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Welcome Letter

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.

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.

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 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.
  • 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 a strong argument for establishing the program and will facilitate the review and approval process.
  • Financial Projections: 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.
  • Timeline for Degree Proposal Process: The timetable outlines the various levels and approvals needed for the proposed program to be approved, along with specific deadlines for approval by the Board of Curators and the Coordinating Board for Higher Education.
  • Degree Proposal Process: A detailed explanation of the various steps in the proposal writing and approval process is provided along with time estimates for each step.
  • Sample Proposals: Exemplary proposals are included to illustrate the content and degree of detail required to make a strong case for a degree program.

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 2017-08-25.