New Program Development Guidelines

Suggesting a new program

Introducing a new graduate degree program follows a well-defined process.

The following guidelines have been adapted from the more extensive procedures that must be followed if a department or program is seeking approval for a new graduate program. Please use these guidelines prior to submitting your proposal to the Faculty Senate Committee on Graduate Studies for approval. An internal program review process as well as the external review process that must be completed by the Ohio Board of Regents is also described.

Download the Guidelines for the Submission and Review of New Graduate/Certificate Programs.

Programs leading to the degrees of Master of Arts, Master of Engineering and Management, Master of Fine Arts, Master of Science, Master of Science in Engineering, Master of Public Health, Master of Science in Anesthesia, Doctorate of Musical Arts, and Doctor of Philosophy are administered by the School of Graduate Studies. For any department, school or interdisciplinary group seeking to introduce a new graduate program leading to one of these degrees, the following details the process. Use these guidelines before submitting your proposal to the Graduate Studies Committee of the Faculty Senate for approval. Both an internal program review as well as the external review by the Ohio Board of Regents are required.

They also address the procedures for reviewing new certificate programs that require substantial graduate level work.

Procedure for New Graduate Programs

All proposals for graduate programs, that constitute a new specialization or concentration, must be submitted to the dean of Graduate Studies. These submissions require evidence of support and commitment from each chairperson and dean of the academic unit or units involved. The dean and the Faculty Senate Committee on Graduate Studies review the proposals before submission to the Faculty Senate for approval.


All proposals should provide documentation to satisfy the criteria below, although specific requirements may vary by scope of the proposed programs.

  1. Intellectual Rationale — Provide the intellectual rationale for the program as a whole and as part of the university mission.
  2. Academic Quality — Demonstrate adequacy or commitment to achieve adequacy of faculty, students, curriculum, library, laboratories, equipment, and other physical facilities, in order to begin and maintain the program.
  3. Need
    • Student interest and demand; potential enrollment; ability to maintain critical mass of students.
    • Societal demand; intellectual development and personal fulfillment; employment opportunities.
    • Professional demand; requirements for program accreditation; needs seen by professional educational committees of state and national professional organizations.
  4. Statewide Alternatives — Programs available in other institutions; evidence of local need for the programs; appropriateness of specific locale for the program.
  5. Institutional Priority — Support and commitment within the institution.
  6. Resources
    • Judicious use of resources in terms of faculty, physical plant, personnel, student and other support. Define cost center in the university that will provide financial support.
    • Identify source(s) of external support if internal support is not wholly adequate: Community, foundation, governmental, and other resources.
    • Identify mechanism for long-term sustenance of program (e.g., if needed external support is lost).

Suggested Format

  1. Designation of the new graduate program, with a brief description of its intellectual rationale and purpose.
  2. Description of proposed curriculum.
  3. Administrative arrangements for program and academic units involved.
  4. Evidence of need.
  5. Prospective enrollment.
  6. Faculty and facilities available for program and their adequacy.
  7. Plans for meeting requirements of additional facilities and staff.
  8. Projected financial needs to support program and adequacy of expected financial support.
  9. Copies of reports from consultants or advisory committees used in the planning process.
  10. Letter of support from dean or other director of the appropriate university cost center.

Internal Institutional Program Review Process

  1. Review guidelines for new graduate programs and discuss with the graduate dean.
  2. Design new graduate program and get it approved.
  3. Review the appropriate committee of the constituent faculty and the dean of the department proposing the new program. Upon approval, there should be written recommendation to the dean of the School of Graduate Studies and the Faculty Senate Graduate Studies Committee. (As the group only meets once a month, this process may take up to two months from the time of submission.)
  4. Review by the Graduate Studies Committee with formal vote on recommendation to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee for consideration by the full Faculty Senate.
  5. Final approval by the Board of Trustees.

External Review by the Ohio Board of Regents (OBR)

This process is coordinated through the School of Graduate Studies, not by the individual departments or programs.

  1. Following approval by the Faculty Senate Graduate Studies Committee, a Program Development Plan (PDP) must be submitted to the office of the Chancellor of OBR at least six months prior to the formal application for degree authority.
  2. This PDP is submitted to faculty experts at the participating universities who will in turn provide written comments to all 20 members of the Chancellor's Council on Graduate Studies (CCGS, formerly RACGS) as well as to the proposers of the program.
  3. The PDP will be reviewed for three factors and will take a minimum of six weeks:
    • Does the proposed program present a conflict with any existing degree programs at the reviewer's own institution?
    • Can program quality issues or substantive elements of the plan be identified that need to be addressed within the full planning proposal?
    • Can modifications of the program plans be suggested that will refine, or enhance the focus of the proposal?
    • Are there possible collaboration opportunities with any existing degree programs on the campus of the reviewer?
  4. The staff of OBR will then notify the Office of Graduate Studies whether or not the submitted PDP should be expanded to a full graduate program proposal and be submitted for CCGS Review. The full set of factors and processes taken into account when reviewing full planning proposals can be found on pages 9 through 14 of the CCGS Guidelines 2018.

It is expected that the review of full proposals will take a minimum of six months. Full proposals may not be will forward all official score reports to your program.