New program proposals

Looking to launch a new academic program at UBC?

This is your guide to navigating the program approval process—from development to approval.

All proposals for new degree programs, both undergraduate and graduate, are subject to internal review and approval by the UBC Vancouver Senate, Board of Governors and the Ministry of Advanced Education. Note: No new degree program may be offered prior to receiving ministry approval.

Faculty considering launching a new program should first contact the appropriate dean’s office. For other questions related to new program development, approval, and support, contact Debbie Hart in the Office of the Provost.

Additional support is available through Senate and Curriculum Services, Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT), the Vice-President Students Office, Enrolment Services and the Board Secretariat. See below for contact information:

New undergraduate programs
Requirements

When the process is complete, proponents will have prepared four sets of documents:

  1. Preliminary materials (concept paper)
  2. Academic proposal for Senate (including calendar change forms, syllabi and program proposal)
  3. Board docket (including tuition/fee information, budget information and the student consultation report)
  4. Ministry of Advanced Education proposal (including the Stage 1 Application for Approval Process form, the executive summary and the academic proposal)
Development Process
  1. An academic unit starts to develop a new degree program, or a major change to an existing program.
     
  2. The champions of this emerging new program are the proponents. The proponents advise their department’s head and dean’s offices that work is starting on the development of an idea for a new program. The proponents should provide preliminary materials (concept paper) to the dean.
     
  3. Proponents advise both Senate and Curriculum Services and the Provost’s Office (Debbie Hart) that a proposal for a new program is being developed.
  4. It is important that proponents find out the departmental and faculty deadlines for document submission and meeting dates. Some faculties will consider proposals for new programs at only two meetings per year.
     
  5. The proponents develop the proposal. Proponents should consult early with departments or faculties offering related programs and with any units or individuals expected to contribute to, support or be impacted by the new program (e.g., other departments, faculties, the library). Proponents are encouraged to seek support from the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT) in the development of curriculum, and the Associate-Provost Academic Innovation, Hugh Brock, in the development of the budget and financial projections. For programs involving international collaboration and partnerships, support is also available through the Senior Advisor International, Grace Wong.
     
  6. If departmental approval is required, the proposal is presented to the relevant committees for review and approvals (Curriculum Committee, Teaching and Learning Committee or their equivalents).
     
  7. The proposal is presented for departmental approval.
     
  8. After making any requested changes, the proposal is submitted to the dean’s office for formal review and to be added to the agenda of the appropriate faculty meeting(s).
     
  9. After making any changes recommended, the proposal is submitted to the relevant faculty committees for approval (Curriculum Committee, Teaching and Learning Committee or their equivalents). This proposal should include all Senate-required program and course information as well as budget and fee information.Further guidance regarding the information required in the proposal can be found here.
     
  10. The proposal is revised (if necessary) according to outcomes of the faculty committees. Formal consultations are conducted by the proponent with:
    • other academic units
    • UBC Library (for resources)
    • Senate Secretariat (for form, format, and completeness)
    • Provost’s Office via the Associate-Provost Academic Innovation (Hugh Brock).
       
  11. A final proposal is prepared taking into consideration any feedback received under Step 10. This proposal now also includes:
    • the ministry-required executive summary
    • signed consultations/approvals, from those groups listed in Step 10. 
       
  12. The proposal is presented for final faculty approval. (Please note that any amendments made at the faculty stage need to be communicated to relevant consultants prior to Senate Curriculum Committee consideration).
     
  13. Proponents contact the VP Students Office (Ben Pollard) to initiate the process of formal student consultations as required under UBC Policy #71. The faculty must respond, in writing, to any significant issues raised in the Student Consultation Report.
     
  14. Proponents should begin preparing a board docket that will later need to be submitted to the Board of Governors, along with the above-noted Student Consultation Report and any faculty response. Proponents should be in touch with Debbie Hart to indicate that a proposal for a new program will be coming to the board. Deadlines for submitting documents to the board office are generally two months in advance of the board meeting.

    Note: If a September intake is planned, Board of Governors approval should occur at the December meeting at the latest, to allow time for the subsequent ministry approval process.
     
