Academic Programs — Modifying Academic Programs Overview

Significant changes to an academic program
Other changes to an academic program
Discontinuance of an academic program

Significant Changes to an Academic Program


When a department or program proposes a significant change to a major or to another academic program, the DEO should review the proposed revision with the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Curriculum, Helena Dettmer, as soon as possible.

The Associate Dean will decide whether a particular change requires further review.

The Undergraduate Educational Policy and Curriculum Committee (UEPCC) must review most curricular changes, including the addition of a track to an existing major; the addition of cognate courses to a major or track; the addition of credit hours to the track or major; or any other similar addition or revision. In most cases, the review process concludes with a discussion with the Associate Dean and with UEPCC.

Academic areas with selective admission or limited enrollment majors must have additional approval by the College for any change in the criteria for admission or continuation in the major or track. Proposed changes must follow the CLAS selective and limited enrollment policies and guidelines.


  1. Many of the guidelines for the implementation of new majors should be considered when proposing signification changes the curriculum.
  2. A student is never held to requirements adopted after a major or minor has been declared by that student or after enrollment by that student in a certificate program.
  3. Students may continue to declare the major or program until the new requirements are implemented on the first day of the fall semester following approval.
  4. If requirements change, a student may choose to complete the new requirements but is not obligated to do so. A department making curricular changes should ensure that students understand this option, noting this on the departmental web site and on advising materials. Students wanting to switch to the new requirements should notify Graduation Analysis.
  5. The Regents allows students to graduate with a major even if the major has closed. Departments should make reasonable course substitutions as needed, consulting with the Associate Dean.
  6. Almost all curricular changes must be approved during the fall semester and before the end of January.
  7. The General Catalog is an important resource for advising and contains the official requirements for all majors, minors, and certificates. The analysis of student records to verify the completion of graduation requirements is based on the information in the Catalog. Program changes may not be implemented until the first day of the fall semester when their appearance in the updated Catalog is assured. Academic programs may, however, alert their students to anticipated changes to a program on the appropriate web site, reminding students of the last day to declare a major and requirement options (see above).
  8. Closed programs should be maintained in the General Catalog, with a clear indication of their status, until the last student with a declared major in the area has graduated.

Name Changes

To change the name of an academic program, the DEO submits a written proposal to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Curriculum, who consults UEPCC on the proposal.

To change the name of the department or unit, the DEO submits a written proposal with rationale to the Dean of the College, who consults the Executive Committee.

If approved in the appropriate elected committee, the request for either type of name change is sent to the Faculty Assembly, the Provost, and the Board of Regents for approval. This process generally takes more than six months and areas are advised to begin it as soon as possible by consulting with the appropriate dean. A department or program may not advertise or use the new name until the change has been approved by the Regents. This is a Regent policy and may not be violated.

Other Changes to an Academic Program

Small curricular changes in existing programs do not require a review by EPC. Revisions are made through editing of the General Catalog. These changes take effect at the beginning of a new academic year on the first day of the fall semester.

Any needed Course Approval Forms must be submitted to meet the deadline for curricular changes to take effect during a fall semester. Please see items 2-5, above.

Discontinuance of an Academic Program

A request to discontinue a major or other academic program requires the same approval process as for the implementation of a new major.

Departments are encouraged to consult with the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs and Curriculum before and during the creation of the proposal to terminate an academic program. No program may be terminated without permission of the Regents.

After the last day before the fall semester begins following the approval of the proposal to terminate the major, students may no longer declare that major. Until that date occurs, students may enroll in the program and may complete the requirements for the major which were in place at the time of its declaration.

Returning students, who previously had declared the major in question and who wish to continue the program upon their return, will be advised by the department on how to best proceed.

Academic units should work closely with CLAS to make sure termination information is available on all relevant web sites and that all involved faculty and academic advisors as well as Admissions and the Registrar are aware of the date when students may not longer declare a major.

Closed programs should be maintained in the General Catalog, with a clear indication of their status until the last student with a declared major in the area has graduated.