Graduate SchoolUC Home PageGraduate School Home Page

Graduate School

New Graduate Degree Program

The approval of a new graduate degree name, title or designation involves oversight by stakeholders. These stakeholders represent program faculty, college units, college deans, the university graduate faculty, the Board of Trustees and Ohio Board of Regents. The mechanism for approval is basically a two-phase process.

  1. A Program Development Plan (PDP) is first submitted for review and preliminary feedback from the stakeholders.
  2. If the feedback is supportive of further program development, a Full Proposal is prepared that is again evaluated by the stakeholders.

The Graduate School has developed a template for drafting a PDP.  If the new degree program will be offered in an Online or Belended/Hybrid Delivery format, then the Online Delivery Request OBR Form (starting on page 2 - "Institional Support") should also be completed and submitted as an appendix to the PDP.

The steps of program approval are described below in the flow-chart and corresponding narrative. It typically takes one to two years for a new graduate program to receive formal approval and begin admitting students.

Please review the detailed process information below and reach out to Robert Zierolf (robert.zierolf@uc.edu) when you are ready to begin the process of developing a proposal.  Also, if you have questions or would like to talk out any aspect of the review process, you are welcome to contact Stacey Ritter (stacey.ritter@uc.edu).

New Graduate Degree Template
New Graduate Degree Template
New Program Approval Process (Flow Chart)•	PDP - Development of the PDP by the College:     1.	Program faculty meet with the Dean of the Graduate School and then complete the New Graduate Program Proposal Form, which is considered the PDP document.    2.	Heads from all units making a contribution to the program review the PDP and sign the face page indicating their approval and intent to provide resources as proposed in the document.    3.	All college deans who have units participating in the proposed new program review the PDP and sign the face page indicating approval and a college commitment to providing college resources as proposed in the document.•	PDP - Graduate School Review Process:    1.	The PDP is forwarded to the Dean of the Graduate School for initial review by the New Programs Committee (NPC) of the Graduate Council (GC). The NPC reviews the PDP, provides feedback, and if necessary meets with representatives from the proposed program faculty to discuss the PDP. The NPC meets monthly during the academic year and the NPC recommends to the Dean of the Graduate School whether the PDP should proceed through the approval process.    2.	If recommended by the NPC, the PDP is forwarded to the Graduate Council (GC) for approval.  The GC meets with representatives from the proposed program faculty to discuss the PDP. The GC meets monthly during the academic year (schedule).•	PDP - Integrated Decision-Making Review Process:    1.	If recommended by the GC, the PDP is submitted for approval to the Academic Committee (AC) through the Integrated Decision-Making review process.    2.	The AC meets with representatives from the proposed program faculty to discuss the PDP and will seek advice from the Fiscal Coordinating Committee (FCC) as necessary. The AC will endorse the proposal or return it to the originating body for additional information.  The AC meets bi-monthly during the academic year (schedule).•	PDP - Ohio Board of Regents (OBR) Review Process:    1.	If endorsed by the AC, the PDP is sent next to the Regents Advisory Committee on Graduate Study (RACGS) by the Graduate School. RACGS is composed of representatives from OBR, graduate deans from each of the Ohio public universities that offer graduate degrees and the graduate deans of two private universities, Case Western Reserve University and the University of Dayton.    2.	The graduate deans solicit reviews of the PDP materials from their faculty experts. These reviews along with a general statement of each dean’s level of support for the proposed program are sent to all RACGS members and the chancellor’s staff at OBR.    3.	If feedback from the RACGS members is generally positive, a Full Proposal (FP) may be developed. Feedback is requested from RACGS’s reviewers within six weeks of receipt of the PDP materials.•	FP - Development of the FP by the College:    1.	Program faculty meet with the Dean of the Graduate School to discuss the responses to the RACGS feedback.    2.	The FP must address concerns identified in the RACGS’s reviews (include a formal RACGS response document as an appendix). Also, the FP is more detailed than the PDP with respect to supporting materials such as faculty vitae, course descriptions, letters of support and other documents that address the need and quality of the program.    3.	