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Office of the University Registrar

Curriculum Proposals

Definitions

Minor Curricular Changes: These are proposed actions that do not significantly affect programs or course offerings in other teaching units or academic units. Minor curricular changes include altering or updating existing courses; altering or updating the course requirements of majors, minors, and for-credit certificate programs; or creating, altering, or eliminating non-credit certificate programs.

Significant Curricular Changes: These are proposed actions for changes that affect the overall curriculum of existing programs or for changes that substantially affect the requirements of existing programs within the teaching unit or in other teaching units. Significant curricular changes include, but are not limited to: New for-credit certificate programs, bachelors’ degree programs, majors within existing degree programs, master’s, or doctoral programs; substantial revisions of any of the aforementioned programs; the creation of new subject codes; the creation of dual degree programs involving any of the aforementioned programs; the elimination of for-credit certificate programs, bachelors’ degree programs, majors within degree programs, master’s, or doctoral programs.


A new course is also a significant change to the university curriculum. A new course proposal is not required for a new offering or topic under a Selected Topics: Nonrecurring (X96) course; however, a nonrecurring offering or topic may be made only two semesters before a new course proposal is required.

Procedures

A. Minor Curricular Changes
Minor curricular changes must be approved by the academic unit following appropriate academic unit by-laws and/or procedures. The academic unit sends the approved minor changes to the OUR. If an academic unit proposes a minor change to a course that is a required or elective course in another teaching units’ programs, then the home teaching unit must alert all other teaching units of the proposal.


B. Significant Curricular Changes
Roles and responsibilities in the review process for proposals for significant changes in the undergraduate or graduate curriculum are outlined below.

  1. An academic unit dean is required to discuss with the Provost a proposal for a significant change to the curriculum of the academic unit. If there is the potential to affect other academic units, those units must be consulted prior to the development of the proposal. 

  2. All proposals for significant changes to the university curriculum are required to have a home teaching unit or academic unit that is the primary sponsor of the proposed significant changes to the curriculum. 

  3. The faculty members of the home teaching or academic unit are required to review each proposal for a significant change to the university curriculum following their academic unit by-laws. 

  4. The Provost, with input from either the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies or the Dean of Graduate Studies will conduct a preliminary review of each proposal for a significant change to the university curriculum. 

  5. Each proposal for a significant change to the university curriculum must be circulated electronically by the home unit to the academic community for review. Comments gathered during the comment period must be integrated into, or used to revise, the final version of the proposal.

  6. The Undergraduate Curriculum Committee of the Faculty Senate will review and make recommendations regarding all final proposals for significant changes to the undergraduate curriculum of the university. The Graduate Curriculum Committee of the Faculty Senate will review and make recommendations regarding final proposals for significant changes to the graduate curriculum of the university. Proposals for significant changes that affect both the undergraduate and graduate curricula of the university will be reviewed by both the Undergraduate and Graduate Curriculum Committees of the Faculty Senate. 

  7. The Faculty Senate will make a recommendation to the Provost for each proposal for a significant change to the university curriculum that is reviewed by one of its constituent curriculum committees and signed off on by either the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies or the Dean of Graduate Studies.

  8. The Provost will make a final decision on each proposal for a significant change to the undergraduate curriculum or the graduate curriculum of the university except in the case of a proposal for the elimination of an existing degree program or a proposal for the creation of a new degree program. 

  9. The President and the Board of Trustees, in consultation with the Provost, will make the final decision on each proposal to eliminate existing bachelors’, master’s or doctoral degree programs or to create new bachelors’, master’s, or doctoral degree programs. 

Proposing a new General Education course

For Wildcards and new Sophomore Seminars: Complete and return the relevant proposal (see sidebar at right) by either Feb 1 (for Fall) or May 1 (for Spring). Your proposal will be evaluated by the General Education Committee. Wildcards and Sophomore Seminars may run up to two times before going through the New Course Proposal process.

For new permanent courses: Complete and submit a New Course Proposal to your academic unit's EPC. The proposal will be evaluated according to the order of review outlined on the proposal template. In parallel, complete and submit the New GenEd Course form to gened@american.edu. The General Education Committee will certify the course as meeting at least two of the General Education Learning Outcomes.

For existing courses that departments wish to include in the General Education Program: Complete the Proposal to Add Existing Course to GenEd and submit it to gened@american.edu. The General Education Committee will certify the course as meeting at least two of the General Education Learning Outcomes.

Order of Review

Proposal Type

Final Approval

Adding a Major to a Degree Program

Provost

New Undergraduate Major

Board of Trustees

Minor Change to Undergraduate Major, Minor, Graduate Degree Program, Certificate Program, or Course

Academic Unit

New Certificate Program

Provost

New Course

Provost

New Degree Program

Board of Trustees

New Minor

Provost

Significant Change to Undergraduate Major

Provost

Significant Change to Minor

Provost

Significant Change to Graduate Degree Program

Provost

Significant Change to Certificate Program

Provost

Three-Year Bachelor's Program from an Existing Four-Year Program

Provost

Terminating an Undergraduate Major

Board of Trustees

Terminating a Minor

Provost

Terminating a Graduate Degree Program

Board of Trustees

Terminating a Certificate

Provost

Terminating a Course

Provost



Other Resources

The following pages may be helpful to you as you prepare your curriculum proposals: