New Programs from Start to Finish

UTSA

All new program proposals must be submitted for approval using the CourseLeaf Program Management system. For questions concerning new program proposals or for access to CourseLeaf:

Once submitted to CourseLeaf, the proposal will route for all necessary internal UTSA approvals at the department and college level, as well as to Academic Council, Graduate Council (if applicable), Faculty Senate, and Academic Affairs.

The Academic Council generally meets twice a month. Items to be considered must be approved by the respective Vice Provost for the Graduate School or Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

For graduate programs, pre-proposals are also reviewed by Academic Council. Following approval by Academic Council, full proposals may be developed and reviewed by the Graduate Council. Graduate Council meets monthly during the spring and fall semesters.

The Faculty Senate meets once a month during the spring and fall terms. Items approved by the Academic Council/Graduate Council will be forwarded to Faculty Senate for their review and approval.


UT System and THECB

After all UTSA approvals are obtained, proposals are forwarded by the Office of Continuous Improvement and Accreditation to the University of Texas System (UT System), which then forwards proposals to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), as appropriate.

  • Degree programs that are not PhD programs or Engineering programs (all levels) and do not require more than two million dollars in funding - Reviewed on a rolling basis. At least 2-3 months should be allowed for this review unless additional information is requested, which could delay timelines.
  • PhD and Engineering programs (all levels) - The Coordinating Board requires submission of planning notification. Please consult with the Graduate School on the Preliminary Authority Request documentation for doctoral programs prior to uploading to CourseLeaf. Once the Preliminary Authority Request has been approved, full proposals may be developed and submitted for approval.
  • Engineering programs (baccalaureate or master’s) - UT System Office of Academic Affairs will submit the planning notification letter to the Coordinating Board on behalf of UTSA upon receipt of the new degree proposal once approved in CourseLeaf.
  • PhD programs and programs involving more than two million dollars in funding - Approval is required by the UT System Board of Regents. For PhD programs, once approved by UT System Board of Regents, the UT System Office of Academic Affairs will forward the proposal to the Coordinating Board who will commence a desk review of the proposal. Once completed, the Coordinating Board staff will schedule a site visit. This process can take several months.

SACSCOC

The Office of Continuous Improvement and Accreditation coordinates submission of substantive changes to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) for approval. As a new degree program proposal routes through CourseLeaf, notes are added to indicate if SACSCOC approval is needed in order to implement the program. Begin to work with Continuous Improvement and Accreditation as soon as it is determined that SACSCOC approval is required for a new program. A full prospectus with documentation, including a faculty roster, will need to be submitted to the SACSCOC.

After UTSA and UT System approvals have been obtained, the prospectus for SACSCOC approval can be submitted at the same time that the full program proposal is submitted to the THECB. These two documents should be worked on simultaneously in order to shorten the time it takes to get the program fully approved.


Review and Approval Time Frames

UT System

Programs that do not require more than $2 million in funding are reviewed on a rolling basis and are approved by the Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs on behalf of UT System. At least 2-3 months should be allowed for this review unless additional information is requested.

Programs which require approval from the Board of Regents are approved at the quarterly Board of Regents’ meetings (held in November, February, May and August). Program proposals are due no later than August 1 for the November meeting, November 1 for the February meeting, February 1 for the May meeting, and May 1 for the August meeting.

THECB

Bachelor’s and master’s programs that do not require more than $2 million in funding are reviewed and approved by the THECB staff.

New PhD programs that have had a successful desk review and site visit, new engineering programs (all levels) and bachelor’s and master’s programs exceeding $2 million in funding are approved at the quarterly THECB meeting (fourth Thursday of every January, April, July and October)

SACSCOC Proposals needing SACSCOC approval must be received by the SACSCOC by January 1 for changes to be implemented the following fall, and July 1 for changes to be implemented the following spring. Materials must be submitted to Continuous Improvement and Accreditation for review and final edits one month in advance of SACSCOC deadlines.

Catalog and Courses

The Office of the Registrar maintains UTSA’s course inventory and publishes the catalogs. Links to catalog-specific revision schedules and instructions are provided at the link below.

For degree programs being implemented between catalogs, contact the Catalog Editor to discuss options:

Off-Catalog Cycle New Undergraduate Certificate Proposal Timeline

Date Description
Oct. 15th: Proposals are due to Academic Council for consideration to be implemented the next academic year. The proposal should be approved by both the department and college curriculum committees.
Dec. 1st – March 1st: All proposals supported at Academic Council go to Senate for review.
April 30th: Approval through Senate complete.
Aug. 15th: New Certificate implemented.

Program Promotion

After UT System has approved the new program, Enrollment Marketing (EM) will initiate the promotion process by reaching out to the college. The time between UT System approval and THECB approval is used to collect the necessary content for the webpage.

Once a new program has received approval at the THECB level, Enrollment Marketing will reach out to both the college and to Admissions Operations to launch the new program webpage that will be housed on the UTSA Admissions website - future.utsa.edu. Colleges should already be working with Admissions Operations to provide admission requirements for the program so that the program can also be placed on the appropriate admission application.

For programs that need additional SACSCOC approval, disclaimers will be placed to let students know that the new program is not available for admissions until SACSCOC approval comes in. This allows the college to advertise the new program pending SACSCOC while waiting for it to be officially placed on the admission application.

For graduate certificates that do not require external approvals, Enrollment Marketing will initiate the promotion process by reaching out to the college once the certificate has been approved after Faculty Senate.

For programs that are option 3 (100% online), please contact UTSA Online within Academic Innovations.

For more information on academic approval processes and shared governance at UTSA, please visit: UTSA Shared Governance