Graduate Degree Proposal Review

2021 update for new degree proposals: Due to increasing interest in developing new degree programs, the Graduate Division (GD) is implementing the following procedure to ensure proposals are reviewed in a fair and transparent manner.

  1. When departments are certain that they are ready to proceed with proposal development and review, they are asked to complete this Intent to Propose a New Degree Survey. GD is currently receiving multiple requests and needs to prioritize them. It is therefore of paramount importance that proposers fill out this survey carefully.
  2. For SSGPDP proposals only: Assistant Dean Linda Song will follow up with proposers to assess readiness to prepare a 1-2 page summary for your Dean to present to the Council of Deans (COD). Graduate Division will work with proposers on their summary to COD.
  3. Graduate Division will then make every attempt to conduct timely and comprehensive reviews of proposals before they are forwarded to the Graduate Council for consideration. This is a labor-intensive process that typically takes several rounds, and a timely and successful review is strongly dependent on proposers. The omission of required information or careless presentation could result in delayed review of a proposal. Given the increased workload of Graduate Division and Graduate Council at this time, proposers should be both diligent and patient, and have a back-up timeline in place for launching the program.

Please see the Graduate Division program proposals website for further information.

Timeline and process for review

Proposers of a new degree program must have their proposal submitted to the Graduate Council no later than the second Monday of September of the academic year prior to the one in which they wish to begin admitting students. To meet this deadline, proposers need to submit their proposal to Graduate Division by July 1 at the latest. Graduate Division will work with proposers to ensure that the proposal includes the required information and that the appropriate approvals have been given. Once this is done, Graduate Division will forward the proposal to the GC. 

The GC will identify a subcommittee to review the proposal prior to consideration by the full committee. In addition, the Coordinating Committee on Graduate Affairs (CCGA) requires that the Committee on Academic Planning and Resource Allocation (CAPRA) review self-supporting graduate professional degree program (SSGPDP) proposals. CAPRA review focuses on the budget and financial assumptions of the proposal. Also for SSGPDPs, the Committee on Budget and Interdepartmental Relations (BIR) will be invited to review proposals for matters within its purview (i.e., FTE allocation implications, faculty workload, etc.) concurrently with CAPRA. CAPRA and BIR comments will be forwarded to GC as soon as they are available.

After the initial discussion by the GC, the GC chair will follow up with proposers if members have questions and provide a deadline for receipt of a response so that the GC can continue discussion at its next meeting. It usually takes the GC one to two meetings to approve a proposal, though it could take longer. It is also important to note that neither the GC nor other Senate committees meet during the winter break or summer.

Once the GC endorses the proposal, it will be forwarded to the Divisional Council (DIVCO) for final review by the Berkeley Division. For non-self-supporting degrees, DIVCO will send the proposal to the Committee on Budget and Interdepartmental Relations (BIR) for comment (BIR will have already reviewed SSGPDP proposals). DIVCO then considers the proposal, along with the comments from the GC, BIR, and CAPRA (if provided). DIVCO may have additional questions for proposers. It usually takes DIVCO one to two months to consider a proposal.

Once DIVCO approves the proposal, it will be forwarded to the Vice Provost for the Faculty (VPF) for final campus review. Once the VPF approves the proposal, it will be forwarded to CCGA, the systemwide counterpart to the GC, for review.

Graduate Council conducts a review of SSGPDPs after three years of operation. The core topics for the required self-study are posted below.

Please contact Senate Associate Director Sumei Quiggle  if you have questions about the Senate review process or the status of a proposal.

Information about the campus review process

  • For information about academic programs in general, go to the Office of Planning and Analysis website Academic Programs.

Information about the three-year review of Self-Supporting Graduate Professional Degree Programs (SSGPDPs)

Other Resources

  • The Compendium (2014) summarizes systemwide review processes for academic programs, academic units, and research units

Questions? Contact Associate Director Sumei Quiggle.