New Programs from Start to Finish

UTSA

All new program proposals must be submitted for electronic routing and approval using the CourseLeaf Program Management system. All graduate programs need to be reviewed by the Graduate School prior to submission into CourseLeaf. For questions concerning new program proposals or for access to CourseLeaf:

The process for approving new academic programs involves three phases:

three-phases-approval.png

  1. In the planning phase, the initiator will submit basic information about the proposed program, and they will receive information back regarding labor market trends, strategic marketing analysis, and online program implications (if applicable). NOTE: Initiators, you are only required to answer questions before the heading that says STOP in red font during the planning phase.
  2. In the analysis phase, the department and college reviews the information provided and makes any revisions to the initial proposal, in consultation with the dean and financial leads. If it is decided that the proposal will continue to move forward, then it moves to the shared governance phase.
  3. In the shared governance phase, 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. In addition, any external approvals will be obtained and notes will be added to the CourseLeaf record to show the progress.

Click here for a complete Flowchart of Approval Process Workflow 

For more information about shared governance at UTSA, please visit the Academic Affairs Shared Governance website.

For information about self-supporting (100% online) programs, please refer to Academic Innovations.


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), and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB), as appropriate.

  • Degree  programs that are not doctoral or professional programs (new bachelor’s and master’s) with less than 50% new content – 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.  These proposals are reviewed and approved by the UT System Executive Vice Chancellor and the Assistant Commissioner of the Coordinating Board.
  • Degree programs that are not doctoral or professional programs (new bachelor’s and master’s) with 50% or more new content – Reviewed on a rolling basis.  At least 3-6 months should be allowed for this review unless additional information is requested, which could delay timelines.  These proposals are reviewed and approved by the UT System Executive Vice Chancellor and the Commissioner of the Coordinating Board.   
  • Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees - All bachelor’s and master’s degrees require a planning notification to be submitted to the Coordinating Board prior to submitting the full proposal.  This is a short online form and will occur following approval of the pre-proposal by Academic Council.  The Office of Continuous Improvement and Accreditation will oversee completion and submission of the planning notification.
  • Doctoral or Professional programs – The Coordinating Board requires submission of planning notification one year prior to submitting full degree proposal.  The planning notification form will be submitted once the pre-proposal is approved by Academic Council.  Similar to the bachelor’s and master’s degrees, the planning notification is a short, online form and will be submitted following approval of the pre-proposal by Academic Council.   The Office of Continuous Improvement and Accreditation will oversee completion and submission of the planning notification.  Full proposal requires approval by the UT System Board of Regents.  Once approved by the UT System Board of Regents, the Coordinating Board will schedule a desk review and site visit of the proposal. This process can take several months. Upon completion of a successful desk review and site visit, the doctoral or professional proposal will be considered by the Coordinating Board at one of their Quarterly Board meetings. 

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

UTSA Academic Council

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

UTSA Graduate Council

Graduate Council meets monthly during the fall and spring semesters .

UTSA Faculty Senate

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

UT System

Programs 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 a re approved at the quarterly Board of Regents meeting s ( 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

New Bachelor’s and M aster’s programs with less than 50% new content are reviewed and approved by the Assistant Commissioner.  

New Bachelor’s and Master’s programs with more than 50% new content are reviewed and approved by the Commissioner.  

New Doctoral or Professional programs that have had a successful desk review and site visit are approved at the quarterly THECB meeting (fourth Thursday of every January, April, July and October).

Estimated timelines for approvals:

Less than 50% new content:  30-60 days
50% or more new content: 60-90 days
Proposals that require approval at a quarterly board meeting: 6-9 months

* Please note that there is a 30-day comment period notification for all new degree programs.  The Coordinating Board emails universities/colleges in the region to notify them of the proposed program.  The purpose is to allow comments/concerns to be submitted to the Coordinating Board regarding the new program.  The 30-day comment period does not count toward the review period.

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.

Click here for UTSA Catalogs Resource Page 

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.

Enrollment Marketing will initiate the promotion process of graduate certificates by reaching out to the college once the certificate has been approved after Faculty Senate.