Graduate Program Changes / Approvals Online Workflow

Welcome to the Graduate Program Approval Request (GPAR) electronic workflow system, the electronic workflow for use in obtaining approval of actions related to graduate degree and certificate programs, including approvals of new programs, modifications of existing programs (or changes to program descriptions in the Graduate Catalog), and elimination of programs.

If you are submitting a proposal for a new graduate program, before submitting an approval request through the GPAR system, you should follow the steps for new program approval.  In addition, if you are expecting the program to be entrepreneurial, you should also review the process for the development of new entrepreneurial programs.

What is GPAR and what does it do?

GPAR is similar to the University Senate’s Course Action Request (CAR) system and operates in a similar fashion. The system is designed to streamline the approval process for creating, eliminating, or changing graduate programs, including degree programs and certificate programs (graduate and post-baccalaureate). This includes any changes to a program’s graduate catalog copy. (Note, however, that it does not include changes in individual graduate courses, such as adding new courses or changing course numbers, descriptions, prerequisites, etc.  Actions related to specific courses are handled through the CAR system at

After entering information about the requested action, the system will automatically route the proposal through the needed approval stages, which, depending on the nature of the proposal, could include the relevant departments, schools/colleges, The Graduate School, and the Provost’s Office/Board of Trustees. If the change requires administrative changes in Student Administration (Peoplesoft) or Slate (Graduate Admissions), the proposal will be automatically routed through those needed stages as well. Once all needed approvals are received, the initiator (and other designated contact people) will receive an email notification. At any time the initiator will be able to view where the proposal is in the approval review process, so that the proposal can be tracked as it moves through the system. This can be done by clicking on the “Track Your Proposal” button above (see more on this below).

What approvals are needed for my proposal?

The required approvals for graduate program and certificate programs are outlined here: However, you only have to tell the system the first levels of approval. If your program falls within a department, the initial stage is the department, followed by the corresponding school/college. If, on the other hand, the program reports directly to a school/college or some other unit, you should identify that unit as the beginning point of the approval process. As long as you correctly identify the type of request and the initial approval stage, the system will automatically route the proposal through the entire approval process, starting from the initial stage you identify. If your program involves faculty from other departments or schools/colleges in a substantive way, please include the department and/or school or college of those faculty.  If units whose approval is later deemed to be necessary have not been included, the proposal will need to be returned for a second round of approvals.

How much time does approval take?

The approval of new programs, as well as the approval of modifications to existing programs, involves multiple approval stages.  The exact list of required approvals (e.g., Department, Dean, Graduate School, Provost/Board of Trustees) depends on the specific type of proposal.  Proposals should be submitted well in advance to allow time for the needed approval/review stages to be completed in time.  As a general rule, proposals for new degree or certificate programs should be submitted approximately one year in advance of the proposed start date to allow ample time for completion of all reviews and approvals.  Proposals for new pathways to existing programs (such as accelerated pathways)  that seek entrepreneurial status should also be submitted at least one year in advance.  Proposals for modifications to existing programs that involve changes to the Graduate Catalog but do not require Provost/BoT approval should be submitted no later than January 10 (for inclusion in the next Graduate Catalog).  For questions about needed approvals and the timing of submissions, contact the Associate Dean of The Graduate School, Mary Bernstein, at

Who can initiate a request?

A request can be initiated by any member of the faculty or staff, including program directors and administrative staff. The initiator simply needs a NetID.

How do I initiate a request?

You can initiate a request by clicking the “Submit an Approval Request” button at the top of this page and signing in with your NetID.

What information will the system ask for?

The system will ask for different types of information, depending on the nature of the proposed action.  More information about what is required for a request is provided below. The needed information can be collected and prepared in advance and then simply put into the system when the initiator is ready to submit the proposal. For some required information (such as background/justifications, program descriptions, and graduate catalog copy), it might be easiest to prepare the needed text in a separate Word file, for example, and then cut-and-paste the information into the form. A proposal that is only partially complete can also be saved for later if you discover you need more information before completing the proposal (see more on this below).

Is my program a “degree” or an “area of concentration”?

