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Curriculum Review Process

The curriculum review process for proposed new or modified courses and programs begins with the faculty.  All curricula must be approved at the department and college level, (some colleges may have additional requirements) before submission to Academic Affairs. 

System Academic Program Approval Policy:

  • Academic programs should be aligned with the missions, strategic plans, and compacts of the home unit/department and with the University's institutional goals and strategic directions. 
  • Proposals for academic programs should reflect common criteria: quality; centrality; comparative advantage; need (including accreditation or competitive requirements as well as Minnesota workforce needs); efficiency and effectiveness; potential for growth and leveraging of resources.
  • Decisions to offer, change, or drop academic programs, when they have the potential to affect other units within the University, require consultation early in the program development stage.  Such consultation must be described in the New Program Proposal.
  • Formal approval by the Board of Regents or its designee is required before new and changed programs may be publicized or initiated.

New Programs must complete the New Undergraduate Program Proposal or New Graduate Program Proposal form completely and submit to Academic Affairs with collegiate signature.  Please submit both an electronic word copy and paper copy with collegiate signatures.   Section 6 must be compiled by the college Administrative Director.   If the program being proposed involves online delivery of program and/or courses, such must be noted clearly and questions related to online program criteria must be addressed in the proposal. 

Changes in programs requirements or catalog language should be submitted to Academic Affairs in memo format, with collegiate signature, or in electronic format by email from the Dean or Associate Dean. The required method is to copy current program text from the online catalog, paste the copy to a Word document, and use Track Changes to make proposed revisions.  This shows deletions and additions in a clear manner.  Academic Affairs reserves the right to modify language for catalog consistency.  All program change requests must include a note confirming the department has notified and discussed the changes with any other departments directly affected by the proposed changes.

Discontinuing a program requires completion of the Discontinue Program Proposal form,  submitting both an electronic and paper copy to Academic Affairs with collegiate signature.  

Deadline dates, the following deadline dates are the dates proposals and changes are due to Academic Affairs.  Proposals will be accepted anytime; however, requests received after the deadline date will be reviewed for the following effective date.

Please check with your department and college for deadline dates to assure your collegiate approval process is complete in order to meet the Academic Affairs deadlines.  Additionally, for advising purposes, courses are scheduled by your college earlier than the below listed deadlines.  Please see Collaborative Course Scheduling for additional information, or check with your department head and/or administrative specialist.  

New courses and changes to existing courses 

Changes MUST be received by the deadline date, requests made made after the deadline date will be reviewed for the following semester.  If only one change to a current course is requested, or to request a previously approved special topics title to be taught again, a memo from the department head to the Dean or Associate Dean requesting the change may be forwarded on to Nancy Burley for Academic Affairs approval.

EffectiveDeadline Date
Spring 2020October 1, 2019
Summer 2020 for new and special topics titlesOctober 1, 2019
Summer 2020 for course changesNovember 1, 2019
Fall 2020November 1, 2019

Program Changes (including changes to sample plans) 

Changes MUST be received by the deadline date, requests made made after the deadline date will be reviewed for the following fall semester as programs will ONLY be made with a fall effective date.  


Deadline Date

Fall 2020

December 1, 2019

Fall 2021December 1, 2020

 New Program Proposal


Deadline Date

Spring 2020

The year will be accepted until the last day of spring semester: May 10, 2019

Fall 2020December 1, 2019
Spring 2021May 1, 2020
Fall 2021December 1, 2020

Course Proposals

Grad School Addendum

Liberal Education Guidelines

Online Delivery Addendum

Undergraduate Program Proposal

Graduate Program Proposal

Discontinue Program Proposal

CEL Addendum

Community-Engaged Learning Policy

Course Mappings

This course mappings (Excel) file references courses required within programs.  When course change proposals are considered, departments whose programs require the course should be consulted about impact on individual programs. 

Electronic Systems

Collaborative Course Scheduling

When course and program proposals are received by Academic Affairs, they are entered into systems designed to track the approval process and to show they have been received.  This provides current information about the curriculum, and tracks changes in the curriculum over time.  The Electronic Course Approval System (ECAS login) maintains course information; the Program and Curriculum Approval System (PCAS login) maintains program information.  Both are accessible using X.500 login/password.  These systems, in turn, feed information into registration, degree audit, catalog, graduation planner, class schedules, etc.  A Systems Diagram represents these connections. 

The links for PCAS and ECAS are in MyU portal under Key Links.

Once changes are fully processed in ECAS, the change is immediate in PeopleSoft and the current on-line catalog.  Normal processing time on course changes is 4-5 workdays; new courses are typically available in the system within two weeks of receipt in Academic Affairs.  You can view ECAS to check if a proposal (change or new course) has been received and/or fully approved.  It is the individual department's responsibility to track new courses and changes to existing courses and follow-up with their college or Academic Affairs with any questions or concerns.  Exceptions to deadline dates will only be made in exceptional circumstances.   Please note, new courses do not appear in the online catalog until the first day of the effective semester.  

Changes in PCAS are reviewed by the Registrar, the Office of the Provost at the system level, and by Twin Cities staff for catalog copy and may take several months to be processed after approval from Academic Affairs.  New programs may be in the system for up to five months before final Board of Regents approval. Changes to programs become effective in the next fall semester.  All proposals, both undergraduate and graduate programs for a new catalog year must be submitted to VCAA by the last day of fall semester.  This includes changes to current programs as well as new program proposals. 

Scheduled Cleanup

All UMD courses are expected to be scheduled at least once every four years. Courses that do not meet this scheduling criterion are withdrawn from the curriculum and removed from the catalog.  A program that wishes to reactivate a discontinued course must follow the course proposal process.