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POLICY LIBRARY
POLICY
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ADMINISTRATIVE POLICY
Home : Education & Student Life : Colleges; Programs; Centers

Adding, Changing, or Discontinuing Academic Plans

Effective Date: July 2002
Last Update: September 2011
Responsible University Officer:
  • Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Policy Owner:
  • Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Policy Contact:
CONSULTED WITH: Faculty Consultative Committee

Printed on: . Please go to http://policy.umn.edu for the most current version of the Policy or related document.

POLICY STATEMENT

Departments, colleges, and campuses have the authority to establish, change, and discontinue academic plans and sub-plans that may appear on official University transcripts, subject to appropriate consultation with other units and subject to the final authority of the Board of Regents. (See Administrative Policy: Academic Unit Authority over the Curriculum and Major: Twin Cities, Crookston, Morris, Rochester.) This policy includes undergraduate, graduate, and professional credit-bearing degrees, majors, minors, free-standing minors, and certificates.

Creating, Changing or Discontinuing a Plan or Sub-Plan

Collegiate units and system campuses proposing to add, change, or discontinue an academic plan or sub-plan must submit a proposal for review and approval. (See Responsibilities section below and associated procedures.) Collegiate units and system campuses must have a set of publicly available standards and internal processes for developing, reviewing, and approving new, changed, or discontinued plans and sub-plans that are consistent with these procedures.

The Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost is responsible for reviewing and approving, as appropriate, academic proposals for Board of Regents consideration and final action.

Every academic plan must have a home college(s) or system campus.

Collegiate units and campuses may not advertise or initiate new and/or changed plans or recruit or admit students to them prior to formal approval by the Board of Regents.

Changing Requirements of an Existing Plan or Sub-Plans.

Any approved change in plan (e.g., major) or sub-plan (e.g., track, emphasis, concentration) requirements takes effect no earlier than the following term and will not normally be imposed on currently enrolled students who have been admitted to the plan or sub-plan, but the new requirements may be offered to them as an option. If the faculty of a collegiate unit or system campus concludes that a new requirement is essential even for currently enrolled students, approval of the dean of the collegiate unit or the chief academic officer of the system campus must be obtained for imposing the requirement on them.

Collegiate units and system campuses must communicate to prospective and current students their local policies and decisions regarding new or revised plan or sub-plan requirements.

The Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost is responsible for reviewing and approving academic proposals for changing plan and sub-plan requirements.

REASON FOR POLICY

This policy:

  • Enhances quality, productivity, and efficiency in academic plan development and implementation by faculty, departments, collegiate units, and campuses.
  • Ensures that academic plan development is aligned with unit compact statements and institutional, campus, and collegiate unit mission and strategic directions.
  • Makes explicit commonly held assumptions about criteria for academic plans and connections to related policies.
  • Fosters shared consultation, and where appropriate, planning across academic units.
  • Enhances availability, consistency, and coordination of information about the University’s academic plans for transcript records, internal analysis, accountability reporting, and accreditation.
  • Ensures thorough and timely review of proposals.

PROCEDURES

All proposals for adding, changing, or discontinuing baccalaureate-level academic plans and sub-plans must be submitted through the Program and Curriculum Approval System (PCAS). For specific procedures see: Program and Curriculum Approval System.

Submitting proposals to add, change, or discontinue graduate and professional education plans and sub-plans should refer to the procedures listed directly above.

FORMS/INSTRUCTIONS

APPENDICES

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ADDITIONAL CONTACTS

Subject
Contact
Phone
Fax/Email
Primary Contact(s)
612-626-8031
Policy Questions
612-626-8031
Policy/Process Advice
Office of Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
612-626-6544
612-624-3814
Forms
Program and Curriculum Approval System
612-625-2808

DEFINITIONS

Academic Major
A student's main field of specialization during his or her undergraduate or graduate studies. The major is recorded on the student's transcript.
Academic Minor
A student's declared secondary field of study or specialization during his or her undergraduate or graduate studies. A minor typically consists of a set of courses that meet specified guidelines and is designed to allow a sub-major concentration in an academic discipline or in a specific area in or across disciplines. The minor is recorded on the student's transcript.
Academic Plan
Undergraduate, graduate, and professional credit-bearing degrees, majors, minors, free-standing minors, and certificates that may appear on official University transcripts.
Academic Program
Undergraduate, graduate, and professional credit-bearing degrees, majors, minors, free-standing minors, and certificates that may appear on official University transcripts.
Certificate
A particular set of courses or coursework that typically addresses new knowledge or practice areas emerging from technological, social, or economic changes to which particular professions or occupations must adjust.
Curriculum
The set of courses offered by a unit.
Dual degree/joint degree
Simultaneous academic study that incorporates and integrates learning in two disciplines.
Electronic Course Authorization System (ECAS)
Provides an electronic method to propose new courses and make changes to or de-activate existing courses.
Free-standing minor
An interdisciplinary minor, not attached to a major, available to students from other academic plans.
Home college(s)
The college(s) responsible for administering the academic plan.
Interdisciplinary academic plan
A coherent integration of two or more distinct disciplines into an academic major or free-standing minor.
Program and Curriculum Approval System (PCAS)
A comprehensive database of all the requirements needed to complete each academic plan and sub-plan offered on University campuses. PCAS is a web-based approval system that automatically routes all new plans, and any changes to existing plans, to the correct approvers and approval levels. PCAS also is a resource for the Graduation Planner, the University's program that supports undergraduate students' timely progress toward graduation. All University catalogs use data from PCAS.
Requirements for the major and minor
The set of courses that constitute the program of study in a focused area for a particular degree program. These courses make up a portion of the University of Minnesota degree.
Sub-plan
A formally designated, distinct content area within a single, broader discipline (e.g., track, concentration, area) that appears on the official University transcript.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Collegiate unit/department
Review current academic offerings and propose new, changed, or discontinued offerings across all degree types. Submit request to collegiate dean and/or system campus chief academic officer.
Collegiate dean/system campus chief academic officer
Review proposal and make recommendation to SVPP. Take final action on plan changes that do not require SVPP or BOR approval. Transmit changes to ASR, as appropriate.
Graduate Education Council
Review Ph.D. plan proposal and make recommendation to SVPP.
AHC Academic Council
Review health sciences related plan proposal and make recommendations to SVPP.
SVPP (Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost)
Receive proposal and confirm all required information is complete. Review and approve new, changed, or discontinued academic plan proposal. Transmit proposal with recommendation to BOR for final action. Take final action on plan changes that do not require BOR approval. Transmit final BOR approved information to ASR.
BOR (Board of Regents)
Review and take final action on (final approval or denial) new, changed, or discontinued academic plan proposals.
ASR (Academic Support Resources)
Make approved plan and sub-plan changes to the enterprise student system.

RELATED INFORMATION

HISTORY

Amended:
September 2011: Comprehensive Review, Policy completely rewritten. Aligns policy language with current practice. Shifts the review and initial approval of new and changed non-doctoral post-baccalaureate academic plans to collegiate units, including the Duluth and Rochester campuses, from the previous centralized Graduate School model. Title changed from Review of Proposals for New and Changed Academic Programs to Adding, Changing, or Discontinuing Academic Plans.
Amended:
January 2003 - Updated phone number in contacts section and procedure.
Effective:
July 2002
Supercedes:
January 1994 Policy on Approval of Academic Programs, and all working versions circulated since then.

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Last modified on October 2, 2013