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Academic Affairs University of Illinois Springfield

Program Approval Guidelines & Forms

Approval Process for Majors

Approval Process for Minors

Approval Process for Concentrations


Approval Process for Majors

Definition

An undergraduate major is a structured a coherent primary course of study. It allows undergraduates to develop a specialized, in-depth field of study as part of their educational experience at UIS. All undergraduates must complete the requirements for one major program to earn a baccalaureate degree at UIS.

Academic Policy

Majors may focus on a single discipline or provide an interdisciplinary approach to a field of study. Majors are usually offered by academic departments within a college, but interdisciplinary majors may be co-sponsored by two or more departments, even if those departments are in different colleges. Typically, a major consists of a core of required courses and a set of electives from which students may choose. Majors usually consist of 30-36 credit hours. Majors are recorded on student transcripts.

Administrative Policy

Within campus guidelines, departments will determine the number, type, and level of courses that constitute an undergraduate major. Descriptions of majors and major requirements will be published in the UIS Catalog. Departments housing undergraduate majors are responsible for advising students in the major.

All levels of governance approval outlined in the UIS Levels of Governance and Administrative Approval Chart, including Board of Trustees and Illinois Board of Higher Education approvals, must be received by August 1 in order to include a new major or joint major in the catalog for the upcoming academic year.

If all required levels of governance approval are not received by August 1, then the new major would be offered in the next academic year.

Guidelines

Effective January 1, 2013, all academic departments will contact Joy Thibadeau in the Provost’s Office when the creation of the proposed major or joint major is in the very early planning stages. Initial contact should be made via email to jthib2@uis.edu with a copy of the email sent to the appropriate dean.

By starting the planning process with the Provost’s Office early, programs can ensure that their initiatives are well organized before the campus governance approval process begins so that the new major or joint major can be offered during the earliest possible fall semester.

Departments will need to use the UIS Levels of Governance and Administrative Approval Chart to determine which of the forms below is appropriate. Most new program processes require the full IBHE New Degree Program Application, but for programs that are building on already existing programs (such as concentrations or minors), the Reasonable and Moderate Extensions (RME) Guidelines may be more appropriate. For questions about which form is needed, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Education or Graduate Education, as appropriate.

Approval Form

Illinois Board of Higher Education New Degree Program Application (.doc)

UIS Reasonable and Moderate Extensions Guidelines (.doc)


Approval Process for Minors

Definition

An undergraduate academic minor is a grouping of courses that has clearly stated academic objectives. It may be located in a discipline or may combine different disciplinary perspectives focusing on a common set of questions or a theme. Minors provide basic competency in a discipline or basic understanding of the questions or theme. Minors contain one or more core courses to provide direction and unity, and they may contain a set of options or electives beyond the core to allow flexibility.

Academic Policy

At UIS, minors usually include 15-24 credit hours. Students may not adopt a minor in any major they declare. Students who adopt minors must be degree-seeking undergraduates who also have a major. Minors are recorded on student transcripts.

Administrative Policy

Within campus guidelines, departments will determine the number, type, and level of courses that constitute an undergraduate minor. Descriptions of minors and minor requirements will be published in the UIS Catalog. Departments housing minors are responsible for advising students in the minor. Minors can only be offered by credit-generating units.

All levels of governance approval outlined in the UIS Levels of Governance and Administrative Approval Chart must be received by August 1 in order to include a new minor in the catalog for the upcoming academic year. If all required levels of governance approval are not received by August 1, then the new program would be offered in the next academic year.

Guidelines

Effective January 1, 2013, all academic departments will contact Joy Thibadeau in the Provost’s Office when the creation of the proposed minor is in the very early planning stages. Contact should be made via email to jthib2@uis.edu with a copy of the email sent to the appropriate dean.

By starting the planning process with the Provost’s Office early, programs can ensure that their initiatives are well organized before the campus governance approval process begins so that the new minor can be offered during the earliest possible fall semester.

Approval Form

New Academic Minor Proposal Form (.doc)


Approval Process for Concentrations

Definition

A concentration is a grouping of courses within an undergraduate major and constitutes a portion of the major. A concentration is distinct from a minor in that a minor broadly introduces a student to a field of study, while a concentration focuses on a subfield within a discipline.

Academic Policy

Typically, a concentration is defined as a minimum of nine or more hours that a student may take as part of the degree program. Concentrations are housed only in departments with majors and are recorded on student transcripts.

Administrative Policy

Within campus guidelines, departments will determine the number, type, and level of courses that constitute a concentration within a given undergraduate major. Descriptions of concentrations will be published in the UIS Catalog.

All levels of governance approval outlined in the UIS Levels of Governance and Administrative Approval Chart must be received by August 1 in order to include a new concentration in the catalog for the upcoming academic year. If all required levels of governance approval are not received by August 1, then the new program would be offered in the next academic year.

Guidelines

Effective January 1, 2013, all academic departments will contact Joy Thibadeau in the Provost’s Office when the creation of the proposed concentration is in the very early planning stages. Contact should be made via email to jthib2@uis.edu with a copy of the email sent to the appropriate dean.

By starting the planning process with the Provost’s Office early, programs can ensure that their initiatives are well organized before the campus governance approval process begins so that the new concentration can be offered during the earliest possible fall semester.

Approval Form

New Academic Concentration Proposal Form (.doc)