Academic Program Actions & Processes

Forms

All forms below are submitted to the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Programs who will submit them to NSHE.

NSHE Planning Report (Academic Master Plan)

UNLV & NSHE Deadlines and Approval Dates for Submissions

NSHE Guidelines for Approvals

Guidelines

Board policy dictates that the creation of degrees, majors, programs, departments, or structural organizations must be approved by the Board of Regents.  Flexibility is given to the institutions to implement minor changes without Board approval.  In cases where there is an absence of significant programmatic change, minimal impact to other NSHE institutions and clear adherence to approved institutional missions, institutions may seek approval through the Academic Affairs Council.  Furthermore, Board policy establishes an accountability system whereby institutions are directed to provide periodic follow-up information on cost estimates and enrollment projections provided through the program proposal process.

Items Requiring Academic Affairs Council Approval Only

  • Certificates of at least 30 credit hours except for post baccalaureate certificates
  • Certificates of at least 9 and less than 30 credit hours that provide preparation necessary to take state, national and/or industry recognized certification or licensing examinations (all other certificates of less than 30 credit hours, including post baccalaureate certificates, do not require AAC approval)
  • Study abroad programs
  • Name change to a degree, major or primary field of study that is cosmetic in nature and does not result in a change in curriculum
  • Reactivation of a previously approved degree, major or primary field of study that was placed on hold (or deactivated) by the institution for less than five years since the effective date of the deactivation. The institution must provide appropriate written notice to the Board indicating the reactivation of the program. A deactivated program will be considered formally eliminated five years after the effective date of the deactivation.

Items Requiring Board of Regents Approval

The following items must be approved by the Academic Affairs Council prior to being presented to the Board for approval:

  • Degree, major or primary field of study for baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral level programs (BA, BS, MA, MS, Ph.D, and named degrees)
  • Emphases, major or primary field of study within the bachelor of applied science (BAS)
  • Primary field of study within an associates of arts, an associate of science, and an associate of business (AA, AS, and AB)
  • Primary field of study within an associate of applied science (AAS)
  • Emphases, concentration, or options that are converted into a major
  • School or college
  • Organization unit, center, or institute
  • Name change to a degree, major or primary field of study accompanied by a significant change in curriculum
  • Degree-type change to a major or primary field of study (e.g., a BAS to a BA)
  • Name change to a school or college that is the result of a significant reorganization of existing units, consolidation, or change in mission
  • Name change to an organizational unit, center, or institute that is the result of a significant reorganization of existing units, consolidation, or change in mission
  • Deletion of any degree, major, primary field of study, school or college, center, institute or other structural organization
  • Deactivation of a previously approved degree, major or primary field of study that an institution wishes to place on hold

Academic Program, Degree, Major, or Primary Field of Study Name Change

This process is used to change the name of an academic program, degree, major, or primary field of study.

Name changes for programs in which students are currently enrolled must be approved by the NSHE Academic Affairs Committee June of the year prior to the fall semester of implementation. For example, to implement in fall 2018, a name change would need to have been approved in June 2017.

For Graduate Curriculum, the Graduate College also needs this form completed.

Graduate program or degree name changes require the NSHE Academic Program Change Form above.

Organizational Unit

Organizational Unit Elimination

The Organizational Unit Elimination Coversheet and the NSHE Organizational Unit Elimination Form are used to propose the elimination of an organizational unit, center, institute, department, school, or college. It is NSHE policy that a future date for an elimination be established that will "make every effort to allow current students to graduate and faculty to be placed in other programs if feasible."

It is important to understand that advance planning and communications with numerous university offices are required to complete an orderly elimination in a manner that does not disadvantage the students in the cases in which students are involved. Please contact the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Programs at 702-895-1267 to discuss these communications.

Organizational Unit Name Change

The NSHE Board of Regents Handbook allows some non-academic name changes to be approved at the institution level. To submit a non-academic name change, a vice president or vice provost should address a memo to the Executive Vice President and Provost stating the current name, the requested new name, and the reason for the name change. The decision as to whether the name change can be made at the university level will be made by the Executive Vice President and Provost.

