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Curricular Proposals—Existing Credentials

Revising Existing Minors, Certificates, and Majors

Department Chairs or Program Directors may request changes in existing majors (B.A.) or degree programs (B.S. and B.F.A.) by submitting a proposal to the Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities and Undergraduate Education, John Lucaites ( asug at indiana.edu). As is the case for minors, routine modifications to majors (for example, incorporating new course numbers) are approved by the Associate Dean, but extensive changes must be approved by the Committee for Undergraduate Education (CUE), and may need approval at the campus level. New tracks within an existing major or degree program can also be proposed to the Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities and Undergraduate Education and will go to CUE for review and possible approval before going forward to the campus level. Because proposed changes to majors or degree programs can require different levels of review and approval, there is no one form that departments are required to use. For examples of the kinds of questions that may be relevant, see the various proposal forms for new credentials below. If you have questions regarding what information your department needs to submit, please contact David Halloran at whallora at indiana.edu.

Curricular Proposals—New Credentials

Submitting Proposals

All curricular proposals should be reviewed carefully in and be approved by the department before being forwarded to the College. Indiana University procedures and forms are available at the University Academic Planning and Policy website. Please feel free to contact John Lucaites or David Halloran at asug at indiana.edu for additional guidance and suggestions as you think through the various possibilities in your department’s curriculum.

To propose a new major, minor, or certificate, or to revise in significant ways an existing one, Chairs or Program Directors should do the following three things:

  1. Write a formal cover letter to John Lucaites, Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities and Undergraduate Education, David Halloran, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Curriculum, and the members of the College’s Committee for Undergraduate Education (CUE) describing the proposed changes and explaining why they make sense from a pedagogical and logistical standpoint. You do not need to justify the proposal but, rather, to explain it to interested faculty members who may not be well-versed in your field. The readers of the letter will want to know that you have thought through the relevant questions and sought to address potential problems, even if these questions and problems do not have simple answers or solutions. Please use the letter to share with your readers
    • the decision-making process that the department undertook.
    • the problems or concerns that you were trying to address
    • some of the alternative options that you considered as ways of addressing these problems
    • the advantages and disadvantages of this option
    • whom, both within and outside of the department, was consulted along the way
  2. Obtain letters of support from any department or program that will be impacted by your proposed curricular changes, including any department or program that offers courses that will count toward the degree objective.
  3. Attach cover letter, support letters, and other supporting materials to the online form. Please contact June Hacker, Undergraduate Curriculum Coordinator, at jhacker at indiana.edu if you have questions about how to answer any of the questions.

New certificates require both an Academic Leadership Council cover sheet and the official ICHE form posted under "New Academic Programs" at the ICHE website. This is the ICHE page where the PDF guidelines for developing new degrees resides, and links to a form that now must be used for all proposals for new majors and certificates.

The required steps and time-frame for approving curricular proposals vary. See below for details. Reviews of proposals that do not need to go beyond the College are normally completed within one semester, although new requirements cannot be applied until they are published in the Bulletin of the College of Arts and Sciences. In practice, this means that at least ten months will elapse between the time a proposal is submitted and its implementation. For a matrix of the approval process, see the Approval Matrix.

Detailed descriptions of the proposal process and links to forms can be found at the University Academic Planning and Policy website.

Note on Proposals from Outside the College: If another unit outside the College asks you to lend support for a curricular proposal, please copy John Lucaites, Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities and Undergraduate Education, or Jane McLeod, Associate Dean for Social and Historical Sciences and Graduate Studies, on all correspondence.

New Minors

Department Chairs or Program Directors may propose new minors or seek change in existing minors by writing a formal letter to John Lucaites, Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities and Undergraduate Education ( asug at indiana.edu), David Halloran, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Curriculum, and the members of the College’s Committee for Undergraduate Education (CUE) describing the proposed changes and explaining why they make sense from a pedagogical and logistical standpoint. Extensive revisions will require additional approval. New minors must be approved by CUE before going forward to the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (VPUE) for review by the Campus Curriculum Committee (CCC) and recommendation to the Provost, with whose approval these items are then implemented.

