Proposing A New Program

New program proposals refer to adding a new major, minor, certificate, or graduate program. New programs of study must abide by the curricular guidelines outlined in the Curriculum Management Handbook

Proposals should demonstrate how a new program will support the university’s strategic plan and the mission of the academic unit. These should also reflect both an internal planning process within the academic unit, and engagement as appropriate with other units, especially those that may overlap or relate to the proposed program.

Additionally, the following information will help guide an individual or academic unit in proposing a new program:

STEP 1 – Research & Reach out (at least 18-24 months before the intended launch of a program) 
  • Discuss program ideas with your department chair, associate/assistant dean, or dean.
  • Proposal originators must meet with Jennifer Riad ( during the research stages to discuss program concept and ask questions.
  • For online programs- proposers must consult with Dr. Elisa Shepard ( to discuss online delivery options, program duration, and course rotation considerations.
STEP 2 – Preliminary Program Planning (12-18 months prior to the intended launch of a program)
  • Complete the following checklist:
  • The information compiled from this checklist will readily translate to the required information needed to propose a new program.
Program Proposal Elements  


Provide a brief description of the proposed new degree. Provide a summary why this program is needed. Describe how the proposed new degree fits with the strategic plan of the academic unit and with the university plan. What is the proposed program goals and objectives?


Will this program require new courses? If yes, begin working to develop a syllabi with assignments, a course description, and course learning outcomes. An abbreviated syllabus template can be found here.

Are there courses currently offered on the university that can be used for the newly proposed program? If these courses are offered in another department, please collaborate with necessary stakeholders.

How will the curriculum be structure (lower division requirements, upper division requirements, core requirements, practicum requirements, etc.)?

Please complete a degree planning worksheet:

CIP Code

CIP codes can be found at NCES website:

Program Description

New programs must include a description of the scope and background of the program. Program descriptions describe the benefits and the “why” behind the program. A clear and interesting description is necessary to boost student interest and a higher enrollment. Ensure the description reflects how and what the potential student will gain from enrolling in the program. The description should also reflect what participants will learn by the end of the degree of study. If applicable, reference accrediting and/or licensing standards, including an explanation of any departures from the standards.


Consult with any impacted university stakeholders.

If this change impacts courses or programs outside the program's unit (e.g., another department, college, or school) provide evidence of consultation and approval in the attachments. What changed as a result of the consultations? What meaningful feedback was provided that influenced the program? Summarize who was spoken to, emailed, met with and when and what the results were.

Cost Estimates

A separate, fully itemized, proposed budget should be submitted. A budget template can be found here: 

Feasible analysis if the following resources will be needed:

  • Instructional materials or library resources (Library Impact Statement)
  • Facilities/classroom/lab space
  • Equipment
  • Program fees
  • Available and qualified faculty

Impact on Existing Programs

Indicate the effect (cost, enrollment, etc.), the program will have on other academic units.

External Accreditation

Document any accreditation implications that the formation of the proposed new degree entails. Will the program seek external accreditation? If so, what are the steps? Outline the process and timeline of applying for accreditation.


Who will this program appeal to? What is the expected initial enrollment in this program and what do you expect it to grow to over the next four years?

Market Analysis and Evidence Supporting Need

Provide any predictive enrollment data. Please include job data, wage analysis, or an assessment of the regional or national market to explain potential career paths for students enrolled in this program of study.

Provide real data on the intent in the program-- i.e., survey of interest, testimonies, letter of support, job announcements, articles on trends.

Employment Potential

Compile a list of at least four career outcomes, national median salary, local salary (if available or different), projected growth rate, etc. Much of this information is available in the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH):

Competitive Landscape

What are the similar programs at other colleges?

Provide information on outside programs that are comparable to the proposed new degree. Include at least three top competitors.

Student Learning Outcomes

An SLO consists of a direct statement, such as “Students will be able to,” plus an action verb indicating the level of learning intended and a statement providing disciplinary context and identifying what the learner will be able to accomplish. When creating SLOs, consider the following questions regarding development and assessment:

• What skills, knowledge, and attributes do you want the students to possess at the end of the program of study?
• How will you communicate the learning outcomes with students and stakeholders?
• What learning experiences will you design that promote the learning required to achieve these outcomes?
• How will you know when our students have met the outcome?
• What evidence will you have that indicates learning has occurred?
• Have you established benchmarks or targets that will allow us to determine when/if students met the outcome or by how much it was exceeded or fell short?


Once the SLOs are developed, begin working on a Program Outcome Alignment.


Collaborate with Marketing and Communication for development of brochures, web presence, etc.
STEP 3 – Proposing in the System
  • The originator will take the information gathered from the checklist above and compile it into the curriculum management system, Curriculog.
  • For Curriculog support, click here.
STEP 4 – Program Review Timeline
  • Review the curriculum timeline for details on the proposal review timeline.
  • Proposed new programs are considered suggestions until it receives all the necessary approvals. These approvals include the school/college dean, Educational Effectiveness, the Undergraduate or Graduate Curriculum Committee, the Executive Council, the Board of Trustees, and WSCUC.
  • Once the program received all final approvals, the recruitment phase can begin (Programs waiting on regional accreditation approval must be marketed with *Pending WSCUC approval).