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New Degree Programs

Welcome to the new degree program proposal section of the Academic Affairs website. 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. It will also assist with the addition of Certificate Programs as well as changes to existing programs.

We want to help you be successful in writing your proposals and have designed 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.

The provost’s office on each campus requires a brief preliminary proposal to document substantive interest and a solid rationale for a 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.

The proposal template describes the components required in the degree program proposal, and provides detailed instructions. It is designed to provide a strong argument for establishing the program and will facilitate the review and approval process.

The spreadsheets contained in this Excel file are required and must be reviewed and approved by the chief financial officer of the campus that is proposing the new program. WE ARE CURRENTLY UPDATING THIS TEMPLATE.

This infographic-style document goes through the process for the creation of new programs as well as modification of existing programs. It also covers the timeline by which these creations and modifications will become official.

Several exemplary proposals are included to illustrate the content and degree of detail required to make a strong case for a degree program.

This document is updated no fewer than once a month, perhaps more often if a lot of proposals exist in the qeue. From this document you will be able to tell where a NEW DEGREE PROPOSAL is in the process from you to us to the state. This document does NOT track Certificates of changes to existing programs.

This is link directly to MDHE's website and their forms. During this transition time they are collecting feedback from the various institutions and will continue to make changes to the forms so it is wise to check back often so you're using the current form.

Jessi Whitehurse, from the Office of Academic Affairs, held a webinar on August 17th walking through the process and timeline, the slides are linked here for your review.

  • Recorded Webinar reviewing the Campus-System-MDHE process

Trouble viewing the video in your browser? Click here to view video on YouTube.

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 creation/change approval process.


Steve Graham
Senior Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs

Reviewed 2017-11-30.