Academic Programs — Proposing a New Minor

Overview

Minors are an optional addition to a degree, requiring fewer semester hours than a major or a certificate. A minor usually consists of five courses, with a majority of the coursework upper-level, as defined by the offering unit.

Most minors are offered by a single department, but some are interdisciplinary and draw on courses from a number of departments and programs. Detailed information on each minor is published in the University General Catalog under the offering academic program.

The College does not approve selective admission minors.

Guidelines for students wishing to earn minors are in the Academic Policies Handbook.

A proposal for a new minor addresses many of the same points as a proposal for a new major.

Letters of support from appropriate sources are important and should be included with the proposal.

Process

  • Departments proposing a new minor must first discuss the rationale for the proposal with the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Curriculum who will decide on a course of action.
  • After such a consultation and after a final review of the finished proposal for compliance with CLAS policy and procedures, the Associate Dean will place the proposal on the agenda of the Educational Policy Committee.
  • If the EPC recommends approval, the proposal will be placed on the agenda of the Faculty Assembly.
  • If the Faculty Assembly recommends approval, the Dean of the College will determine when to forward the proposal to the Provost who will make the final decision concerning approval of the minor.
  • As of Fall 2009, approval for a new minor by the Regents is not required. However, any new courses created for the minor must be reported on the annual report of curricular trends. If a minor is expanded into a major, the new major must be approved by the Regents, with all of the appropriate forms and letters of recommendations submitted.
  • The approval process for a minor may take more than four months and departments are advised to begin it as soon as feasible, and generally in the spring semester a year before the anticipated implementation of the new program.
  • Any changes in the curriculum must be completed in time for the yearly update of the General Catalog.
  • New academic programs may not be advertised or included in a website or in the General Catalog until full approval has been received at each level needed.

Discontinuing a Minor

Departments considering the discontinuation of a minor must discuss the rationale with the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs and Curriculum who will recommend a course of action.

If the Associate Dean recommends the discontinuation of the minor, the department must submit such a proposal to the Educational Policy Committee.

If the Educational Policy Committee recommends approval, the proposal will move to the Faculty Assembly and then to the Provost as determined by the Dean of the College for consideration. As of Fall 2009, final approval of the discontinuation of a minor by the Regents is not required.

The department must decide upon a reasonable date after which a discontinued minor will no longer be granted. This is traditionally four years from the first day of the fall semester following the approval of the proposal to eliminate the minor. Students must be clearly notified of this sunset date, both on the departmental website and in the General Catalog. Requirements for the minor should be maintained in the Catalog, with a warning on this final deadline, until that date has passed. This information must be clearly stated in the proposal for discontinuing the minor.

Modifying an Existing Minor

Departments may make small changes to a minor without consulting the College if completed in time for the yearly update of the General Catalog. As for any change in curricular requirements, students graduate under the requirements in place when they declared the academic program rather than fulfilling the new requirements unless they choose otherwise. Departments making curricular changes are obligated to inform students of this fact.