Program Development and Amendment Procedures

The establishment and modification of graduate degree and certificate programs at the University at Albany is vested with the faculty and facilitated on-campus through a structured governance and administrative review process.

New program proposals, upon final campus approval, are transmitted to SUNY System Administration for consideration and, upon support, to the New York State Education Department for final consideration and registration action. This same routing is followed for any major changes to existing registered programs, as required by the N.Y.S. Education Commissioner’s Regulations, § 52.1 (h), that specify “New registration shall be required for any existing curriculum in which major changes are made that affect its title, focus, design, requirements for completion, or mode of delivery.” Program changes not requiring updated registration action are considered on-campus through campus governance, with final authorizing action typically taken by the University’s Graduate Academic Council.

Graduate academic new program development steps are listed in the Step-by-step Graduate Program Development Guide and displayed in the UA Academic Program Approval Process Flow Chart. The procedures for new program consideration and initiation involve two major steps including contact with SUNY System Administration. An initial concept document, the Letter of Intent, is considered on-campus and, upon support, is transmitted to SUNY System Administration where it is reviewed and shared with other SUNY units. When a Letter of Intent is approved by SUNY, the campus proceeds to develop a Full Program Proposal for consideration. Procedural information and content requirements for the Letter of Intent and the Full Program Proposal are detailed in the SUNY document "Guide to Academic Program Planning" with referenced SUNY Forms for Academic Program Planning. 

Proposed major amendments to existing graduate curricula should be prepared and submitted using Form 3A within the above referenced SUNY Forms for Academic Program Planning inventory.

Proposed program title (only) changes should be prepared and submitted using Form 3C within the above referenced SUNY Forms for Academic Program Planning inventory. 

When a new or existing program is contemplated for distance education delivery format, such that students will be able to complete 50% or more of the course requirements at a distance, Form 4 within the SUNY Forms for Academic Program Planning inventory needs to be included with the main proposal. 

The establishment and amendment of graduate 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.

Faculty contemplating graduate program development actions are encouraged to contact The Graduate School for individualized procedural assistance.