Steps for New Graduate Program Approvals

New Graduate Program Approvals

The University of Connecticut offers over 75 doctoral degree programs, 100 master’s degree programs, and 90 certificate programs. As knowledge grows and as new approaches to discovery, learning, and creative activity emerge, it is often appropriate to offer new programs or new innovative pathways to existing degrees. Information about creating, changing, or eliminating programs is available on the Graduate Program Changes/Approvals (GPAR) page. This guide provides information about the process of developing a new degree or certificate program or a new pathway (such as adding a 4+1 or accelerated pathway for an existing mater's program) and obtaining the necessary approvals for it to be offered.

A Note on Timing: The approval of new 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.  Because the process of developing and getting approval of a new program or pathway can take a considerable amount of time, this process should begin well in advance of the expected start date to allow the needed approval/review stages to be completed in time. As a general rule, the process outlined below should begin approximately one year in advance.

 


Step 1: Develop Concept

Develop your concept internally within the department and consult with other departments that might be involved or affected by the new program.

Step 2: Consult Dean’s Office

Consult with the relevant Dean's Office(s) about the specific goals, general concepts and plans, and potential implications for resources and staffing.

Step 3: Consult CETL

Consult with UConn's Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) about the program's value proposition, structure, and modality. This step is applicable regardless of whether the program is seeking approval as entrepreneurial (see Step 5 below).

CETL Contact: Peter Diplock, Associate Vice Provost

Step 4: Prepare and Save Proposal in GPAR System

Collect the information needed for submission of a “Graduate Program Approval Request (GPAR)” proposal.  A GPAR proposal is needed for academic approval of a new program, as well as for any needed approval of entrepreneurial status by the Provost’s Office (see Step 5 below). The information that is needed is described in detail on the GPAR website (see link below). Once you initiate a new GPAR proposal, if you are creating a new degree or certificate program, you should use the “Add/Create new degree or certificate” option.  However, if you are creating a new pathway (such as an accelerated or 4+1 pathway) to an existing degree, you should use the “Modify/Change existing degree or certificate” option.   After providing the requested information, you should save your draft proposal (by hitting “Save Draft”) but, if you are requesting entrepreneurial status, you should not submit the GPAR proposal until you have completed Step 5.

Graduate Program Action Request (GPAR) System

Information Needed for Approvals of a New Program

General Information

  • Name of the new program
  • Degree type
  • Proposed CIP code
  • Campus/locations where the program will be offered
  • Delivery mode (in-person, online, hybrid/blended)
  • Payment Structure (tuition-based or fee-based)
  • Entrepreneurial status (entrepreneurial or non-entrepreneurial)

Administrative Information

  • Academic and/or administrative units (e.g., Schools/Colleges or departments) that are involved in running the program and/or commit resources (e.g., funding, faculty or staff time, administrative oversight) to the program
  • Program Director (name, title, unit, email)
  • Administrative Contact (name, email)

Detailed Program Information

  • The outcome of any discussions with the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) regarding the program viability, structure, modality
  • The value proposition and target audience for the program
  • Whether there are there similar programs in Connecticut or elsewhere, and, if so, the nature of these programs
  • Program learning outcomes
  • A description of the program (i.e., a narrative overview of the program, , structure of the program, and an overview of requirements)
  • Proposed Graduate Catalog copy
  • Faculty Involvement (list of the faculty who will be involved in administering the program or who will play an important role in teaching and advising students in the program)
  • Enrollment and graduate projections (estimates of the number of students who will be admitted to the program yearly and the number who are expected to graduate each year, if different)
  • Program evaluation (how the program will be evaluated, including both the process for evaluation and the metrics for success)
  • Program administration (how the program will be administered, including admissions, advising, and oversight, as well as how any future programmatic changes would be decided)
  • Funding and financial resources needed (any new financial resources that are needed to run the program and the source of the needed funds)
  • Other resource needs (any other resources needed for the program, such as facilities, equipment, library resources, etc.)
  • Consultation with other potentially affected units (any impact that creation of the program might have on other programs and any discussion regarding those impacts that have occurred)

