviews and has been reviewed by the Director of Graduate Council Administration, 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 CIM on behalf of the Joint Curricular Committee and the proposal is returned to the proposer via CIM for further action. The proposer’s response via CIM is required.

Some course change proposals and all 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 Graduate Council Curriculum Report; a 30-day comment period follows publication. New courses are effective the semester following the expiration of the comment period.

Links Related to Curricular Review

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

This page was generated on August 17, 2022 at 1:36 PM local time. This may not be the most recent version of this page. Check the Penn State Graduate School website for updates.