Undergraduate Program Processes

Academic Program Processes

Processes for creating, modifying and deleting academic programs are designed to ensure that programs are aligned with university strategic priorities, support the originating academic unit’s mission, comply with university policy and operations, and are sustainable with available resources. Learn more below.

Undergraduate Programs

Step One

Identify the program for which an action will be taken.

Learn more about the types of undergraduate programs below:

Major/Degree

A major is a sequence of courses and activities leading to a degree or diploma in an academic discipline or subject area. The NU Board of Regents adopted a 120 credit hour maximum for all undergraduate degree programs beginning in Fall 2012 (Regents Policy 5.1.4). Exceptions to this rule must be approved by the Board of Regents. Programs that exceed 120 credit hours due to professional accreditation and/or state requirements, or those defined as five-year degrees are those most likely to receive an exception approval. Majors/degrees appear on transcripts.

Minor

A minor represents additional value for developing students’ competencies and learning within a program of study. Minors require between 12-18 credit hours of coursework and are limited to degree-seeking students. No more than 6 credit hours of transfer work can be used to satisfy minor requirements and no more than 6 credit hours taken with a P/NP grading option can be used to satisfy minor requirements. In some cases, college policies may require that most or all of the credit hours be taken with a grade only option. Minors appear on transcripts.

Certificate

An undergraduate certificate is a structured set of professionally-oriented courses designed to provide recognition that the student has completed coursework in an applied area of focus. Undergraduate certificates may be offered to non-degree and/or degree-seeking students. The majority of the coursework should be at the 300 and 400 level with the exception of certificates in certain fields (i.e. agriculture and specified medical fields). Certificates appear on transcripts.

Option

A choice of two or more courses within an undergraduate major that define a specialty area or specific field of study. The curriculum allows for different courses to meet expected outcomes that constitute an option. An option must account for approximately 50% and no less than 18 credit hours of the major requirements. Colleges with a common set of core requirements for all majors may request a 12-hour minimum. Options appear on transcripts.

Emphasis

A choice of two or more sets of course requirements within an undergraduate major that define a specialty area or specific field of study. The course requirements are the same or similar, but the curriculum allows for different course requirements to meet expected outcomes that constitute an emphasis. The emphasis must account for approximately 30% or no less than 12 credit hours of the major requirements. Colleges with a common set of core requirements for all majors may request a 9-hour minimum. Emphases do not appear on transcripts.

Endorsement

Course completions within the undergraduate major or certificate that lead to the recommendation of a Nebraska Department of Education certification (teaching or administrative certification or additional endorsements for prior certification). Teaching endorsements are those recognized by the Nebraska Department of Education. Field, subject and supplemental endorsements are possible. Endorsements appear on transcripts.

Step Two

Determine the programmatic action you want to take.

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Create

Creating a new instructional program is one not included in the definition of an existing instructional program. A substantial modification of an existing instructional program constitutes creating a new program, such as when the principal objective of the program is changed.

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Modify

Modifying an instructional program is a reasonable and moderate extension of an existing instructional program. Examples of modifications include name changes, merger/consolidation, and substantial changes in degree requirements.

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Delete

Deleting an instructional program will halt recruiting, advertising and admitting into the program but will allow current students to finish the program.

Step Three

Review the timeline for transmittal and approval, if required.

Major/Certificate

Chart describing the process of creating, modifying, or deleting an Undergraduate Major/Degree or Certificate program

Minor/Option

Chart describing the process of creating, modifying, or deleting an Undergraduate Minor or Option program

Emphasis

Chart describing the process of creating, modifying, or deleting an Undergraduate Emphasis program

Endorsement

Chart describing the process of creating, modifying, or deleting an Undergraduate Certificate program

Step Four

Download and complete the proposal template:

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Create an Undergraduate Program

Major/Degree Minor Option Emphasis Certificate Endorsement
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Modify an Undergraduate Program

Major/Degree Minor Option Emphasis Certificate Endorsement
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Delete an Undergraduate Program

Major/Degree Minor Option Emphasis Certificate Endorsement

Step Five

Transmit the proposal and supporting documents.

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Submit electronically and Transmit a hard copy

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A memo from the college dean or Vice Chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources with an original signature, confirming that department and college approvals are in place is required. The proposal should be transmitted as a Word document. Budget tables, if required, need to be submitted as Excel documents. Supporting letters, appendices and other documents can be submitted as PDF. Colleges should send all materials electronically via email and a transmit a full copy of the proposal and supporting documents via campus mail.


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Don't forget

Curriculum actions for individual courses need to follow established procedures with the University Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.

Materials for all programs except emphases should be sent to Dr. Renee Batman, Assistant Vice Chancellor at rbatman2@unl.edu, 208 Canfield Admn 0420.

Materials for emphases should be sent to the Director of Undergraduate Education Programs, Dr. Nancy Mitchell at nancy.mitchell@unl.edu, 222 Seaton Hall 0683.

Step Six

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Be prepared for questions and revisions throughout the process.

The proposer and/or dean will be the point of contact regarding questions on proposals. The University Registrar, Admissions, and Undergraduate Education Programs will conduct an early review of the proposal once received by the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor. Operational questions may arise from this review.

The Academic Planning Committee and Board of Regents may request additional information or ask clarifying questions. The Board may ask that a representative from the unit attend the Coordinating Commission for Post-Secondary Education’s meeting in which the proposal will be discussed. The Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor will provide the proposer with as much notice as possible if the physical presence is desired.

Step Seven

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Receive notification of process completion (approval, if required) and take action.

The Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor will notify the Vice Chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (if necessary), dean, proposer, University Registrar, Undergraduate Admissions, Undergraduate Education Programs, Institutional Research and Decision Support, and Scholarships and Financial Aid once official approval of program actions has been received, if required. For program actions not requiring external campus review, the same units will be notified once the proposal has been reviewed operationally and processed. For emphases, notification is handled by the Director of Undergraduate Education Programs and includes the proposer, college and University Registrar only.

This is the green light to implement the program action. Colleges can proceed with updating local materials. The units will have access to the full proposal and will contact the proposer with any additional questions. Depending on the program and programmatic action, the units will proceed as follows:

University Registrar Create or Modify Peoplesoft
Update Degree Audit
Undergraduate Admissions Modify Undergraduate Admissions Application
Modify Recruitment Materials
Undergraduate Education Programs Modify Undergraduate Bulletin (Catalog)
Scholarships and Financial Aid Update the Program Participation Agreement
Institutional Research, Analytics and Decision Support Monitor Reporting Environments

Questions?

Contact Dr. Renee Batman, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at rbatman2@unl.edu or 472-3751.