Heads from all units making a contribution to the program review the FP and sign the face page indicating their approval and intent to provide resources as proposed in the document.    4.	All college deans who have units participating in the proposed new program review the FP and sign the face page indicating approval and a college commitment to providing college resources as proposed in the document.•	FP - Graduate School Review Process:    1.	The FP is forwarded to the Dean of the Graduate School for initial review by the New Programs Committee (NPC) of the Graduate Council (GC). The NPC reviews the FP, provides feedback, and if necessary meets with representatives from the proposed program faculty to discuss the FP. The NPC meets monthly during the academic year and the NPC recommends to the Dean of the Graduate School whether the FP should proceed through the approval process.    2.	If recommended by the NPC, the FP is next forwarded to the all of the Graduate Faculty as an information item.  Comments and feedback are reviewed by the Graduate School and communicated to the Graduate Council (GC).  The GC meets with representatives from the proposed program faculty to discuss the FP. The GC will also review any Graduate Faculty comments before approving the FP.   The GC meets monthly during the academic year (schedule).•	FP - Integrated Decision-Making Review Process:    1.	If recommended by the GC, the FP is submitted for approval to the Academic Committee (AC) through the Integrated Decision-Making review process.     2.	The AC meets with representatives from the proposed program faculty to discuss the FP and will seek advice from the Fiscal Coordinating Committee (FCC) as necessary. The AC will endorse the proposal or return it to the originating body for additional information.  The AC meets bi-monthly during the academic year (schedule).     3.	If endorsed by the AC, the FP is sent next to the Provost for review.  The Provost may seek advice from Academic Operations Committee (AOC) and Faculty Senate (FS) as necessary.  The Provost will then endorse the FP and forward it to President or return the FP to AC for further information.     4.	If endorsed by the Provost, the FP is sent next to the President for review.  The President may seek advice from the Cabinet and Executive Committee as necessary. The President will then endorse the FP and forward it to Board of Trustees as necessitated by Board Rules, or return the FP to Provost for further information.•	FP - Ohio Board of Regents (OBR) Review Process:    1.	If endorsed by the Board of Trustees, the FP is sent next to the Regents Advisory Committee on Graduate Study (RACGS) by the Graduate School. RACGS is composed of representatives from OBR, graduate deans from each of the Ohio public universities that offer graduate degrees and the graduate deans of two private universities, Case Western Reserve University and the University of Dayton.    2.	The graduate deans solicit reviews of the FP materials from their faculty experts. These reviews along with a general statement of each dean’s level of support for the proposed program are sent to all RACGS members and the chancellor’s staff at OBR. Feedback is requested from RACGS’s reviewers within six weeks of receipt of the PDP materials.     3.	Once RACGS’s reviews of the FP have been received, the faculty proposing the new program prepares a FP Response Document. The Response Document responds to questions and criticisms raised by RACGS’s reviewers and is sent to all RACGS members prior to formal presentation of the FP before RACGS in Columbus.    4.	Following the distribution of the Response Document, a formal presentation is made by program faculty (supported by college and university administrators) to RACGS at the OBR in Columbus, Ohio. Each RACGS member has an opportunity to ask questions following the presentation. Following questions, the guest presenters and administrators are excused and the RAGCS members vote to recommend or not recommend approval of the proposed program to the chancellor of OBR. RACGS meets every other month except August and December.    5.	If the feedback/reviews received from the RACGS committee raises questions but no serious objections to the proposed program, the UC Dean of the Graduate School can request that the Chair of the RACGS committee perform an expedited vote on the FP.  An expedited vote is held via e-mail by the RACGS committee in lieu of a formal presentation by program faculty to RACGS at the OBR in Columbus, Ohio. The proposing faculty will still provide a Response Document for review by the RACGS committee.    6.	The Board of Regent’s staff takes the recommendation of RACGS to the OBR Initiatives Subcommittee. This typically occurs in the month following the program presentation to RACGS. If no objections are raised, the Initiatives Subcommittee places the proposal on the OBR meeting agenda for the next month for final, official state approval. The OBR and OBR Initiatives Subcommittee normally meet monthly.

