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Developing Graduate Programs and Courses

Establishing a New Graduate Program, Campus Graduate Certificate, Concentration or Minor

Revisions to a Existing Graduate Program, Concentration or Minor

Revisions to existing programs typically fall into one of two categories:

Major Revisions

  • A change in the credit required for a degree is the one absolute criterion that marks a revision as substantial and requires approval by the Graduate College and report to the Board of Trustees.
  • A major change in course requirements that substantially changes the content of the degree should be interpreted as a revised program or a new option under an existing degree and requires approval by the Graduate College and subsequent levels of governance.
  • A change to the name of the major or degree is considered a major revision.

Minor Revisions

  • Credit changed by adding or deleting a requirement for research hours and adding or deleting a requirement for an equal number of hours of course work would be a minor revision.
  • Revision of an elective course listing.
  • The department has discretion to revise the course requirements, the sequencing of courses, the requirements and format for master's and doctoral examinations, and the requirements for master's and doctoral theses. Changes in such requirements are generally regarded as minor. If the changes are deemed substantial, the unit will be notified that a proposal for revision of a program is required.
  • Editorial revisions to the Academic Catalog description of a program
  • Addition or deletion of a comprehensive examination or a qualifying examination

Process for Submission of New or Revised Program Requirements

Submit Proposals through the Course Inventory Management (CIM) system. For specific questions on using the CIM system, please contact Office of the Registrar at

Questions about program policy should be directed to the Graduate College Academic Affairs office.

Additional Guidance for Program Proposals

Committee Schedules/Agendas

Graduate Level Courses

Course development policies describe the required components of a proposal for a new course at the graduate level on the Urbana campus.

Guidelines for Course Components

Campus Resources