To propose a name change for an academic degree, centers, institute, department, college or school requires the Organizational Unit Name Change Coversheet and the NSHE Organizational Unit Change Form be completed and submitted to vpap@unlv.edu.

Organizational Unit Proposal

The Organizational Unit Proposal Coversheet and the NSHE Organizational Unit Proposal Form are used to propose a new organizational unit, center, institute, department, school, or college.

New Program, Degree, Major Pre-proposal

If you are considering proposing a new program, please read the Guidelines for Proposing New Degree Programs.

Please schedule an appointment with the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Programs, Dr. Javier Rodriguez, prior to beginning a new program, degree, or major pre-proposal or proposal. If the program being considered is an interdisciplinary graduate program, schedule a meeting the dean or associate dean of the Graduate College prior to the meeting with Dr. Rodriguez.

Preliminary information to be discussed will include:

  • Is the proposed degree on the NSHE Planning Report, commonly called the Academic Master Plan?
  • Provide documentation in the form of an email from the dean that the proposed program is one of the top three in the college/school's budget priorities.
  • How does it fit into the department?
  • Does it support the achievement of the unit and college's or school's mission?
  • Is it included in the college's strategic plan?
  • Does it contribute to the fulfillment of UNLV's mission and core themes?
  • Does it address important issues relevant to Nevada citizens?
  • Does fit within the strategic direction of the Nevada System of Higher Education?
  • Level of degree, i.e., undergraduate or graduate
  • How has need and demand been established?
  • Are there similar degrees in Nevada?
  • Who are the students to be served?
  • What are the employment opportunities for graduates of the degree?

    These resources can give insight into employment and whether a field is growing:

  • What resources are needed for the degree?
    • Consider faculty, GAs, space, equipment, labs, recruitment costs.
  • What is the proposed date of implementation?

If the degree may be viable, the Vice Provost for Academic Programs will ask the proposer to complete the pre-proposal form below and submit it to vpap@unlv.edu.

Form

New Program, Degree, Major Proposal

Please schedule an appointment with the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Programs, Dr. Javier Rodriguez, prior to beginning a new program, degree, or major pre-proposal or proposal.

The full proposal is the second step in the new program, degree, or major process. The full proposal requires a resource analysis and an academic assessment plan. There is a checklist to guide you through the steps in the proposal process. It contains the information needed to complete the documents and submit them.

There are many things that have to be completed in the UNLV systems in order to start a new program. All new degrees must be approved by the university’s accrediting agency, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU), before the program begins admitting students.

Please contact the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Programs at 702-895-0482 for questions.

  1. Academic Program Proposal Checklist
  2. Academic Assessment Plan
  3. Interdisciplinary Graduate Degrees Information
  4. NSHE Strategic Planning Goals and Metrics
  5. NSHE Proposal Form Guidance
  6. NSHE Proposal Form
  7. Determining Student FTE for the NSHE New Program Proposal and Cost Estimate

    The NSHE new program proposal form requires headcount and full-time equivalent (FTE) for the fall semester of the first, third and fifth years.

    The cost estimate has FY rather than fall but we have learned that NSHE expects to see the headcount and FTE match on both documents so we use the fall estimate for both documents.

    We use the simplified IPEDS method of calculating FTEs:

    Undergraduate students: number of students times number of credit hours, divided by 15 (a full time credit load).

    Example: 23 students taking 15 credits in the fall semester = 345. Divided by 15 = 23.

    Example: 23 students taking 12 credits in the fall semester = 276. Divided by 15 = 18.4.

    Masters students: number of students times number of credit hours, divided by 12 (a full time credit load).

    Example: 18 students taking 12 credits in the fall semester = 216. Divided by 12 = 18.

    Example: 18 students taking 9 credits in the fall semester = 162. Divided by 12 = 13.5.

    Doctoral students: number of students times number of credit hours, divided by 9 (a full time credit load).

