Program Development

Establishment and Revision of Undergraduate Degree Programs

Introduction

The establishment and revision of undergraduate degree programs at the University at Albany is initiated by the faculty and facilitated on-campus through a structured governance and administrative review process. 

Beyond campus approval, the university is required to submit certain program proposals to SUNY for approval.  SUNY then forwards proposals to NYS Education Department for registration.  Programs must be registered before they can be advertised or offered; students may only be granted financial aid in support of registered programs and may only graduate from registered programs.

The following types of programs and changes must be submitted to SUNY/State Ed for approval:

a. New majors
b. Substantial revisions to majors, including:

  1. Change in name of major, or type of award (BA to BS)
  2. Adding or eliminating concentrations in major (including new faculty-initiated major)
  3. Changing 40 credits in a major (1/3 of bachelor’s degree)
  4. Changes in a program’s focus or design 
  5. Adding or eliminating a requirement for program completion (such as an internship, clinical placement, cooperative education, or other work or field-based experience).  
  6. Altering the liberal arts and science content in a way that changes the degree classification of an undergraduate program.
  7. Mode of delivery (e.g., changing to offering the degree online)
  8. Format change(s) (e.g., from full-time to part-time), based on SED definitions, for the entire program

c.  Proposals for formally registered combined undergraduate/graduate degree programs that will
     result in the award of multiple degrees

    a.  These are referred to in SUNY guidelines as "Multi-Award Programs."
    b.  SUNY assumes that multi-award undergraduate/graduate proposals couple existing 
         degree programs. Accordingly, the procedural review requirements are abbreviated  
         in comparison to those for entirely new degree programs.
    c.  New proposals that include multi-award programs may be reviewed sequentially by
         SUNY/State Ed, resulting in a longer approval process. 

Other:

Minors and program changes not meeting the criteria that require updated registration action are considered on-campus through campus governance, with final authorizing action typically taken by the University’s Undergraduate Academic Council and reported to the University Senate via the Senate Executive Committee.   

The establishment and amendment of undergraduate courses, either as part of a program proposal or due to other changes, is facilitated by the submission of the Course Action Form through departmental, school/college and campus level governance

These forms are submitted to the Office of Undergraduate Education. When deemed necessary, that office will refer the action to UAC for consideration. 

Assistance:

Faculty contemplating undergraduate program development actions are encouraged to contact the Office of Undergraduate Education for individualized procedural assistance.   We can provide feedback and assistance throughout the development process, can assist in determining what if any SUNY forms need to be completed, and help complete the forms and shepherd their movement through governance and SUNY/State Ed approvals.