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Welcome Letter

Welcome to the new degree program proposal section of the Academic Affairs Web site. The information on this site is provided to assist campuses with the initial step of determining the feasibility of launching and sustaining a new degree program, and to provide guidance for making a strong academic case and a business case for a program that shows promise of success.

We want to help you be successful in writing your proposals and have revised the process to clarify the expectations of the Board of Curators and the Coordinating Board of Higher Education. In the current tight economic climate, the Board of Curators is particularly cautious about approving new degrees, and expects campuses to present convincing arguments for introducing new programs. To assist you in obtaining approval for a new degree, we have provided instructions on this site to guide you in preparing a proposal that will help you establish a strong academic case for your program and demonstrate that the program is economically sustainable. We hope that the new degree program proposal template will make the proposal-writing process easier for you.

Provided below are brief descriptions of the links provided on this website.

  • Preliminary Proposal Template: The provost's office on each campus requires a brief preliminary proposal to document substantive interest and a solid rationale for the proposed degree. The preliminary proposal should make academic and business cases for the degree program and identify the necessary resources to build and sustain the program. After obtaining provost approval, please submit the preliminary proposal to UM System Academic Affairs, 309 University Hall.
  • New Degree Program Proposal Template: The proposal template describes the components required in the degree program proposal, and provides detailed instructions. It is designed to provide strong argument for establishing the program and will facilitate the review and approval process.
  • Financial Projections: The spreadsheets contained in this Excel file are to be used to calculate the financial projections for the program.  These projections must be reviewed and approved by the chief fiscal officer of your campus.  Please submit the file with the proposal.
  • Degree Proposal Process: This document outlines the various levels and approvals needed for the proposed program to be approved.
  • Sample Proposals: Exemplary proposals are included to illustrate the content and degree of detail required to make a strong case for a degree program. Sample programs include those for the Bachelor of Liberal Studies (UMSL), Masters of Public Health (MU), and PhD in Systems Engineering (Missouri S&T). These sample proposals were submitted before the current template was developed, so note that the order of the contents may differ from what is now requested.

The standard procedures for approval are provided in the timeline. First, each proposal proceeds through a campus approval process. Once approved by the Offices of the Provost and Chancellor, the proposal is sent to the UM System Office of Academic Affairs for review and approval. The proposal is subsequently reviewed by the other UM campuses prior to approval by the Board of Curators. After approval by the Board of Curators, the program proposal is submitted the Missouri Department of Higher Education, which solicits input from the other 4-year institutions in the state prior to issuing final approval.

For optimal results, we advise you to coordinate closely with your department, your provost’s office and the UM Office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs. Don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have questions regarding the new degree program approval process.


Steve Graham
Senior Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs

Reviewed 2011-02-07.