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Administrative Review of New Academic Programs

Proposals for new graduate programs are submitted to the appropriate Academic Senate committee (Graduate Council and Planning and Budget). In addition, the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC) requires that new programs (graduate and undergraduate) undergo a screening process to determine whether they involve a substantive change (in which case, they would require a WSCUC substantive change review). The below administrative process has been implemented to facilitate WSCUC screening, and to ensure that resource implications are documented consistently to inform the Academic Senate review process.

Proposals to establish new graduate (and undergraduate) academic programs (including specializations) and for the approval of new remote degree programs will go through three phases:
Phase One: Preparation and Planning Process
Phase Two: Collection of Proposal Requirements
Phase Three: Routing the Proposal Package through the automated Administrative Review Form
** Please note that curricular revisions do not require this additional administrative review process unless they require substantial additional resources (FTE/teaching materials) that the department/program is unable to self-fund or represent curricular changes of 25% or more. 


New Academic Program Administrative Review (NAPAR) Form


Procedures for Administrative Review of New Academic Programs (PDF)

Guidelines for New Graduate Degree Program Proposals (PDF)

Graduate Council Process for New Graduate Degree Proposals (PDF)

Phase One: Preparation and Planning Process

Overview of the Planning Process:

  1. The Department Chair submits the draft proposal to Divisional/School Dean, the academic VC(s) Resource Administration Office(s) for resource analysis, and, for online or hybrid programs, the Teaching + Learning Commons Digital Learning Hub.
  2. The Divisional/School Dean confirms resource requirements (e.g. space, faculty, administrative support, etc.); any additional commitments are documented with a formal letter, which is included in the proposal and communicated to the appropriate academic VC(s).
  3. Any additional resource commitments from the academic VC(s) are documented with a formal letter, which is included in the proposal and communicated to the Divisional/School Dean.
  4. The draft proposal is approved by the Divisional/School Dean, and then submitted for review by the Graduate Division before routing.
  5. When the proposal and required documents are approved for submission, the final proposal is then submitted through the automated Administrative Review Form (See Phase Three) where all necessary approvers will review and approve the proposal. Once the EVC approves, the proposal is submitted to the Academic Senate with the approval cover sheet (showing that all necessary reviewers have signed off).

Programs should allow one month for the above steps; additional time may be needed if revision is required.

Phase Two: Collection of Proposal Requirements

Proposals created to establish new graduate academic programs (any programs requiring Senate review, including specializations) and for the approval of new remote degree programs will include the following documents:

  1. Academic Senate Required Materials:
  1. Required WSCUC Screening Form:

Institutions planning to implement new degree programs or new specializations must submit a screening form to determine if a Substantive Change review and approval is necessary prior to implementation. The Division of Undergraduate Education will submit all information to our accrediting agency (WSCUC) and will communicate with the Department Chair on any next steps. For questions or guidance on the form, please reach out to Hailey Caraballo at

  1. Budget Proposal:
A budget proposal prepared in collaboration with the Resource Administration Office(s) for the lead academic VC and in consultation with the Resource Administration Office(s) of other involved academic VCs.
For self-supporting programs, see: 
  1. Documenting Letters:
Letters documenting any additional resource commitments from the Divisional/School Dean and/or academic VC(s).

Phase Three: Automated Administrative Routing Form

When the proposal is ready to submit, the unit will submit all documents through the
Automated Administrative Review Form (New Academic Program Administrative Review Form), linked below:

New Academic Programs: Administrative Review Form

The form automatically sends the proposal to all necessary reviewers. A system-generated status log is provided to Academic Senate and the original submitter. It documents routing of the proposal and approvals, according to the appropriate routing order- from the Chair, to the Divisional/School Dean, to the Undergraduate Dean and to the appropriate academic VCs (EVC-AA, VC-HS, and/or VC-MS, depending on program details). Online and/or hybrid programs also require approval from the Digital Learning Hub, within the Teaching + Learning Commons (secured prior to routing to the Divisional/School Dean). Interdisciplinary programs should be reviewed by and signatures obtained from each Dean and Chair.

Departments should plan on approximately one month for this review. Please note that additional time may be required if significant revisions are required.

Once the proposal is approved via the  automated Administrative Review Form and submitted to the Academic Senate, the following happens:

  • The Dean of Undergraduate Education initiates WSCUC substantive change screening.
  • The Graduate Council commences review according to its established procedures, and communicates with the Department Chair regarding proposal approval, questions, etc.
  • If approved by the Graduate Council, the proposal is forwarded for consideration at a Representative Assembly meeting.
  • If approved by the Divisional Senate, the proposal is forwarded to the Chancellor for endorsement and submission to the system-wide Academic Senate and the UC Office of the President, Academic Affairs.
  • The systemwide Coordinating Committee on Graduate Affairs (CCGA) reviews the proposal, if the proposal represents a new degree title, it requires approval by the Assembly of the Academic Senate.
  • Simultaneously, the Provost & Executive Vice President, Academic Affairs reviews the proposal.
  • If approved, the Provost forwards the proposal to the University President (or their designee) for final approval.
  • If the WSCUC screening determines that a substantive change review is required, the Dean of Undergraduate Education oversees the review application, and will communicate with the Department Chair on any next steps.


New Degree Proposals and Curricular Changes

New Degree Proposals

View Details

Curriculum Change Proposals

View PDF

Graduate Council

View website

UC San Diego General Catalog

Campus-wide policies and procedures are found here.