Note that, because the approval processes differ for different types of requested actions, it is important to identify clearly the type of action requested. A context in which this can be potentially confusing is the distinction between adding/deleting/changing a degree program (such as a master’s degree or a PhD degree) and adding/deleting/changing an Area of Concentration within a degree program. If you have any question about whether the “program” to which your proposed action applies is a separate degree program (“Field of Study”) or an Area of Concentration within a degree program, please look at the list of programs in the pdf version of the Graduate Catalog ( or contact

Can I save a draft of my proposal and go back to finish it later?

Yes. You can save a draft of a proposal by clicking “Save” (but not clicking “Submit”) and then return to the proposal at any time. The next time you log into the system, it will ask you if you want to “Continue with Saved Data” or “Start Over”. Clicking “Continue with Saved Data” will bring you to the draft you have saved. Note that if you click “Start Over” anything that you saved will be lost. You cannot save data for one proposal (without submitting it) and then initiate another proposal without losing what you have saved. Once a proposal is submitted, it will be entered into the system and you can initiate a new proposal without affecting the one you previously submitted.

How can I track the progress of my proposal after it has been submitted?

Once you have submitted a proposal, you can and should periodically track where it is in the approval process to make sure it is moving along.  You can do this  by clicking this link for “Track Your Proposal” and looking at the column titled “Stage.” This will tell you the stage in the approval process where the proposal is awaiting action.

For details on approvals that have already been received, you can then click on the proposal and look at the “Activity Log” on the bottom of the last tab of the proposal to see which levels of review or approval have already been completed (and who has submitted that review or approval).  If you see that your proposal is not moving forward through the system in a timely manner, you should follow up with either the approver(s) at the next stage or The Graduate School.  For any questions related to this, contact Associate Dean Mary Bernstein at

Do I need to revise Graduate Catalog copy and, if so, how do I do that?

You will need to revise the Graduate Catalog copy for your program if you are making any changes to the program requirements as described in the Catalog, or making any other similar or related changes (such as name changes, additions/changes in areas of concentration, changes in delivery mode, etc.). This can all be done through the “Modify an existing program” feature of GPAR. For some types of changes, the system will automatically prompt you to revise catalog copy (since those types of changes typically require corresponding catalog changes), but otherwise you can simply click the box for revising catalog copy. When providing the information that is requested (see below), please be sure to use the most recent version of the catalog proofs, available on the Graduate Catalog Proofs page, so that any changes made since the publication of the previous catalog are incorporated into any additional revisions you propose to make. Also, please be aware that all proposed changes to catalog copy must have received final approval through the GPAR system before March 1 to become effective and be included in the next catalog. As noted above, this implies that proposals that only include modifications to program requirements or descriptions in the catalog should be submitted to the GPAR system no later than January 10.

Where do I go if I have questions?

For questions about or any difficulties with the GPAR system, contact The Graduate School at, or Associate Dean Mary Bernstein at

Details regarding the Information you will be required to provide

Creation of a new degree program or certificate program

When the proposed action is the creation of a new degree or certificate program, the following information is required:

  • Proposed CIP Code
  • The campuses/locations at which the program will be offered
  • Whether you have discussed the proposed program with the Center for Teaching and Learning and/or the Provost’s Office, and related explanation
  • Whether the program is an entrepreneurial program
  • Whether the payment for the program will be tuition-based or fee-based
  • Background and explanation of the justification/need for the program
  • Discussion of whether similar programs exist in CT or elsewhere
  • A description of the program’s learning outcomes
  • A general description of the program
  • Explicit language for inclusion in the Graduate Catalog (describing all program requirements, including total number of credits, required courses, restrictions on electives, and all other required milestones)
  • A description of the faculty who are involved in the program
  • Enrollment and graduation projections
  • Process for program evaluation
  • Description of program administration
  • Funding and financial resources needed, if any
  • Facilities/equipment/library/special resource needs, if any
  • Consultations with other potentially affected units
  • Who can apply (only UConn Students, non-UConn students, other)?
  • Anticipated start date
  • Admission requirements (such as required preparation, courses, GPA)
  • Application process
    • Required materials, in addition to transcripts (such as GRE scores, personal statements, letters of recommendation)
    • Terms for which students will be admitted
    • Application deadline

Elimination of an Existing Degree or Certificate Program

When the proposed action is the discontinuation of an existing degree or certificate program, the following information is required:

  • Campuses/locations where the program is offered
  • Justification/explanation for elimination of the program
  • Implications for/consultations with other affected programs, if any
  • How will students currently in the program be affected?
  • Effective term and year students will no longer be admitted

