A formal new degree program proposal, following the exact format specified in Regent Policy, is required when an originator perceives a documentable need, demand, or compelling opportunity to create a new graduate or undergraduate degree program.

A new major may not require a new degree if that new major will still carry the exact language of an extant degree program on the diploma (e.g. students with distinct programs in accounting major or in marketing, each earning a diploma which specifies only “Bachelor of Science Business Administration”). New majors of this type do not require approvals beyond the relevant Dean’s office and the Provost’s office. Review the current approved degree programs for Boulder.

A single proposal may cover multiple levels (bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral) of ongoing degree programs for a single content area. Protocols regarding department renames, splits, and reconfigurations are available from the Office of Data Analytics.

Bachelor's-Accelerated Master's degree programs are not considered new, if they are comprised of a combination of already-approved constituent degrees. See Bachelor's-Accelerated Master's Program Policies.

The usual time frame is typically two or more years from conception to student enrollments in the new degree program. After Regent and CCHE approval, there may be a delay of up to 18 months to accomplish federal (SEVIS) approval (required for international student enrollment) and insertion into the application for admission cycle.

The Process at CU Boulder

At each stage of the usually lengthy process, regular, informal communication exchange of each draft version and plans among the originator, the assigned steward, the relevant Dean’s office (including the Dean of the Graduate School), the Provost’s office, Institutional Analysis, the Chancellor’s office, and the Vice President for Academic Affairs is required.

  1. Originator - Degree Program Originator (eg. Dean's Office) provides a one-page overview to the Provost's office for initial feedback. 
  2. Office of the Provost - The Provost sets a preliminary timeline for bringing the degree proposal forward to the Board of Regents. The Provost then assigns responsibility for stewardship of the New Degree Proposal to either the Dean of the Graduate School or the AVC for Undergraduate Education. The Provost's office also shares the one-page overview with other appropriate parties. These may include Dean of the Graduate School, AVC for Undergraduate Education, Institutional Analysis, the Dean of the relevant school or college, and the VPAA. 
  3. Dean of Graduate School or AVC for Undergraduate Education - The assigned steward assists the originator in preparing a full proposal that adheres to Regent policy, addresses each of the requirements, and provides all headings and tables specified. They will then share the document with the VPAA, relevant Deans, the Vice Provost, Institutional Analysis, Faculty Affairs, and an external reviewer, as appropriate, in order to solicit and incorporate any feedback. 
  4. Dean of Graduate School or AVC for Undergraduate Education - The assigned steward presents the final proposal to the Provost. The proposal submission includes letters of support from the Dean and the assigned steward. 
  5. Office of the Provost - The Provost determines whether to submit the proposal to the Board of Regents and, once determined, sets and communicates the timeline for doing so. The Provost then prepares a letter of transmittal to the Chancellor. Provost's office staff prepares an RFA in conjuction with Institutional Analysis and the Chancellor's office staff. The Provost's letter, RFA, and the final proposal with letters of support, are forwarded to the Chancellor's office. 
  6. Chancellor's Office - The Chancellor's office decides who will present the proposal to the Board of Regents and makes arrangements based on the Regent meeting location and agenda. 
  7. Board of Regents - The proposal is presented to the Board of Regents and a vote occurs at the Board's next scheduled meeting. 
  8. VPAA and President's Office - The VP for Academic Affairs forwards the proposal to DHE/CCHE for approval and notifies the Chancellor when all approvals have been received. The Chancellor's office then notifies the Provost's office. The Provost's office notifies the originator and all other relevant parties. 
  9. Administrative Steps: Finalize assignment of CIP Code Add to Course Catalogs Set up on ISIS Admissions processes Seek SEVIS approval
  10. Originator - The unit may begin enrolling students in the new degree program.