    Example: 15 students taking 9 credits in the fall semester = 135. Divided by 9 = 15.

    Example: 15 students taking 6 credits in the fall semester = 90. Divided by 9 = 10.

    Professional students: number of students times number of credit hours, divided by 12 (a full time credit load). This group is calculated the same as masters students.

    Example: 18 students taking 12 credits in the fall semester = 216. Divided by 12 = 18.

    Example: 18 students taking 9 credits in the fall semester = 162. Divided by 12 = 13.5.

  8. NSHE Criteria for Program Degrees Conferred
  9. Differential Fee Proposal for a New Degree Program
  10. New Program Cost Estimate Guidance
  11. New Program Cost Estimate Worksheet
  12. NSHE Cost Estimate Form
  13. Dean's Memo of Support

Program Mode of Delivery Elimination Request

There are times when a specific mode of delivery may need to be eliminated in a program. For example, perhaps the entire degree is now available online and the face-to-face option needs to be eliminated. Modes of delivery also include hybrid and remote.

It is important to understand that advance planning and communication are required to complete an orderly elimination in a manner that does not disadvantage the students. A teach-out plan is required. Mode of delivery eliminations must be reported to the university’s regional accrediting agency, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities by the Office of the Vice Provost for Academic Programs and include the teach-out plan.

This type of elimination is processed through Curriculog and requires several approvals. Once the Curriculog process is complete, a Provost Alert will be issued and that will notify all campus units that the elimination is complete.

Program, Degree, Major Elimination

This process is used to propose the elimination of a program, degree, or major.

Advance planning and communications with numerous university offices are required to complete an orderly elimination in a manner that does not disadvantage the students. It is NSHE policy that a future date for program elimination be established that will "make every effort to allow current students to graduate and faculty to be placed in other programs if feasible."

Program, Degree, Certificate Deactivation Request

Deactivation of a program, degree, major, certificate, track/concentration/subplan begins with conversations in the college/school with the faculty in the program, the chair or director, the dean, and the curriculum committee. A teach-out plan must be created for students to complete the program.

Both undergraduate and graduate deactivations must be approved by the Vice Provost for Academic Programs and for graduate programs, the Dean of the Graduate College also.

Certificates under 30 credits and track/concentration/subplan do not need NSHE Board of Regents approval. Certificates over 30 credits and degrees do require NSHE Board of Regents and Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities approval.

A program may be deactivated for less than five years with the appropriate approvals. A deactivated program will be considered formally eliminated after five years if not reactivated.

Upon approval of the Vice Provost for Academic Programs and if a graduate program, the Dean of the Graduate College, enter into Curriculog. Entry into Curriculog will initiate the process of either the Faculty Senate Curriculum Committee approval or the Graduate College Programs Committee approval process. Use the appropriate system.

Program, Degree, Major Reactivation Request

This process is used to reactivate a program, degree, major, primary field of study, or certificate that was deactivated less than five years ago.

Differential Fees Request

Certificate Proposals

Undergraduate

Certificates of 1-29 credits are approved by the Faculty Senate Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.

Once Faculty Senate approval has been obtained, send the proposal and the the date of Faculty Senate approval to vpaa@unlv.edu

Certificates of 30 or more credits must go through the program approval process and require NSHE Academic Affairs Council (AAC) approval.

Skills Certificates of less than 30 credit hours that provide preparation necessary to take state, national, and/or industry recognized certification or licensing examinations require AAC approval.

Graduate

Graduate Certificates are approved by the Graduate College New Programs and Program Revisions Committee, the Graduate College and the Provost Office. More detailed information regarding certificate approval and the required form can be found on the Graduate Curriculum web page.

Graduate certificates must be at least 12 credit hours and are typically less than 30 credit hours. Graduate certificates requiring more than 30 credits require NSHE Academic Affairs Council (AAC) approval.

If the certificate will be offered outside of the United States, please provide a complete description in the proposal. It is essential for the Executive Vice President & Provost's office to be aware of that information so that UNLV's regional accrediting agency can be informed.