Modification of an Existing Degree or Certificate Program

When the proposed action is the modification of an existing degree or certificate program, the required information will depend on the type(s) of changes. Here is a list of the type of information required for the various types of modifications:

  • Add new area(s) of concentration to an existing program
    • Justification for adding new area of concentration
    • Proposed CIP code
    • Whether the new concentration/program will qualify as entrepreneurial
    • Whether the payment for the new concentration/program will be tuition or fee-based
    • Whether the new concentration/program has been discussed with CETL
  • Add a new dual degree program (using two existing degree programs)
    • Justification for the creation of the new program
    • Description of the dual degree program
    • Proposed Graduate Catalog copy describing program requirements
  • Add a new fast-track pathway (e.g., 4+1) for an existing degree program
    • Description of new pathway or fast track
    • Justification for new pathway
    • Description of admissions process for fast track
  • Change location(s) where an existing face-to-face or hybrid program is offered
    • Location(s) where program is currently offered
    • Location(s) at which program would now be offered
    • Justification for change
  • Change program requirements and/or Graduate Catalog copy
    • Old catalog copy (only sections being revised)
    • Proposed new catalog copy (if any)
    • Explanation/justification for program change
  • Change CIP code
    • Current CIP Code
    • New CIP Code
    • Justification for change
  • Change delivery method (face-to-face, online, hybrid)
    • Old delivery method
    • New delivery method
    • Justification for change
  • Change the name(s) of an existing area of concentration
    • Old concentration name(s)
    • New concentration name(s)
    • Justification for change
  • Change the name of an existing degree or certificate program
    • Old name
    • New name
    • Justification for change
  • Change the tuition or fee structure
    • Current tuition/fee structure
    • Proposed new structure
    • Justification for change
    • Has the Provost’s Office approved the new funding approach?
    • Has the proposed action been discussed with the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL)?
  • Eliminate a dual degree program
    • Effective term and year students will no longer be admitted
    • Justification/explanation for elimination of dual degree program
    • Implications for/consultations with other affected programs
    • How will students currently in the program be affected?
  • Eliminate a fast-track
    • Effective term and year students will no longer be admitted
    • Justification/explanation for elimination of dual degree program
    • Implications for/consultations with other affected programs
    • How will students currently in the program be affected?
  • Eliminate an area of concentration
    • Effective term and year students will no longer be admitted
    • Justification/explanation for elimination of dual degree program
    • Implications for/consultations with other affected programs
    • How will students currently in the program be affected?

Information for GPAR Approvers

Steps for Responding to a GPAR Approval Request

  1. Upon receiving a GPAR workflow email, log into the system using the link provided and your NetID.
  2. The system will automatically take you to the approval page of the form.  You can navigate through the form using the Next and Previous buttons to see the proposal as submitted.
    1. If you wish to receive the entire proposal in one, easily readable document, you can email the proposal to yourself or someone else (such as the Chair of your C&C committee).  This can be done by filling in the appropriate email address at the bottom of the last page (tab) of the proposal where it says “Email Recipient(s)”.  If this box already has an email address in it, you can simply delete that email address, add the one you want, and click on “Send Email.”
    2. If you want to wait to take action (for example, until your hear back from your C&C committee), you can simply log out of the system and return to the request at a later date when you are ready to take action.
  3. When you are ready to take action, you will have the option to Approve, Return the Proposal, or Disapprove.
    1. If you Approve, the proposal will move to the next stage of the approval process.  If you Return the proposal, it will be sent back to the initiator.  If you Disapprove the proposal, the workflow will terminate.
    2. At this stage you can also enter any comments you have.  For example, if you’d like to return the proposal to the initiator, you can indicate in the comment section any questions or concerns you have about the current version.  If you are approving a proposal but want to comment on it, those comments can be included here as well.  Comments are, however, optional.  Note that any comments you include will become part of the formal record for the proposal.
  4. When you’ve indicated the action you want to take and included any comments you want to make, simply hit the Submit button.
  5. Note that, if there are multiple designated approvers for a particular unit (as is commonly the case), any of those individuals can act on the proposal.  Once one person acts, the proposal will move on in the system, which means that the other designated approvers for that stage will no longer be able to access the proposal.