Admissions Information

  • Who can apply to the program (e.g., internal applicants, external applicants, or other)
  • Anticipated term and year of first enrollment
  • Admissions requirements (any required preparation that students who enter the program are expected to have at the time of admission, including courses, GPA requirements, etc.)
  • Materials that are required for application to the program (in addition to transcripts), such as GRE scores, personal statement, research statement, letters of recommendation, other materials
  • Terms to which students will be admitted (fall, spring, summer)

Information Needed for Approval of Modifications to an Existing Program

(including creation of new (e.g., accelerated) pathway to an existing program)

General Information

  • Name of the existing program
  • Degree type
  • Entrepreneurial status of the existing program (entrepreneurial or non-entrepreneurial)

Administrative Information

  • Academic and/or administrative units (e.g., Schools/Colleges or departments) that are involved in running the program and/or commit resources (e.g., funding, faculty or staff time, administrative oversight) to the program
  • Program Director (name, title, unit, email)
  • Administrative Contact (name, email)

Detailed Program Information

For adding new pathway (e.g. an accelerated pathway, such as a 4+1, fast-track, or 5th year pathway):

  • Description of the new pathway, including any modifications to requirements of existing program
  • Justification/need for the pathway
  • Admissions process for the new pathway
  • Proposed entrepreneurial status of the new pathway (entrepreneurial or non-entrepreneurial)
  • Outcome of any discussions with the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) regarding the new pathway

For a change in locations at which a program is offered:

  • Locations at which the program is currently offered
  • Locations at which the program would now be offered
  • Explanation/justification for the change in locations
  • Outcome of any discussions with the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) regarding new locations

For a change in delivery mode:

  • Current delivery mode
  • Proposed new delivery mode
  • Justification for change in delivery mode
  • Outcome of any discussions with the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) regarding the change in delivery mode

For a change in tuition or fee structure:

  • Current tuition/fee structure (tuition-based or fee-based)
  • Proposed new tuition/fee structure (tuition-based or fee-based)
  • Justification for change in structure
  • Outcome of any discussions with the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) regarding new fee structure

For all of the above changes:

  • Current graduate catalog copy for relevant parts of the program
  • Proposed new graduate catalog copy (to replace current copy)
  • Explanation/justification for change in catalog copy

Note:  Other program modifications not included here can also be made through the GPAR system.  These include name changes, additions of areas of concentration, changes in graduate catalog copy, creation of dual degree programs, and elimination of entire programs or areas of concentration.

Step 5: Request Entrepreneurial Status (If Applicable)

Details for Entrepreneurial Programs

Programs seeking entrepreneurial status must be approved for this status by the Office of the Provost prior to final submission of a proposal through the GPAR system. To make a request for entrepreneurial status, submit the following to Kate Clark, Associate Director of Financial Planning in the Provost’s Office:

  1. Draft GPAR Proposal. A saved draft can be emailed directly to Kate.Clark@uconn.edu from GPAR using the “Email Recipients” feature at the bottom of the “Signoffs/Comments” tab.
  2. Net revenue projections for the program.  The following sample/template can be modified to create these projections: Revenue Forecast - Revenue Forecast Template.xlsx.xlsx

If approved for entrepreneurial status, the Office of the Provost will document all terms in a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the department, school or college, Provost, and the Budget Office. A final, signed MOU will be provided back to the program representative to include in the final submission of the GPAR proposal.

Note: If a GPAR proposal indicates that the program is seeking entrepreneurial status, the system will not allow you to submit the proposal without attaching this final, signed MOU.

Step 6: Submit Proposal in GPAR System

Graduate Program Action Request (GPAR) System

Submit your final GPAR proposal for academic approval of the new program/change.

View Graduate Program Approval Flowchart

Contacts

Unit/Role Contact
Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning Peter Diplock, Associate Vice Provost
The Graduate School Mary Bernstein, Associate Dean
Kent Holsinger, Vice Provost for Graduate Education and Dean
Office of the Provost
Academic and Board of Trustees Approval Sarah Croucher, Director of Academic Policy and Faculty Affairs
Revenue Sharing/Financial Terms (MOU) Kate Clark, Associate Director of Financial Planning

Bridget Inzirillo, Director of Academic Finance and Planning

Academic Affairs Jeffrey Shoulson, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs