The commitment to excellence in education at the University of Pittsburgh requires a comprehensive evaluation process for all changes to academic programs. This webpage provides the step-by-step processes to establish, modify and terminate academic planning proposals.
All academic planning proposals should begin with discussions with the relevant department(s) and dean’s office about the proposed academic program or changes to it. Once you have the support of your school, the Office of the Provost Graduate Studies team at email@example.com is available to assist you every step of the way. You may also find this list of frequently asked questions helpful as you go through the process.
- STEP ONE: What are you proposing?
To get started, first talk with the relevant department(s) and dean’s office about the proposed establishment, modification or termination of the academic program. Proposals cannot be considered without the support of the dean.
We suggest you review the Regulations Governing Graduate Study at the University of Pittsburgh, the Guidelines for the Review of Academic Planning Proposals, and other documents related to unique programs to understand the different types of proposals and what is necessary to prepare for a proposal submission.
Below, we provide hyperlinks to the sections in the guidelines document for each type of proposal and programs.
Majors, Degrees, Departments or Schools
- Establish or Modify Majors, Degree Programs, Academic Departments or Schools
- Terminate Majors, Degree Programs, Academic Departments or Schools
Certificate, Micro-Credentials, Areas of Concentration (Arco) or Minors
- Establish Certificate Programs, Areas of Concentration, or Minors
- Terminate Certificate Programs, Areas of Concentration, or Minors
- Accelerated (4+1) Programs (PDF) & Accelerated Program Guidelines (PDF)
- Inter-Unit (formerly “Joint”) Degree Programs (PDF)
- Off-Campus Programs and Distance Learning Programs
- CIP Code Modification Process Guidelines
The approval process, from submission of the academic program proposal to the Office of the Provost to Provost or Chancellor approval, typically takes three months if there are no significant concerns or questions during the review.
- STEP TWO: Discuss your proposal with the Graduate Studies team.
If you are proposing to ESTABLISH, MODIFY, or TERMINATE a graduate academic program, please contact the Office of the Provost – Graduate Studies at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation.
During the consultation, we will discuss the considerations and process that is involved with establishing or modifying an academic program, such as market analysis, academic structure, modality, student learning outcomes, recruitment and enrollment, and budget analysis. We will also discuss the required components of your proposal, develop an academic program proposal plan, checklist, and timeline.
- STEP THREE: Discuss your proposal with the dean’s office in your school and any collaborators before submitting the proposal.
If you have not already, please consult with your school leadership, such as the graduate associate dean, prior to proposing academic program changes to the Office of the Provost for review. You will need to go through an internal review process. In most cases you will need to collaborate with others in your school to prepare the proposal (e.g., program director, budget director, admissions office, etc.).
The head of the responsibility center (typically the dean) in which the proposal originates is generally responsible for developing and submitting the formal academic planning proposal for review.
The proposal must also be reviewed by the responsibility center Planning and Budgeting Committee before being submitted to the Provost for review.
- STEP FOUR: Components and approval process of an academic program proposal.
Different proposals will require different components. The following components are required for most proposals (click links to access resources):
- STEP FIVE: Utilize Curriculog to submit the proposal.
Most academic planning proposals must be submitted to the Office of the Provost through Curriculog, a platform that records required information and tracks the approval process.
Once a proposal is submitted it will move through a workflow process of people who will approve each step within the school, the Office of the Provost, and the Office of the Registrar.
Resources for using Curriculog:
- STEP SIX: The proposal was submitted. What’s next?
Once the responsibility center head (typically the dean’s office) submits the proposal in Curriculog (or, in special cases, directly to the Office of the Provost), the Graduate Studies team will verify the proposal and ensure that the proposal is ready to move toward the review process.
Most proposals will be reviewed by the University Council on Graduate Studies (UCGS) and may also be reviewed by the Provost's Advisory Committee on Undergraduate Programs (PACUP) if the proposal involves undergraduate education (such as accelerated programs).
UCGS meets monthly September through May. For a proposal to be reviewed at the monthly UCGS meetings, it must be submitted and reviewed by the Graduate Studies team at least 11 working days in advance of the meeting. However, it is at the discretion of the Graduate Studies Team to determine if the academic program proposal can be added to a particular date's meeting agenda.
Refer to the table below for scheduled meeting dates in AY23-24; the meeting times are also posted on the University Council on Graduate Studies committee page. Meetings times are on Tuesdays from 3 p.m.-5 p.m. unless otherwise indicated.
Academic Proposal Submission Deadline UCGS Meetings AY 2023-2024 August 25, 2023 September 12, 2023 September 22, 2023 October 10, 2023 October 27, 2023 November 14, 2023 November 24, 2023 December 12, 2023 December 15, 2023 January 9, 2024 January 26, 2024 February 13, 2024 March 1, 2024 March 19, 2024 March 22, 2024 April 9, 2024 April 26, 2024 May 14, 2024 June 4 , 2024 (tentative)
Final approval is granted from the Office of the Provost, Office of the Chancellor, Board of Trustees, or Secretary of Education. See Authority for Approving Academic Planning Proposals.
- STEP SEVEN: After Approval.
- New or modified academic programs cannot be advertised until after official University approval has been granted.
- For new tuition rates, a proposal must be submitted through Curriculog to the Registrar by May 15.
- The Office of the Registrar will contact you to set up the program in PeopleSoft and the Catalog.
- Annually, submit your assessment of student learning outcomes to your dean’s office as described in your proposal.