Faculty who wish to develop new graduate degree programs are encouraged to work closely with the Graduate School from the beginning of the proposal process. We can advise on how to create a proposal that will ensure quality delivery and garner speedy review and approval.
New graduate programs must be approved by the home department, the decanal unit, the Graduate School, the Associate Dean's Graduate Council (ADGC), SUNY-Central in Albany and the State Education Department (SED). Please review the SUNY Guide to Academic Program Planning as you move through this process.
The first step in developing a new academic program is to
complete the Letter
of Intent (LOI, SUNY form 1B), to be approved by the respective
decanal unit, the Graduate School and the ADGC, before it is sent
Once the LOI is approved on campus, Katie will send it to SUNY-Central. SUNY-Central will announce the new program plan to other SUNY campuses for a 30-day comment period that enables the campuses to offer suggestions or express concerns. When the 30-day comment period ends and/or objections from other campuses have been resolved to the satisfaction of SUNY-Central, an approval letter will be sent to Katie, who will share with all appropriate parties on campus. The LOI expires two years after the date of the approval letter from SUNY-Central.
Once an LOI approval letter is received by SUNY-Central, the department seeking the new graduate degree program can begin working on the formal program proposal (SUNY form 2B, New Degree Program Proposal)*, which must include an on-site visit and external evaluation by faculty from similar graduate degree programs at peer or aspirant peer institutions.
Although the final proposal will include information from the
external evaluation, the remainder of the proposal must be written
prior to the site visit and shared with the evaluation team
for review and consideration.
*You may also be required to submit supplemental forms, please review the SUNY website for more information.
The external evaluation must include at least two SUNY-approved
faculty members from outside of UB, who are invited to comment on
the feasibility of the program and the capacity of the department
to implement it.
Step 3A: Selecting evaluators
The first step in planning the site visit is selecting the external evaluation team. The department should gather the names and curricula vitae for three to five proposed external evaluators and send the list to Katie Darling, to be shared with, and approved by, SUNY-Central. In most cases only two evaluators will be required to visit the campus, however in certain circumstances, such as interdisciplinary degree programs, campuses may be required to submit reports for three or more reviewers.
Each external evaluator is expected:
For any program leading to professional licensure, one evaluator
should be from a New York State institution, to provide expertise
on New York State’s licensure requirements.
Step 3B: Site visit
Once the external evaluation team has been approved by SUNY-Central, the department is responsible for formally inviting the evaluation team to campus and coordinating their two-day site visit. The department is also responsible for all costs incurred during the site visit, including travel costs for the evaluation team.
Prior to their visit, the External Evaluation Report (SUNY form 2D) should be shared with the external reviewers.
Step 3C: External evaluation
Upon completion of the site visit, each evaluator should email
his/her separate and signed report directly to the department, to
be included in the formal proposal. External evaluators must use
the External Evaluation Report (SUNY form 2D) when
writing the evaluation.
Step 3D: Institutional response
Once all external reports have been received and reviewed by the department, the next step is for the department to prepare a single institutional response to all external evaluations that addresses what was revised to incorporate suggestions from the evaluators, or why suggestions were not incorporated. The response should address all of the evaluators’ concerns and recommendations, indicating those that have been adopted, or will be adopted, or the reasons why they will not be adopted.
After the individual external evaluations have been collected
and the institutional response has been written, this documentation
is incorporated into the finalized proposal.
Careful review and revision of a draft program proposal at the campus level can prevent unnecessary delays in SUNY-Central and SED reviews. Departments should ensure that all applicable items have responses, that all responses are accurate, complete and clear, and that all required information is part of the proposal and easy for reviewers to find.
When the final proposal is approved at the department and decanal level, it is then shared with Katie Darling and Brittany Iannucci for review by the Graduate School. Once approved, the proposal will then be subject to a vote at the monthly ADGC meeting for formal campus approval.
Following approval by the ADGC, Katie Darling will submit the final program proposal to SUNY-Central for review. The assigned campus reviewer at SUNY-Central will work with the Katie, where necessary, until the program is approved. Each program proposal is reviewed in terms of SUNY policy and priorities as well as mission, market and quality. SUNY-Central generally responds to new program proposals within 60 days.
After its approval by SUNY-Central, the new program proposal is sent to SED for review. The assigned campus reviewer at SED will work with the Katie Darling, where necessary, until the program is approved.
When the program proposal is approved, SED will notify Katie,
who will share the SED approval letter with all interested parties.
SED review can take up to one year.
Questions? Please check our Program Proposal FAQs page.