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Academic Programs Development

This page provides instructions and resources for departments seeking to initiate, alter, or discontinue academic programs. Examples of programs include degrees or majors, minors, distance learning offerings, or core curriculum courses. The approval process for academic programs can be complex, but there are at least three essential levels of review, each of which has specific requirements and processes: college, university, and university system review.

College-level Review

The review process for most academic programs in the College of Arts and Sciences consists of the following general steps:

  1. Department representatives develop a proposal using the specific format defined by the University Senate Committee on Academic Programs (CAP). The committee's Academic Programs Guide website provides an index of all academic programs reviewed by CAP and the relevant proposal format and univesity approval processes. (See more below.) The area associate dean and any department that may be affected by the new program should be consulted at this stage.
  2. Proposals should be reviewed and approved by the department faculty following the procedures defined by the unit.
  3. Following department approval, proposals should be submitted to the Dean's Office. Both the area associate dean and the Assistant Dean for Academic Services (John Medlock, jmedlock@gsu.edu, 404-413-5107) should receive an electronic copy of the proposal.
  4. The Dean's Office reviews the proposal to ensure compliance with college/university/university system requirements. Advisory bodies may participate in the review and resolution of identified issues (e.g., Chairs Council, college administrators, academic support staff). For example, any program that involves an international partner institution will be reviewed by the college's International Programs Coordinator.
  5. The Dean's Office submits proposal to the Undergraduate or Graduate Council, as appropriate, for review and a formal vote. Department representatives may be asked to be present for the meeting.
  6. The appropriate council submits the approved proposal to the college faculty for a formal vote at the next faculty meeting.
  7. Following full faculty approval, the Dean's Office submits the proposal with a letter of college support to the Vice Provost and to the chair of the Committee on Academic Programs. 
  8. University and University System of Georgia review follows the processes indicated below.

University and University System Review

Academic Program creation, revision, or discontinuation requires university-level approval from the Senate Committee on Academic Programs and the university upper administration; and subsequent approval from or interaction with the Georgia Board of Regents and/or the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Colleges. As noted above, the Committe on Academic Programs maintains a detailed Academic Programs Guide website that provides guidance on developing proposals for a wide variety of academic programs; and on the approval path different types of programs must follow at the university and beyond.

The Academic Programs Guide also includes additional references for each program type, a glossary of academic programs and common terms, frequently asked questions, recurring abbreviations and acronyms, and additional policies and resources.

Additional Information

Additional questions about academic programs can be addressed to the college's Assistant Dean for Academic Services, (John Medlock, jmedlock@gsu.edu, 404-413-5107).