Degree/Major Program: A degree program and major consists of a specified set of courses focused on a designated disciplinary or interdisciplinary area. Georgia State offers associates, bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees.
The review of new degree/major program proposals at the university and system levels requires the development of two documents: 1) a program concept paper (optional) and 2) the formal proposal.
- Concept Paper: Units may choose to submit the USG Concept Paper for review instead of initially developing a full proposal. This path enables units to seek general college, university, and USG input with regard to potential degrees. A positive response to the Concept Paper does not guarantee institutional or BOR approval of the full proposal.
- One Step New Academic Program Proposal/Approval Form: Following a positive response to the Concept Paper, units use the One Step New Academic Program Proposal/Approval Form to formally propose a new degree program. Alternatively, the unit may forgo the Concept Paper submission process, and just submit the full proposal for institutional and system review.
The approval process for Concept Papers or full proposals consists of the steps below.
- Materials should be considered and approved by the originating academic department. Approval by the departments at this stage, including any formal vote, should be noted as specified in the documents.
- Concept Papers and proposals require the approval of the dean of the college responsible for the administration of the new program. Individual colleges may elect to require that program documents first be reviewed or formally considered by college faculty, a college undergraduate or graduate committee, or some other college-level body. Approval at this stage, including any formal vote, should be noted as specified in the program documents.
- The dean should send approved materials to the Vice Provost and VP for Enrollment Management and Student Success and to the chair of the University Senate Committee on Academic Programs. The Vice Provost will review for compliance with Georgia Board of Regents (BOR) policies and will ask the Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness to do the same for Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) requirements. Depending on the nature of the proposed program, the vice provost may ask others to review the documents as well. For example, if the program involves collaboration with an international partner institution, the Associate Provost for International Affairs will also be asked to review the Concept Paper and/or proposal.
- If found to be in good order, the Vice Provost will notify the chair of CAP that the document is ready for committee consideration. If problems are found, the Vice Provost will contact the college dean to resolve the issues before initiating University Senate deliberations.
- Within CAP, the document initially will be deliberated on by a subcommittee, most typically the Undergraduate Council or Graduate Council (depending on the level of the program being considered). The subcommittee may elect to invite the proposing parties to attend a meeting at which the Concept Paper or proposal is discussed. The subcommittee will then make a recommendation to CAP. At a meeting to which the proposing parties will be invited, CAP will deliberate and vote on the Concept Paper or proposal. At both the subcommittee and full committee levels, requests may be made to the proposing parties for changes to be made to the proposal.
- The chair of CAP will notify the Vice Provost and the Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness in writing of the recommendation of CAP.
- The Provost, on behalf of the President, will then make the decision on whether to forward the Concept Paper or proposal for the new degree program or major to the Board or Regents. If the Provost’s recommendation is positive, the Vice Provost will submit to the USG office (Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Programs) via the designated online process.
- If the Concept Paper has been submitted, then it will undergo a preliminary review through the system office. After the review has concluded, an institution will be sent notification indicating whether a formal proposal is invited. If this is the case, the college and unit will be notified that they may proceed with the development and submission of the full proposal.
- Upon receipt at the System Office, a new program proposal will be posted on the web for information and institutional feedback. The system office review is based on the criteria for evaluation. The Office of Academic Programs will also consult the appropriate Regents Advisory Committee (disciplinary committee) for additional review of the curriculum. The program review staff will make a recommendation regarding acceptance of the proposal to the University System Chief Academic Officer & Executive Vice Chancellor.
- As part of the process for reviewing proposals, the Office of Academic Programs will disseminate to all University System of Georgia institutions, on a regular basis, a list of program proposals under consideration, and will invite interested parties to request a copy of proposals for review and comment. Information received through this process will be considered in evaluating proposed programs.
- If accepted for consideration following system office and system-wide review, the proposal will be submitted to the Board of Regents for a formal vote. The university will receive written acknowledgement of the results of the board vote.
- Normally, the program can be officially added to the university curriculum (i.e., added to the record of official programs in the Banner system) after return acknowledgment of BOR approval from the USG. (A copy of the official Universtiy System acknowledgement will be forwarded to the originating college(s) upon receipt by the Vice Provost.)
- Proposing parties should be aware that the USG/BOR may request additional information from the proposers during the review process and, at times, request that the proposers appear before the Board of Regents to answer questions. Proposing parties also should be aware that this entire approval process can take over a year.