Academic Program Development:

Changes to Undergraduate Degree Program Requirements

Academic Program Changes:

The revision of academic programs is common. All changes will go the Office of Undergraduate Education here at the University at Albany, then they will go through our campus governance procedures for approval. Additionally, some specific changes require SUNY System Administration (SUNY) approval and/or New York State Education Department (NYSED) reregistration.

Academic Program Changes that Require SUNY Approval & NYSED Registration:

The following changes all require SUNY and NYSED approval:

Substantive Changes to Content:

  • Cumulative changes since the last NYSED approval and registration of the program that result in one-third or more of the minimum credits required for the program.
    • Approximately 30 credits of a bachelor’s degree.
    • Each campus is responsible for monitoring cumulative changes to each degree.
    • To count credits for revision purposes, each replacement of one course for another course is considered to be a change. For  example, eliminating one 3-credit course and replacing it with a new 3-credit course would be considered a 3-credit change.
  • Changes in the program’s focus or design, including a change in the program’s major disciplinary area.
    • An example would be eliminating management courses in a business administration program.
    • Establishing an existing program at a branch campus is not a revision – this would require registration of a new program.
    • Please note that a format change that enables students to complete 50% or more the program via distance education, a Distance Education Format Proposal must be submitted as part of the revision.
  • Adding or eliminating one or more options, concentrations or tracks.
    • Any new track or concentration must be approved by SUNY and NYSED.
    • Any removal of tracks or concentrations must be approved by SUNY and NYSED. 
    • Deactivation of a program (suspending enrollment for up to three years) only requires SUNY Approval, based on a campus request with a Deactivation and/or Discontinuance Proposal. 
      • Discontinuance of a program requires SUNY approval, after which SED will remove it from the Inventory of Registered Programs. This action would also require a Deactivation and/or Discontinuance Proposal.
  • Adding or eliminating a requirement for completion, including internships, clinical placements, cooperative education or other field-based experience.
    • Any time a requirement like this is added or removed, it must be approved by SUNY and NYSED.
  • Altering the liberal arts and sciences (LAS) content in a way that changes the degree classification as defined in Section 3.47(c)(1-4) of Regents Rules.
    • Changing an award from BA to BS or BS to BA would require approval from both SUNY and NYSED.

Academic Program Changes - Process:

Prepare a Program Revision Proposal:

- The College dean may ask faculty to consider program changes, or the faculty may request the Dean to consider changes to a degree program. In response, prepare the Form 3A Program Revision Proposal: Changes to an existing Program Form and have the form reviewed by the College’s internal governance body. Also, a Campus Impact Form is completed to be submitted with the proposal to UPPC.

Form 3A Program Revision Proposal: Changes to an existing Program Form

Campus Impact Form

Shared Governance Process:

- The College Dean transmits the completed Form 3A to the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education (or designee) who, in turn, will forward it to the Undergraduate Academic Council (UAC) and the University Planning and Policy Council (UPPC).
- The Curriculum and Honors subcommittee of UAC will review the proposal and direct any concerns or questions to the initiator. This subcommittee will then present the proposal to UAC for approval.
- The Chairs of UAC and UPPC will inform the Senate Executive committee about the approved revision. Depending on the significance of the revision, the proposal may/may not be presented to the full Senate for additional approval.
- If the proposal needs to be voted on by the full Senate, the Senate will have the opportunity to review and vote on the proposed changes.
SUNY & NYSED Approval:
- If the Senate approves the changes, or the changes do not need to go to the Senate for review, the revision will be forwarded to the President and the Provost for final campus consideration.
- If the revision requires SUNY and NYSED approval, the Office of Undergraduate Education will prepare correspondence to the SUNY System Provost for transmittal of the proposal by the UAlbany Provost.
- Upon SUNY approval, the SUNY Provost will forward the Proposal to NYSED for consideration, final approval and reregistration of the degree. NYSED review may involve notice to other institutions in the State, affording them the opportunity to comment on the degree changes.
- NYSED will notify the SUNY System Provost upon final approval and reregistration. The SUNY Provost will, in turn, notify the Campus President and the Office of Undergraduate Education. The Office of Undergraduate Education will notify the College Dean, the initiating department, and all appropriate administrative units for program activation purposes.


Course Changes:

The changes to existing courses, either as part of a new program proposal, changes to degree needs, or due to elective options, are facilitated by the submission of a Course Action Form through departmental, school/college and campus level governance. These forms are submitted to the Office of Undergraduate Education and are referred to UAC for consideration.

Course Action Form

Course Action Form Instructions


Faculty contemplating undergraduate program changes are encouraged to contact the Office of Undergraduate Education for individualized procedural assistance. We can provide feedback and assistance throughout the development and reregistration process, can assist in determining what if any SUNY forms need to be completed, provide direction in completing the forms and shepherd their movement through campus governance, SUNY and NYSED approvals and registration.