  15. In preparation for ministerial approval, proponents should begin completing the Stage 1 Application for Approval Process which will be submitted to the ministry along with your program proposal, once approved by Senate and the board. Please contact Debbie Hart if you have any questions.
  16. Following faculty approval, the proposal can move through the required Senate subcommittees. Senate and Curriculum Services can assist with ensuring the proposal is reviewed by the relevant committees (including the Senate Admissions Committee and the Senate Curriculum Committee). The Budgetary Impact Form should now be completed.
     
  17. Once approved by the relevant committees, the Chairs of the Senate Curriculum and Senate Admissions Committee typically co-present the proposal to Senate.

  18. After Senate approval, the Senate Secretariat will forward for board approval. At this point the student consultation and faculty response must be added to the board documents.

  19. Upon Board of Governors approval, the Provost’s Office makes final edits to the Stage 1 approval document, and Selina Fast forwards the proposal for approval by the Ministry of Advanced Education.

  20. The Provost’s Office will advise proponents of ministerial approval once that has been granted.

Please note: no degree program can be offered prior to UBC’s receiving ministry approval.

If needed, recruitment to the program may commence once the program has been approved by both Senate and the Board of Governors, but only with a clear proviso that the program offering is contingent upon government approval, and no tuition fees may be collected prior to that approval. Final unconditional admission offers can be made only once the program has received the ministerial sign-off.

New research graduate programs
Requirements

When the process is complete, proponents will have prepared four sets of documents:

  1. Preliminary materials (concept paper)
  2. Academic proposal for Senate (including calendar change forms, syllabi, and program proposal)
  3. Board docket (including tuition/fee information, budget information, and the student consultation report)
  4. Ministry of Advanced Education proposal (including the Stage 1 Application for Approval Process form, the executive summary and the academic proposal)
Development Process
  1. An academic unit starts to develop a new degree program, or a major change to an existing program.
     
  2. The champions of this emerging new program are the proponents. The proponents advise their department’s head and dean’s offices that work is starting on the development of an idea for a new program. The proponents should provide preliminary materials (concept paper) to the dean.
     
  3. Proponents advise Senate and Curriculum Services, Graduate and Post-Doctoral Studies and the Provost’s Office (Debbie Hart) that a proposal for a new program is being developed.
     
  4. It is important that proponents find out the departmental and faculty deadlines for document submission and meeting dates. Some faculties will consider proposals for new programs at only two meetings per year.  
     
  5. The proponents develop the proposal. Proponents should consult early with departments or faculties offering related programs and with any units or individuals expected to contribute to, support, or be impacted by the new program (e.g., other departments, faculties, the library). Proponents are encouraged to seek support from the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT) in the development of curriculum, and the Associate-Provost Academic Innovation, Hugh Brock, in the development of the budget and financial projections. For programs involving international collaboration and partnerships, support is also available through the Senior Advisor International, Grace Wong.
     
  6. If departmental approval is required, the proposal is presented to the relevant committees for review and approvals (Curriculum Committee, and Teaching and Learning Committee or their equivalents).
     
  7. The proposal is presented for departmental approval.
     
  8. After making any requested changes, the proposal is submitted to the dean’s office for formal review and to be added to the agenda of the appropriate faculty meeting(s).
     
  9. After making any changes recommended, the proposal is submitted to the relevant faculty committees for approval (Curriculum Committee, and Teaching and Learning Committee or their equivalents). This proposal should include all Senate-required program and course information, as well as budget and fee information. Further guidance regarding the information required in the proposal can be found here.
     
  10. The proposal is revised (if necessary) according to outcomes of the faculty committees. Formal consultations are conducted by the proponent with:
    • other academic units
    • UBC Library (for resources)
    • Senate Secretariat (for form, format, and completeness)
    • Provost’s Office via the Associate-Provost Academic Innovation (Hugh Brock).
       
  11. A final proposal is prepared taking into consideration any feedback received under Step 10. This proposal now also includes:
    • the ministry-required executive summary
    • signed consultations/approvals, from those groups listed in Step 10.
       
  12. The proposal is presented for final faculty approval. (Please note that any amendments made at the faculty stage need to be communicated to relevant consultants prior to Senate Curriculum Committee consideration).
     
  13. Proponents contact VP Students Office (Ben Pollard) to initiate the process of a formal student consultation as required under UBC Policy #71. The faculty must respond, in writing, to any significant issues raised in the Student Consultation Report.
     
  14. Proponents should begin preparing a board docket (including a tuition proposal) that will later need to be submitted to the Board of Governors, along with the above-noted Student Consultation Report and any faculty response. Proponents should be in touch with Debbie Hart to indicate that a proposal for a new program will be coming to the board. Deadlines for submitting documents to the board office are generally two months in advance of the board meeting.

    Note: If a September intake is planned, Board of Governors approval should occur at the December meeting at the latest, to allow time for the subsequent ministry approval process.
  15. In preparation for Ministerial approval, proponents should begin completing the Stage 1 Application for Approval Process which will be submitted to the ministry along with your program proposal, once approved by Senate and Board. Please contact Debbie Hart if you have any questions.
     
  16. Following faculty approval, the proposal can move through the required Senate subcommittees. Senate and Curriculum Services can assist with ensuring the proposal is reviewed by the relevant committees (including the Graduate New Programs Curriculum Committee, the Senate Curriculum Committee, and the Senate Admissions Committee). The Budgetary Impact Form should now be completed.
     
  17. Once approved by the relevant committees, the Chairs of the Senate Curriculum and Senate Admissions Committee typically co-present the proposal to Senate.
     
  18. After Senate approval, the Senate Secretariat will forward for board approval. At this point the student consultation and faculty response must be added to the board documents.
     
  19. Upon Board of Governors approval, the Provost’s Office makes final edits to the Stage 1 approval document, and Selina Fast forwards the proposal for approval by the Ministry of Advanced Education.
     
  20. The Provost’s Office will advise proponents of ministerial approval once that has been granted.

Please note that no degree program can be offered prior to UBC’s receiving ministry approval.

If needed, recruitment to the program may commence once the program has been approved by both Senate and the board, but only with a clear provison that the program offering is contingent upon government approval, and no tuition fees may be collected prior to that approval. Final unconditional admission offers can be made only once the program has received the ministerial sign-off.

New credit and non-credit career and personal education programs

The Career and Personal Education (CPE) team in the Office of the Provost has developed a new model for supporting faculties in delivering career and personal education opportunities at UBC.

An overview of the model can be found here.

The CPE team will partner with faculties to design credit or non-credit programs that reach new audiences of students who might not otherwise participate in lifelong learning at the university. The CPE team works with you, learners, employers and government to ensure our offerings align with their needs and UBC strengths, as well as helping students progress in career and personal learning when, how and where they want.

Proponents with an idea for a new CPE program (credit and non-credit) should contact Debbie Hart in the Office of the Provost to discuss support available. Proponents will need to complete a concept paper.  

If the concept is promising, the CPE team can provide support on market research, business case and proposition development, pricing, developing a marketing plan, and assisting with the approval process.

New non-credit CPE programs

New non-credit courses and programs do not require full Senate, Board of Governors or ministerial approval. However, new non-credit certificates and awards of achievement do need to be reported for information to Senate. Any proponents seeking to develop a new non-credit program should contact Debbie Hart at your earliest convenience. As a first step, proponents are advised to prepare the preliminary materials (concept paper).

New credit CPE programs

Requirements

When the process is complete, proponents will have prepared four sets of documents:

  1. Preliminary materials (concept paper)
  2. Academic proposal for Senate (including calendar change forms, syllabi, and program proposal)
  3. Board docket (including tuition/fee information, budget information, and the student consultation report)
  4. Ministry of Advanced Education proposal (Including the Stage 1 Application for Approval Process form, the executive summary and the academic proposal)
Development Process
  1. An academic unit starts to develop a new degree program, or a major change to an existing program.
     
  2. The champions of this emerging new program are the proponents. The proponents advise their department’s head and hean’s offices that work is starting on the development of an idea for a new program. The proponents should provide preliminary materials (concept paper) to the dean.
     
