UNC Charlotte Academic Procedure: New Degree Programs – Part I: Request for Preliminary Authorization

I. Executive Summary

The process for planning and establishing a new degree program (undergraduate major or graduate program) at UNC Charlotte is governed by the rules and regulations of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors who have the authority to approve new degree programs (UNC Policy Manual Chapter 400.1 – Academic Programs).

II. Procedure Statement

The following steps should be followed to begin the Request for Preliminary Authorization (formerly Letter of Intent) process of requesting the approval to plan a new degree program:

  1. Department(s) proposes program to appropriate Dean(s). If acknowledged for further consideration, Dean(s) consults with Provost and seeks authorization to proceed with Request for Preliminary Authorization.
  2. If approved by Provost to proceed, Dean consults with Associate Provost and Chief of Staff to schedule a 90-minute Kick-Off Meeting with the individuals from the department(s)/college(s) who will be involved in proposing the new program.
  3. Following the Kick-Off Meeting, a draft Request for Preliminary Authorization is prepared by the department(s)/program(s) and uploaded to Curriculog using the New Degree Program – Part One: Request for Preliminary Authorization form. The Request for Preliminary Authorization form is used for new on-campus and distance education programs. The form should include a (1) Substantive Change Planning Questionnaire and (2) UNC System Academic Program Planning Financial Worksheet as addendums.

    Note: If the proposed program includes online and/or off-campus delivery, Program Form 4: Program Delivery should also be completed within Curriculog.

  4. Within Curriculog, the Request for Preliminary Authorization is routed to: Department Chair(s), Dean(s), Office of Assessment, Dean of the Graduate School (if applicable), and the Graduate Council or Undergraduate Course and Curriculum Committee, as appropriate.
  5. Following review by the Graduate Council/Undergraduate Course and Curriculum Committee, the proposal is routed via Curriculog to the Faculty President for notification and to the Provost and Office of Academic Affairs for review.
  6. Provost and Office of Academic Affairs review the Request for Preliminary Authorization and decide to proceed with Chancellor consultation (including ranking of proposed program within college and institutional priorities) or return proposal to college with additional comments/considerations.
  7. If approved to proceed, Office of Academic Affairs submits the final Request for Preliminary Authorization to UNC System Office and posts the final version on the Academic Program Planning and Authorization webpage.
  8. UNC System Office responds (within four weeks) with approval or denial to proceed and subsequent review follows in accordance with timeline on UNC New Degree Programs webpage.

III. Definitions

There are currently no definitions for this procedure.

IV. Procedure Contact(s)

V. History

  • 06/25/18: Revised [Updated to include new Curriculog process]
  • 01/06/21: Revised [Updated required forms per UNC System Office; “Letter of Intent” changed to “Request for Preliminary Authorization”]

VI. Related Policies, Procedures, and Resources

VII. Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where is this procedure referenced?
    The procedure is published on the Academic Policies & Procedures webpage of the Provost website.