Narrative of the Approval Process for a New Graduate Degree Program

Program Development Proposal (PDP)

  1. Development of the PDP by the College 
    • Program faculty meet with the Dean of the Graduate School and then complete the New Graduate Program Proposal Form, which is considered the PDP document.
    • Heads from all units making a contribution to the program review the PDP and sign the face page indicating their approval and intent to provide resources as proposed in the document.
    • All college deans who have units participating in the proposed new program review the PDP and sign the face page indicating approval and a college commitment to providing college resources as proposed in the document.
  2. Graduate School Review Process
    • The PDP is forwarded to the Dean of the Graduate School for initial review by the New Programs Committee (NPC) of the Graduate Council (GC). The NPC reviews the PDP, provides feedback, and if necessary meets with representatives from the proposed program faculty to discuss the PDP. The NPC meets monthly during the academic year and the NPC recommends to the Dean of the Graduate School whether the PDP should proceed through the approval process.
    • If recommended by the NPC, the PDP is forwarded to the Graduate Council (GC) for approval.  The GC meets with representatives from the proposed program faculty to discuss the PDP. The GC meets monthly during the academic year (schedule).
  3. Integrated Decision-Making Review Process
    • If recommended by the GC, the PDP is submitted for approval to the Academic Committee (AC) through the Integrated Decision-Making review process.
    • The AC meets with representatives from the proposed program faculty to discuss the PDP and will seek advice from the Fiscal Coordinating Committee (FCC) as necessary. The AC will endorse the proposal or return it to the originating body for additional information.  The AC meets bi-monthly during the academic year (schedule).
  4. Ohio Board of Regents (OBR) Review Process
    • If endorsed by the AC, the PDP is sent next to the Regents Advisory Committee on Graduate Study (RACGS) by the Graduate School. RACGS is composed of representatives from OBR, graduate deans from each of the Ohio public universities that offer graduate degrees and the graduate deans of two private universities, Case Western Reserve University and the University of Dayton.
    • The graduate deans solicit reviews of the PDP materials from their faculty experts. These reviews along with a general statement of each dean’s level of support for the proposed program are sent to all RACGS members and the chancellor’s staff at OBR.
    • If feedback from the RACGS members is generally positive, a Full Proposal (FP) may be developed. Feedback is requested from RACGS’s reviewers within six weeks of receipt of the PDP materials.

Full Proposal (FP)

