Undergraduate Program Processes

Academic Program Processes

Processes for creating, modifying and deleting academic programs are designed to ensure that programs are aligned with university strategic priorities, support the originating academic unit’s mission, comply with university policy and operations, and are sustainable with available resources.

For similar actions pertaining to units such as, colleges, departments, schools, institutes and centers, contact the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor.

Undergraduate Programs

Step One

Identify the program for which an action will be taken.

Learn more about the types of undergraduate programs below:

Major/Degree

A major is a sequence of courses and activities leading to a degree or diploma in an academic discipline or subject area. The NU Board of Regents adopted a 120 credit hour maximum for all undergraduate degree programs beginning in Fall 2012 (Regents Policy 5.1.4). Exceptions to this rule must be approved by the Board of Regents. Programs that exceed 120 credit hours due to professional accreditation and/or state requirements, or those defined as five-year degrees are those most likely to receive an exception approval. Majors/degrees appear on transcripts.

Minor

A minor represents additional value for developing students’ competencies and learning within a program of study. Minors require between 12-18 credit hours of coursework and are limited to degree-seeking students. No more than 6 credit hours of transfer work can be used to satisfy minor requirements and no more than 6 credit hours taken with a P/NP grading option can be used to satisfy minor requirements. In some cases, college policies may require that most or all of the credit hours be taken with a grade only option. Minors appear on transcripts.

Certificate

An undergraduate certificate is a structured set of professionally-oriented courses designed to provide recognition that the student has completed coursework in an applied area of focus. Undergraduate certificates may be offered to non-degree and/or degree-seeking students. Undergraduate Certificates require 12-20 credit hours and the majority of the coursework should be at the 300 and 400 level with the exception of certificates in certain fields (i.e. agriculture and specified medical fields). Certificates appear on transcripts.

Option

A choice of two or more courses within an undergraduate major that define a specialty area or specific field of study. The curriculum allows for different courses to meet expected outcomes that constitute an option. An option must account for approximately 50% and no less than 18 credit hours of the major requirements. Colleges with a common set of core requirements for all majors may request a 12-hour minimum. Options appear on transcripts.

Emphasis

A choice of two or more sets of course requirements within an undergraduate major that define a specialty area or specific field of study. The course requirements are the same or similar, but the curriculum allows for different course requirements to meet expected outcomes that constitute an emphasis. The emphasis must account for approximately 30% or no less than 12 credit hours of the major requirements. Colleges with a common set of core requirements for all majors may request a 9-hour minimum. Emphases do not appear on transcripts.

For other program actions that require approval (e.g. MOUs, subject codes, endorsements, etc.),
see Related Program Actions.

Step Two

Determine the programmatic action you want to take.

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Create

Creating a new instructional program is one not included in the definition of an existing instructional program. A substantial modification of an existing instructional program constitutes creating a new program, such as when the principal objective of the program is changed.

Review the Pre-proposal Questionnaire prior to preparing a proposal.

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Modify

Modifying an instructional program is a reasonable and moderate extension of an existing instructional program. Examples of modifications include name changes, CIP code changes, converting an existing traditional program to an online program, merger/consolidation, and substantial changes in degree requirements.

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Delete

Deleting an instructional program will halt recruiting, advertising and admitting into the program but will allow current students to finish the program.

Discontinuing (mothballing) a program will inactivate the program for a temporary period of time. Refer to the Steps for Discontinuation for more information.

Step Three

Download and complete the proposal template.

All proposals require a supporting transmittal memo from the college dean.

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Create an Undergraduate Program

Major/Degree Minor Option Emphasis Certificate
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Modify an Undergraduate Program

Major/Degree Minor Option Emphasis Certificate
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Delete an Undergraduate Program

Major/Degree Minor Option Emphasis Certificate

Step Four

Review the timeline for transmittal and approval, if required.

Major/Degree/Certificate

Chart describing the process of creating, modifying, or deleting an Undergraduate Major/Degree or Certificate program

Minor/Option

Chart describing the process of creating, modifying, or deleting an Undergraduate Minor or Option program

Emphasis

Chart describing the process of creating, modifying, or deleting an Undergraduate Emphasis program
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All required reviews and approvals must be secured for changes to be reflected in the Undergraduate Catalog and on the Undergraduate Application for Admission by April 1.

Step Five

Transmit the proposal and supporting documents.

Send the complete set of materials for all programs except emphases to Dr. Renee Batman, Assistant Vice Chancellor and Chief Administrative Officer, via email and via campus mail.

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Include a memo from the college dean or Vice Chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources with an original signature, confirming that department and college approvals are in place.

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Submit electronically via email, formatted as follows: proposal as Word, any budget tables as Excel, and any supporting letters, appendices, and other documents as PDF.

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Also submit on paper via campus mail.

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Don't forget: Curriculum actions for individual courses need to follow established procedures with the University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.

Materials for emphases should be sent to the Director of Undergraduate Education Programs, Dr. Patty Sollars at patricia.sollars@unl.edu, 222 Seaton Hall 0683.

Step Six

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Be prepared for questions and revisions throughout the process.

The proposer and/or dean will be the point of contact regarding questions on proposals. The University Registrar, Admissions, and Undergraduate Education Programs will conduct an early review of the proposal once received by the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor. Operational questions may arise from this review.

The Academic Planning Committee and Board of Regents may request additional information or ask clarifying questions. The Board may ask that a representative from the unit attend the Coordinating Commission for Post-Secondary Education’s meeting in which the proposal will be discussed. The Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor will provide the proposer with as much notice as possible if a physical presence is desired.

Step Seven

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Receive notification of process completion (approval, if required) and take action.

Upon completion of the review and approval process, the units below will be notified. Notification will come from the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor. For emphases, notification is handled by the Director of Undergraduate Education Programs and includes the proposer, college and University Registrar only.

Notification of approval is the green light to implement the program action. The units will have access to the full proposal and will contact the proposer with any additional questions. Depending on the program and programmatic action, the units will proceed as follows:

University Registrar Modify Student Information System (Peoplesoft)
Update Degree Audit
Vice Chancellor for IANR (if applicable) No action needed
Dean (college) Update college materials
Proposer (unit) Update department materials
Undergraduate Admissions Modify Undergraduate Admissions Application
Modify Recruitment Materials
Undergraduate Education Programs Modify Undergraduate Catalog
Notify College Catalog Editors
Scholarships and Financial Aid Update the Program Participation Agreement
Institutional Effectiveness and Analytics Monitor Reporting Environments

Questions?

Contact Dr. Renee Batman, Assistant Vice Chancellor and Chief Administrative Officer at rbatman2@unl.edu or 472-3751.