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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 by submitting a proposal to the Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities and Undergraduate Education, John Lucaites degree programs (B.S., B.F.A or B.A.J.), certificates, and minors (ugcurric@indiana.edu). Routine modifications to existing credentials are approved by the Associate Dean, but more extensive changes must be approved by the Committee for Undergraduate Education (CUE).  Examples of routine modifications include adding or removing classes from a list of courses eligible to satisfy an existing requirement, adding or reducing specific credit hour requirements within the major, modifying internal GPA standards and course pre-requisites, etc.  Some modifications, such as the addition of tracks and concentrations to existing majors and certificates, require approval at the university level, since they result in a modification to the transcript.  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 provide and submission deadlines, please contact David Halloran at whallora@indiana.edu.

Curricular Proposals-New Credentials

Submitting Proposals

All curricular proposals should be reviewed and approved following the department's internal curriculum policies prior to submission 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 ugcurrice@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 undertake extensive revisions to existing credentials, Chairs, Directors of Undergraduate Studies, and Program Directors should do the following:

  1. Write a formal cover letter addressed to John Lucaites, Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities and Undergraduate Education and Chair of the College's Committee on Undergraduate Education (CUE), copying David Halloran, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Curriculum, describing the proposed curricular changes and explaining why they make sense from a pedagogical and logistical standpoint. Dean Lucaites and the members of CUE will want to know that the department has given serious consideration to the proposed changes.   The cover letter may include the following information:
    • a description of the decision-making process that shape the proposal;
    • the problems and/or curricular goals the proposals will address;
    • some of the alternatives the department considered and rejected before settling on the current proposal;
    • who, 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 the 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@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 "Academic Degree Programs" at the ICHE website. This is the ICHE page where the PDF guidelines for developing new degrees reside, 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 subsequent 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, Directors of Undergraduate Studies, and 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 (ugcurric@indiana.edu), and copying, David Halloran, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Curriculum, describing the proposed changes and explaining why they make sense from a pedagogic 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 2015-2016 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 and copying  (ugcurric@indiana.edu), David Halloran, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Curriculum describing the proposed changes and explaining why they make sense from a pedagogic and logistical standpoint. The University Academic and Planning and Policy website outlines university procedures at "Proposing a New Certificate Program." 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),  the Board of Trustees and the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE). Since certificate proposals require approval by the ICHE, please consult the ICHE Program Policies website, especially the document 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 21-28 credit hours. Please note that the required credit hours must include any necessary prerequisites. 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. See Requirements for Certificates in the 2015-16 College of Arts and Sciences Bulletin.

New Majors and New Degrees

Proposals for new majors or degrees require approval by the College, the campus, the university, the Board of Trustees (BoT) and the Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE).  In most cases, it requires a least a year for a newly proposed degree or major to receive final approval.  A new degree or major cannot be listed in the College Bulletin or otherwise advertised until it receives ICHE approval.  

Policies and Forms:

  • Review the specific College policies for degrees, majors and certificates listed under Degree Requirements in the 2015-2016 College of Arts and Sciences Bulletin.
  • Use the academic program development link of the Executive Vice President for University Academic Affairs website to get an overview of the "Academic Program Approval Process."  While at this site, download the required Academic Leadership Council cover sheet.  The ALC cover sheet will list the Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) code, which is essential for tracking and reporting on student performance in the proposed degrees, majors and certificates.  The ALC cover sheet will uploaded with the proposal into Academic Program Proposal, Evaluation, And Review (APPEAR) the statewide system that tracks the proposal during the review and approval process once it leaves the campus.
  • Consult the ICHE webpage to access proposal instructions and required forms"New Academic Program Proposals  In addition to detailed description of degree requirements and impact on time to degree, the ICHE requires information on comparable programs in state, employment prospects for graduates, as well as enrollment projections and

Procedures, Timelines and Levels of Review

  • In the earliest stages of discussions, departments should notify the College of their intention to propose a new degree or major by sending an e-mail to John Lucaites, Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities and Undergraduate Education at ugcurric@indiana.edu, copying David Halloran, Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Curriculum at whallora@indian.edu.  Early contact with the College is essential for timely review of proposals.  Given the five tiers of review required for a new degrees, majors, and certificates, CUE will need to review such proposals no later than the month of October if there is to be a chance to launch the new credential in time for following academic year.  Following this submission schedule facilitates but cannot guarantee timely approval.
  • Following faculty discussion and consultation with the College, the Chair or Director submits the proposal to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education, who chairs the College Committee on Undergraduate Education (CUE).
  • The College Committee on Undergraduate Education (CUE) reviews proposals in terms of their academic merit and fit with College policies.
  • CUE forwards the degree proposals it has approved to the Vice-Provost for Undergraduate Education, who serves a Co-chair of the Campus Curriculum Committee.
  • The Academic Leadership Committee (ALC) review proposals at the university-level.   The ALC makes final decisions for proposals that modify existing credentials that result in changes to the transcript and diploma.
  • New majors, degrees and certificates require approval by the BoT and the ICHE.

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. 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., B.A.J., B.F.A. or B.L.S.) by submitting a proposal to the Associate Dean for Arts and Humanities and Undergraduate Education, John Lucaites (ugcurric@indiana.edu). Routine modifications to existing credentials (for example, adding new classes to individual course requirement lists) 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. Since proposed changes to majors or degree programs can require different supporting materials at each level of review and approval, there is no one form that departments are required to use.