University of Minnesota
College of Liberal Arts Office of Undergraduate Programs

College of Liberal Arts Office of Undergraduate Programs

Contact Information

Nanette Hanks
Assistant Dean for Curriculum

115 Johnston Hall
101 Pleasant St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Proposing a new major and/or minor

Adding a new degree program or major, a new certificate program (baccalaureate or post-baccalaureate), or a new minor requires:

  1. Drafting a proposal that outlines the changes
  2. Presenting the proposal to the Committee for Curriculum, Instruction & Advising for approval
  3. Submitting the proposal to the Provost or to the CLA Assembly, Provost, and Board of Regents (depending on the changes proposed)

Proposal requirements

All new major and/or minor proposals must include the following:

  • A signed and dated memo from the department chair to the associate dean for undergraduate programs and the assistant dean for curriculum, clearly detailing the new major and/or minor and the rationale for them.
  • Evidence of consultation with, and support from, CLA academic advising.
  • Catalog description (limited to 3200 characters)
  • Complete answers to the following questions as applicable:

1. Mission, Priorities, and Interrelatedness

  • In what specific ways is the proposed program consistent with the University's mission? With the unit's mission?
  • How does the program support the unit's strategic direction and compact?
  • How will the program contribute to the priorities of the University, the campus, and the unit?
  • How does the program relate to other University academic programs?
  • What are the implications—including impact of prerequisites and related courses—on other units, colleges, or campuses? (Document your consultation by providing copies of correspondence with relevant units to establish collaborations on interdisciplinary programs, use courses from other units, etc.)

2. Need and Demand

  • What is the need and demand for the program? Proposals for programs that reach very small numbers of students are discouraged. Use the following kinds of evidence, as appropriate:
    • Evidence that the program meets societal needs and expectations.
    • Evidence of consultation with employers or professional organizations, if appropriate.
    • Employment data, if appropriate (availability of jobs for graduates).
    • Enrollment data for similar programs.
    • Data reflecting student interest or demand, both short- and long-term.
  • What are the intended geographic service area and the prospective student market?
  • How will students benefit from the program?

3. Comparative Advantage

  • What are the unique characteristics of the program that make it particularly appropriate to the University of Minnesota?
  • Are there comparable academic programs in Minnesota, and, if applicable, elsewhere? (Document your consultation with other units within the University and/or research of other institutions with similar programs, if they exist, in the area.)

4. Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Use of Resources

  • Is the program within the capacity of the unit's resources?
  • Have resources been reallocated within the unit to support the proposed program? If so, how?
  • If additional resources are needed, how will the program leverage existing resources to attract new resources?
  • What steps will be taken to ensure the program is operated economically and effectively?

5. Program Quality and Assessment

  • What are the learning outcomes for the program? How will the outcomes be measured? How often?
  • How, when, and by whom will program quality be measured?
  • How will the college, the department, and program instructors continue to improve the teaching and learning in this program?
  • Is the program subject to review by a specialized accreditation agency? If yes, what agency and what is the review cycle?
  • How, if at all, will the program address the University's diversity goals, e.g., student and faculty recruitment, curriculum, etc.?

6. Program Development

  • What planning and development authorities generated the proposal?
  • When was the proposal reviewed and approved (department, college or campus curriculum committees, dean/vice chancellors' offices, etc.)?

7. Budget and Planning

  • List all new or additional resources required to mount the program, or new revenues to be gained from the program.
  • No Additional Costs.
  • If you are projecting no additional costs, please explain (i.e., what will you stop doing so that you can do this program?)

Proposal presentations to Committee for Curriculum, Instruction & Advising

Complete proposals will be included on the first available agenda of the Committee for Curriculum, Instruction and Advising (C I & A). This committee meets monthly from September to May. The Associate Dean's office will contact the department chair with a date and time for the presentation of the proposal to C I & A. The committee will review the proposal documents, hear any presentation offered, and ask questions or offer recommendations.

If the proposal is acceptable as written, it will be included as an action item at the following C I & A meeting. When the proposal is approved, it will be forwarded to the next step in the approval process.

Final approval process

The proposal is sent from C I & A, to the CLA Assembly, to the Provost, and for final approval by the Board of Regents.