Approval Process for New Programs or Changes to Existing Programs
The new and revised graduate program approval processes described on this website reflects the official approval processes of both the Ohio Board of Regents and the University of Cincinnati. This website was created to assist faculty in their efforts to develop new graduate programs or revise existing programs. Advice is provided as to the content of program proposals and issues that typically must be addressed as part of the program approval process.
Graduate program proposals for new programs, degree name or title changes, new tracks or concentrations, off-campus programs, distance learning degrees, new academic programs within existing degree designations, interdisciplinary programs, changes in program administrative oversight or programs offered jointly with another university all require some form of review and approval. This website describes the steps that must be taken to gain approval for these diverse proposal types.
Program faculty are encouraged to seek the advice of the Dean of the Graduate School prior to formal submission of proposals since it is often unclear which approval mechanism is most appropriate for a new or revised program.
Additional guidance and information about the Ohio Board of Regents policies may be obtained from the Guidelines and Procedures for the Review and Approval of Graduate Degree Programs published by the Regent’s Advisory Committee on Graduate Study (RACGS) - link.
The approval process for a new degree program will typically take one to two years to complete. As a summary, the approval process requires the development of a Planned Development Proposal and Full Proposal, both of which must be approved by many different levels of review within UC, through the UC Board of Trustees, and by the Ohio Board of Regents.
The approval process for a new Graduate Certificate will typically take one to two semesters to complete and begin admitting students. As a summary, the approval process requires the development of a proposal (see Template), which must be approved by many different levels of review within within UC, through the UC Provost Office.
The approval process for a new graduate track or concentration within an existing degree program will typically take one to two semesters to complete. As a summary, the approval process for a new graduate track or concentration follows the same process as the New Graduate Certificate process (see above or at this link). Please use the Graduate Certificate template, but adjust all wording to identify the proposal as a new "track" or "concentration", instead of a "certificate".
Changes to an Existing Program
The approval process for a Graduate Degree Title Change will typically take one to two semesters to complete. As a summary, the approval process requires the creation of an OBR Change Request Form, which must be approved by many different levels of review within within UC, through the UC Board of Trustees, and by the Ohio Board of Regents.
Full Graduate Degree Program - The approval process for authorization to deliver an existing graduate degree program in an online or blended/hybrid format will typically take one to two semesters to complete. As a summary, the approval process requires the creation of an OBR Change Request Form, which must be approved by many different levels of review within within UC, through the Provost, and by the Ohio Board of Regents.
Please note: For authorization to offer an existing certificate program, track, or concentration in an online or blended/hybrid format the same request form is used and the same process is followed. However, the proposal is not required to be endorsed by the Ohio Board of Regents, thus approval is obtained once the UC Provost has endorsed the proposal.
The notification process for inactivating an existing degree program will typically take one semester to complete. As a summary, the notification process requires the creation of an OBR Change Request Form, which must be reviewed by many different levels of review within UC, through the Provost, and by the Ohio Board of Regents.
Changing a Graduate Program Offering Location (information to come)
Degree Name- refers to the degree awarded (e.g., PhD, MA, MFA). This is the only information about a student’s academic course of study that appears on the student’s diploma
Degree Title- refers to field in which degree is awarded (e.g., history, physics)
Degree Designation- refers to the combined name and title (e.g., PhD in History). The University must obtain Ohio Board of Regents approval for all its degree designations.
Off-campus Program- a graduate program of study that offers more than 50% of its minimum credit hours for the degree at a site other than the Clifton or Medical Campuses
Distance Learning Program- a graduate degree program for which more than 50% of the credit hours can be completed using distance learning technology
Certificate Program- the University awards graduate certificates for successful completion of focused graduate coursework in approved certificate programs. These certificates may be awarded for programs of study requiring completion of any number of credits, but certificates that require more than 31 graduate credit hours must be reviewed by the Ohio Board of Regents. Student transcripts indicate the successful completion of a certificate program.
Academic Program- a program of graduate study to which a student may matriculate and for which the University certifies completion of graduate degree requirements. Successful completion of an academic program is indicated by the recording of the academic program name on the student’s official University transcript.
Program Concentrations- areas of curricular emphasis within an academic program that have been established as formal tracks of study by program faculty. No record of the program concentration appears on the official University transcript.
Interdisciplinary Degree- in the context of the new program approval process, interdisciplinary degree refers to a degree program collaboratively offered by two or more existing degree programs that already have degree authority for the same degree name. For example, a program that offers a PhD in chemistry may collaborate with a program that offers a PhD in biology and jointly propose a PhD in biochemistry. This does not refer to the individualized interdisciplinary studies PhD program where individual students customize a PhD program.