  1. Development of the FP by the College
    • Program faculty meet with the Dean of the Graduate School to discuss the responses to the RACGS feedback.
    • The FP must address concerns identified in the RACGS’s reviews (include a formal RACGS response document as an appendix). Also, the FP is more detailed than the PDP with respect to supporting materials such as faculty vitae, course descriptions, letters of support and other documents that address the need and quality of the program.
    • Heads from all units making a contribution to the program review the FP and sign the face page indicating their approval and intent to provide resources as proposed in the document.
    • All college deans who have units participating in the proposed new program review the FP and sign the face page indicating approval and a college commitment to providing college resources as proposed in the document.
  2. Graduate School Review Process
    • The FP is forwarded to the Dean of the Graduate School for initial review by the New Programs Committee (NPC) of the Graduate Council (GC). The NPC reviews the FP, provides feedback, and if necessary meets with representatives from the proposed program faculty to discuss the FP. The NPC meets monthly during the academic year and the NPC recommends to the Dean of the Graduate School whether the FP should proceed through the approval process.
    • If recommended by the NPC, the FP is next forwarded to the all of the Graduate Faculty as an information item.  Comments and feedback are reviewed by the Graduate School and communicated to the Graduate Council (GC).  The GC meets with representatives from the proposed program faculty to discuss the FP. The GC will also review any Graduate Faculty comments before approving the FP.   The GC meets monthly during the academic year (schedule).
  3. Integrated Decision-Making Review Process
    • If recommended by the GC, the FP is submitted for approval to the Academic Committee (AC) through the Integrated Decision-Making review process.
    • The AC meets with representatives from the proposed program faculty to discuss the FP and will seek advice from the Fiscal Coordinating Committee (FCC) as necessary. The AC will endorse the proposal or return it to the originating body for additional information.  The AC meets bi-monthly during the academic year (schedule).
    • If endorsed by the AC, the FP is sent next to the Provost for review.  The Provost may seek advice from Academic Operations Committee (AOC) and Faculty Senate (FS) as necessary.  The Provost will then endorse the FP and forward it to President or return the FP to AC for further information.
    • If endorsed by the Provost, the FP is sent next to the President for review.  The President may seek advice from the Cabinet and Executive Committee as necessary. The President will then endorse the FP and forward it to Board of Trustees as necessitated by Board Rules, or return the FP to Provost for further information.
  4. Ohio Board of Regents (OBR) Review Process
    • If endorsed by the Board of Trustees, the FP is sent next to the Regents Advisory Committee on Graduate Study (RACGS) by the Graduate School. RACGS is composed of representatives from OBR, graduate deans from each of the Ohio public universities that offer graduate degrees and the graduate deans of two private universities, Case Western Reserve University and the University of Dayton.
    • The graduate deans solicit reviews of the FP materials from their faculty experts. These reviews along with a general statement of each dean’s level of support for the proposed program are sent to all RACGS members and the chancellor’s staff at OBR. Feedback is requested from RACGS’s reviewers within six weeks of receipt of the PDP materials.
    • Once RACGS’s reviews of the FP have been received, the faculty proposing the new program prepares a FP Response Document. The Response Document responds to questions and criticisms raised by RACGS’s reviewers and is sent to all RACGS members prior to formal presentation of the FP before RACGS in Columbus.
    • Following the distribution of the Response Document, a formal presentation is made by program faculty (supported by college and university administrators) to RACGS at the OBR in Columbus, Ohio. Each RACGS member has an opportunity to ask questions following the presentation. Following questions, the guest presenters and administrators are excused and the RAGCS members vote to recommend or not recommend approval of the proposed program to the chancellor of OBR. RACGS meets every other month except August and December.
    • If the feedback/reviews received from the RACGS committee raises questions but no serious objections to the proposed program, the UC Dean of the Graduate School can request that the Chair of the RACGS committee perform an expedited vote on the FP.  An expedited vote is held via e-mail by the RACGS committee in lieu of a formal presentation by program faculty to RACGS at the OBR in Columbus, Ohio. The proposing faculty will still provide a Response Document for review by the RACGS committee.
    • The Board of Regent’s staff takes the recommendation of RACGS to the OBR Initiatives Subcommittee. This typically occurs in the month following the program presentation to RACGS. If no objections are raised, the Initiatives Subcommittee places the proposal on the OBR meeting agenda for the next month for final, official state approval. The OBR and OBR Initiatives Subcommittee normally meet monthly.

After OBR Approval:  Logistics of Setting-up the Degree Program

  1. Creating a PASLA
    • After official approval is received from the Chancellor of the OBR, the submitting faculty will complete a New Academic Program Submission form, attach a copy of the approved proposal and official OBR approval letter to the form, and obtain the necessary signatures (Dean, Graduate School, and Provost) by sending interdepartmental mail to the Graduate School, ML 0627.
    • The form will then be submitted to the Registrar's Office for creation of a PASLA for the new program.
  2. Creating the Program (P-1) and Curriculum (C-1s) in eCurriculum
    • Once a PASLA is created by the Registrars Office, the faculty can develop a P-1 and corresponding C-1s in eCurriculum
  3. Graduate School Paperwork
    • Additional forms will be submitted to the Graduate School for the program to be available in the Online Apply system and Graduate Program Outlines.  Please contact Emily Kregor (emily.kregor@uc.edu) in the Graduate School for more details.