See College of Arts and Sciences Minor Proposal Form and Requirements for Minors in the 2013-2014 College of Arts and Sciences Bulletin for detailed information.

New Certificates

Department Chairs or Program Directors may propose new certificates or seek change in existing certificates by writing a formal letter to John Lucaites, Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities and Undergraduate Education ( asug at indiana.edu), David Halloran, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Curriculum, and the members of the College’s Committee for Undergraduate Education (CUE) describing the proposed changes and explaining why they make sense from a pedagogical and logistical standpoint. After consulting with the department and requesting necessary revisions, the Associate Dean will then send the proposal on to CUE for official review. Those proposals CUE approves are sent on to the VPUE, the CCC, the Provost, and the Academic Leadership Council (ALC). Proposals for certificates of 29 or fewer credit hours are approved at the system level (ALC) and listed as information items on the Trustees agenda. Certificates of 30 credit hours or more require the additional approval of the Board of Trustees and the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE). For proposals that will ultimately need to be reviewed by ICHE, see the ICHE Program Policies website, especially the Checklist of Criteria To Be Used by the Commission in Taking Action on New Degree Programs. Although university guidelines list a minimum of 12 credit hours, certificate programs recently approved by the College require a minimum of 24–28 credit hours. Please note that the required credit hours must include any necessary prerequisites. Finally, the courses included in any proposal for a new certificate program should primarily be ones already taught in the university.

In the College, certificates can be awarded only to students who are completing or have completed a bachelor’s degree. For a student to earn a certificate, he or she must undertake a course of study that goes beyond—in significant ways—his or her major(s). That is, a student cannot obtain a certificate merely by completing the requirements for his or her major and then adding a few additional courses to earn a second credential.

New Majors and New Degrees

There are many levels of review for approving a new major or degree. The Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities and Undergraduate Education answers preliminary questions, reviews formal proposals approved by the faculty and forwarded by the Chair or Director, and consults with the department or program during the revision process prior to submitting the proposal to CUE for official review. Early contact with the College is essential for timely review of proposals. The Committee forwards its favorable recommendations to the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. If approved by the Dean, the proposal next goes to the VPUE for review by the CCC and again, if approved, on to the Provost, who then forwards it to the ALC, the Board of Trustees, and the ICHE. See information on formatting at “New Academic Program Proposals.” It is not unusual for two to three years to elapse from the time of proposal to that of official notice of authorization. For specific College policies for majors see Major Requirements B.A. in the 20132014 College of Arts and Sciences Bulletin.

New Interdepartmental Majors

Department Chairs or Program Directors may jointly propose a new interdepartmental major within the College of Arts and Sciences by submitting the relevant form and supporting information to the Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities and Undergraduate Education. New minors and new majors use the same form; however, Interdepartmental Majors are reviewed by the Academic Leadership Council and therefore the proposals must include their cover sheet. After consulting with the departments and requesting necessary revisions, the Associate Dean will then send the proposal to CUE. Following approval by CUE, the proposal will be reviewed by the CCC, and then the ALC. These review steps are necessary because interdepartmental majors have their own line on the official IU transcript.

Please note the following guidelines for Interdepartmental Majors:

  • an interdepartmental major must require a minimum of 40 credit hours.
  • no interdepartmental program may require more than 62 credit hours total.
  • both departments must support the creation of the program.
  • most programs divide the required course work roughly in half between the two departments, and at least 12 hours at the 300–400 level are usually required in each department.
  • only majors previously approved by ICHE can combine for a new interdepartmental major.

Revising Existing Minors, Certificates, and Majors

Department Chairs or Program Directors may request changes in existing majors (B.A.) or degree programs (B.S. and B.F.A.) by submitting a proposal to the Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities and Undergraduate Education, John Lucaites ( asug at indiana.edu). As is the case for minors, routine modifications to majors (for example, incorporating new course numbers) are approved by the Associate Dean, but extensive changes must be approved by CUE, and may need approval at the campus level. New tracks within an existing major or degree program can also be proposed to the Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities and Undergraduate Education and will go to CUE for review and possible approval before going forward to the campus level. Because proposed changes to majors or degree programs can require different levels of review and approval, there is no one form that departments are required to use.