Curricular Changes in the College of Letters & Science
Depending on the scale of change, a range of institutional bodies may be involved in proposals to change the curriculum. All changes start with the faculty; most flow through a college-level committee for approval, and move on to campus-level committees that provide appropriate oversight for these processes that are essential to the quality and purpose of the university. The links below are provided to help departments and program determine what type of proposal may be needed, and where to send them.
Curricular changes happen on a broad continuum, from "course-level" to "program" and "degree" level. This document links users to policy, procedure, and advice about those changes.
- Often, the need for change arises from two key academic processes: Academic Program Review, and systematic assessment of student learning at the program level. See Academic Program Review - An Overview and L&S Assessment FAQ: What is the L&S approach to "Assessment"? for more information about these processes.
- Proposing New Courses & Changing Existing Courses : By far the most frequent type of curricular change is found in the renovation of courses and requests to add, change, or retire courses in the department or program course array. This document provides an overview, with links to the online course proposal system and to L&S Curriculum Committee policy and procedure concerning courses that meet L&S criteria for "Liberal Arts and Science" courses. Course changes may also include changes to Honors courses.
- Changes to Program Requirements (Major, Option, or Certificate) : The next most common type of curricular change arises when departments and programs revise requirements for an existing academic program. This document provides links to college-level procedures for seeking permission to change curriculum for existing
academic programs. The L&S Curriculum Committee reviews and
approves substantive changes to programs before they can be published in
the Undergraduate Catalog or implemented in the Degree Audit
System. The L&S CC also works with the Graduate School to review
substantive changes to Graduate programs.
- Restructuring or Discontinuing Majors/Programs : Though much less frequent, another type of curricular change that occurs at the level of the major or program concerns substantial restructuring or discontinuing academic majors or programs. As noted in this document, it is important for the faculty to consult the Academic Associate Dean early and often if it appears that a program must be closed.
- New Majors, Certificates, and Formally Transcripted Options : This document provides links to campus policy and procedures for changing the curriculum by proposing new academic programs. There are generally formal requirements for proposals, and a well-defined pathway for approval for creating any program that will appear on students' transcripts.
- How Do We Change the Name of Our Academic Program or Department? : From time to time, departments and programs will realize that the name of their academic programs, departments, or subject listings need to be updated, to better reflect the mission and purpose of the unit or the academic programs it hosts. Often related to unit restructuring or redesign, these changes require different types of proposals, that follow different approval routes.
- Policy on Creating, Restructuring, or Discontinuing Departments, Programs, and Department-like Units : The most substantial curricular changes are associated with creating, restructuring, and closing departments, programs, and department-like units. These changes will often involve all of the processes noted above, as for example, when two programs merge into a single department and determine that they will offer a single degree program with multiple options, and will retire their old subject listings and create a new listing that will contain a slate of updated/revised courses. Such changes are very complex; please consult your associate dean and the assistant dean for academic planning.
- Departments and programs should be mindful that changes may have a Budgetary Impact .
- L&S Administration has sponsored a training session about curricular change. See L&S Admin Training: "Tips & Tricks for Curriculum Administration" for more information about curricular change.