Academic Plans

Scope of Oversight

The development, revision, and approval of academic plans is guided by University policy and procedures. These processes originate at the programmatic and departmental level, progress through the colleges to the Office of the Provost and, if necessary, the Board of Regents. As proposals make their way through the approval process to the Office of the Provost, consultation is solicited from colleagues in Graduate and Undergraduate Education, as well as the Academic Health Center.

Changes requiring Board of Regents and Executive Vice President and Provost review and approval:

  • Adding a new degree, minor, or sub-plan 
  • Adding a new integrated degree program (e.g. 4+1 Bachelor to Masters program)
  • Substantively changing a degree or minor, including: adding a sub-plan, changing a plan or sub-plan name, changing a degree designation (e.g. B.S. to B.A., M.S. to M.A.), changing the academic home of a plan, merging two or more degrees or minors
  • Discontinuing a degree, plan, or sub-plan
  • Offering distance delivery of all or substantially all coursework for an existing plan, adding or changing a program delivery modality.
  • Adding or changing academic plan related partnerships/collaborations with an external entity

The stages of development and approval are additive, with various points of emphasis at each stage in the process. Early consultation within the college, among other colleges, with institutional units, and across campus is strongly recommended as each unit focuses on different aspects of the proposal. For example, the Office of Undergraduate Education and the Graduate School focus their reviews on admission and degree requirements, University policy compliance, and other factors specifically related to the academic success of students. Review by the Office of the Provost focuses on things like need and demand, efficiency and effectiveness, support and resources, mission, collaboration, and program duplication. New degree undergraduate program proposals on the Twin Cities campus are also reviewed by the Campus Curriculum Committee.  

The public review period encourages open communication across colleges and campuses concerning the creation, discontinuation, and change of academic programs; fosters collaboration and productive exchanges across and between departments and disciplines; and prevents inadvertent encroachment upon and duplication of academic programs.

Consultation diagram title
Consultation and approval diagram

Detailed guidance on the process and timelines for adding, changing, or discontinuing academic plans can be found here.

Other Academic Plan Requests

The Executive Vice President and Provost also reviews and approves requests including but not limited to:

  • Collegiate/departmental/unit name changes
  • Creation of new departments
  • Alternative tuition rates
  • Alignment as a professional or graduate degree program
  • Off-site delivery of a program, including international delivery sites
  • Academic partnerships/collaborations with any external entity, including but not limited to: other colleges and universities, state or governmental agencies, non-profit/non-governmental organizations, corporate partners, and any type of international entity (e.g. community college pipeline programs, co-delivery of an academic program with another institution)

For these types of requests, a proposal to the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost will need to include a thorough presentation of the following information:

  • Explanation and justification for the request
  • Demonstrated understanding of the consequences or ramifications of the request
  • Evidence of consultation with relevant entities within the University of Minnesota System Campuses
  • A plan for revisiting or sunsetting the proposal, as applicable
  • Proof that the request or proposal has adhered--per the traditions of your unit--to any departmental or collegiate processes, including faculty governance or consultation
  • Documentation of support from the dean/senior leader

For collegiate/departmental/or other unit name change requests, please complete the Academic Unit Name Change Request Form.

Please contact Anne Barnes ([email protected]) in advance of submission. Upon receipt of the request or proposal, the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost may request further consultation or additional information in order to address any unresolved conflicts or questions.