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Graduate Program Opting Out of Requiring a Doctoral Minor or Graduate/Professional Certificate for Breadth Requirement

This KnowledgeBase article guides graduate program faculty and staff who wish to request their program to opt out of requiring its students to complete a doctoral minor or graduate/professional certificate for breadth. This request must be approved by the Graduate School.

Creating the Proposal

Should a program decide to opt out of a required doctoral minor or graduate/professional certificate, it must complete a Lumen Programs Proposal. The following content is required in each identified section of the proposal:


At the top of the proposal

Proposal Abstract/Summary: Make it clear that the proposal is requesting to opt out of requiring a doctoral minor or graduate/professional certificate for breadth. Identify whether the program is petitioning to use existing breadth in its curriculum and/or other programmatic requirements or petitioning for new curricular changes that are also being submitted as part of the proposal. If the petition uses the former (existing curriculum), upon approval of the petition, all current students will be able to advance to dissertator status without completion of a doctoral minor or graduate/professional certificate, effective with the subsequent Fall term. 


If approved, what term should the proposed change start? Select the next available Fall term. This is when the approval will go into effect. You must select a Fall term because the “Requirements” Guide tab is being edited, and this is not allowed for mid-cycle updates. 


Is the change being proposed only a curricular change that would impact fewer than 50% of the credits in the program (i.e., plan or subplan) under consideration? Select “Yes” unless you are simultaneously updating the curriculum to change 50% or more of the credits, or if the proposal does something else unrelated that is considered a larger change, like updating Learning Outcomes or revising an Assessment Plan. 


Under “Basic Information”

Will a doctoral minor or graduate/professional certificate be required? Change “Yes” to “No."


Describe how you will inform current students in the program about this change. Also describe your plans for advising future students who are interested in completing a doctoral minor or graduate/professional certificate in addition to the major requirements. Tell us what your program’s plans are for notifying current students of this change to their breadth requirement. Discuss how your program will advise students who wish to optionally complete a doctoral minor or graduate/professional certificate even though it is no longer required. 


Under “Rationale and Justifications”

What is the rationale for this change? Explain why the program would like to opt out and how it will benefit your students. You might, for example, provide pedagogical detail about your discipline to help Graduate School evaluate the petition. If you are simultaneously changing your curriculum, you might discuss how/why courses or categories of courses were chosen.


What evidence do you have that these changes will have the desired impact? Elaborate on how your program came to the decision to opt out and provide evidence for how it will benefit students. This may have mostly been covered in the previous question, but please provide at least a sentence or two. 


Under “Curriculum and Requirements”

What percentage of the curriculum, if any, is being proposed to change via this proposal? Answer this with respect to how many credits of the curriculum are being changed in the proposal. If none of the curriculum is changing other than to opt out of the doctoral minor or graduate/professional certificate requirement, select “No change to the curriculum.”


Guide Requirements tab

Under this header you will find an embedded frame that contains the content currently on the Requirements tab of the Guide page for this doctoral program. At a minimum, you will need to edit the final row of the Curricular Requirements table to note that a doctoral minor or graduate/professional certificate is not required (to edit the table, double click it first). If the curriculum is changing to newly encompass breadth, this is where those edits should also be entered. 


If you need assistance, please contact your School/College Academic Planner and/or the Assistant Dean of Academic Analysis, Planning and Assessment Jenna Alsteen.


Submitting the Proposal

In addition to creating and submitting the Lumen Programs Proposal to workflow, be sure to contact your School/College Academic Planner(s) and the Assistant Dean of Academic Analysis, Planning and Assessment Jenna Alsteen to notify them about the proposal. This will ensure timely inclusion on any necessary School/College Curriculum Committee or Academic Planning Council meeting agendas, and will also give the Graduate School enough time to review the request. At the latest, please submit the proposal no later than one month prior to the final deadline to submit proposals to the APIR Admin step in Lumen. This tends to be the very beginning of March prior to the Fall term in which the approval would be effective. It is best to leave ample time and submit the proposal as soon as possible–this gives plenty of time for discussion with the Graduate School or your School/College about the curricular change. 



If the proposal is approved through all necessary steps of workflow, the listed Approvers for your Department administrative home will receive an email notification at the time of publication. 

Other relevant resources:


Keywordsbreadth, minor, certificate, guide, lumen   Doc ID121877
OwnerJenna A.GroupGraduate School
Created2022-10-14 11:50:04Updated2023-09-11 14:06:42
SitesGraduate School
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