Proposing a New Major


The development of a new major or program is a substantial endeavor.  New majors and programs must be reviewed by several groups of people within the College itself; in nearly all cases, external accreditation agencies must be notified as well.  The entire process (from proposal to implementation) can take eighteen to twenty-four months to complete.  The Committee highly recommends that you consult with the Provost and the appropriate Dean before embarking on such a project.

General Principles

The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AACU) has been the voice of liberal education for over 100 years. In the mid 2000s, they started the Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) project, to provide a modern framework for liberal arts education.  The Curriculum Committee has adopted the LEAP framework for program review, which we use as a guide when considering new programs (majors or degrees), new concentrations, and new minors, as well as any revisions to these. 

Questions to Consider:

  • What are the goals, objectives, and intended outcomes of the program?
  • How do the beginning, middle, and end of the curriculum develop the goals, objectives, and intended outcomes of the program?
  • How are the goals and the intended outcome of the program made clear to the students?
  • Are the program goals linked to specific courses (as manifested, for example, in syllabi)?
  • Do the courses in the major provide depth and perspective in a context that will enhance the liberal education of the students? Conversely, is the selection of the courses so narrow and specialized that the major interferes with rather than enhances liberal education?

Additional Resources

The following resources will help you as you develop a new major or program:

Procedure to Follow

As noted above, you should begin by consulting the Provost's Office and the relevant Dean; you will also need to work with the Academic Planning, Budget, and possibly other committees.  Once you are ready and able to begin the proposal, the Curriculum Committee requires the following:

  • in Curriculog, fill out the New Major/Program/Certificate form.
  • For new courses, attach the New Course orm.
  • Attach a cover letter that includes a list of all the documents you are submitting.
  • Attach a demonstration that a student can meet graduation requirements in 4 years.
  • Describe the minimum number of credit hours required, and justify the size of the major.
  • The proposal must be submitted through Curriculog to the Provost's Office by the deadline.
  • Attend the relevant Curriculum Committee meeting to present the proposal.
  • Attend the relevant Senate meeting to answer any questions that arise.