  3. Proponents advise Senate and Curriculum Services, Graduate and Post-Doctoral Studies and the Provost’s Office (Debbie Hart) that a proposal for a new program is being developed. If the concept is promising, the CPE team can provide proponents with support on market research, business case and proposition development, and pricing. As the program moves forward, further support is available in developing a marketing plan and assisting with the approval process.
     
  4. It is important that proponents find out the departmental and faculty deadlines for document submission and meeting dates. Some faculties will consider proposals for new programs at only two meetings per year.  
     
  5. The proponents develop the proposal. Proponents should consult early with departments or faculties offering related programs and with any units or individuals expected to contribute to, support or be impacted by the new program (e.g., other departments, faculties, the library). Proponents are encouraged to seek support from the Centre for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT) in the development of curriculum, and the Associate-Provost Academic Innovation, Hugh Brock, in the development of the budget and financial projections. For programs involving international collaboration and partnerships, support is also available through the Senior Advisor International, Grace Wong.
     
  6. If departmental approval is required, the proposal is presented to the relevant committees for review and approvals (Curriculum Committee, Teaching and Learning Committee or their equivalents).
     
  7. The proposal is presented for departmental approval.
     
  8. After making any requested changes, the proposal is submitted to the dean’s office for formal review and to be added to the agenda of the appropriate faculty meeting(s).
     
  9. After making any changes recommended, the proposal is submitted the relevant faculty committees for approval (Curriculum Committee, Teaching and Learning Committee or their equivalents). This proposal should include all Senate-required program and course information as well as budget and fee information. Further guidance regarding the information required in the proposal can be found here. 
     
  10. The proposal is revised (if necessary) according to outcomes of the faculty committees. Formal consultations are conducted by the proponent with:
    • other academic units
    • UBC Library (for resources)
    • Senate Secretariat (for form, format and completeness)
    • Provost’s Office via the Associate Provost Academic Innovation (Hugh Brock).
       
  11. A final proposal is prepared taking into consideration any feedback received under Step 10. This proposal now also includes:
    • the ministry-required executive summary
    • signed consultations/approvals, from those groups listed in Step 10.
       
  12. The proposal is presented for final faculty approval. (Please note that any amendments made at the faculty stage need to be communicated to relevant consultants prior to Senate Curriculum Committee consideration).
     
  13. Proponents contact VP Students Office (Ben Pollard) to initiate the process of a formal student consultation as required under UBC Policy #71. The faculty must respond, in writing, to any significant issues raised in the Student Consultation Report.
     
  14. Proponents should begin preparing a board docket that will later need to be submitted to the Board of Governors, along with the above-noted Student Consultation Report and any faculty response. Proponents should be in touch with Debbie Hart to indicate that a proposal for a new program will be coming to the board. Deadlines for submitting documents to the board office are generally two months in advance of the board meeting.

    Note: If a September intake is planned, Board of Governors approval should occur at the December meeting at the latest, and to allow time for the subsequent ministry approval process.
     
  15. In preparation for ministerial approval, proponents should begin completing the Stage 1 Application for Approval Process which will be submitted to the ministry along with your program proposal, once approved by Senate and the board. Please contact Debbie Hart if you have any questions.
     
  16. Following faculty approval, the proposal can move through the required Senate subcommittees. Senate and Curriculum Services can assist with ensuring the proposal is reviewed by the relevant committees (including the Graduate New Programs Curriculum Committee, the Senate Curriculum Committee, and the Senate Admissions Committee). The Budgetary Impact Form should now be completed.
     
  17. Once approved by the relevant committees, the Chairs of the Senate Curriculum and Senate Admissions Committee typically co-present the proposal to Senate.
     
  18. After Senate approval, the Senate Secretariat will forward for board approval. At this point the student consultation and faculty response must be added to the board documents.
     
  19. Upon Board of Governors approval, the Provost’s Office makes final edits to the Stage 1 approval document, and Selina Fast forwards the proposal for approval by the Ministry of Advanced Education.
     
  20. The Provost’s Office will advise proponents of ministerial approval once that has been granted.

Please note that no degree program can be offered prior to UBC’s receiving ministry approval.

If needed, recruitment to the program may commence once the program has been approved by both Senate and BoG, but only with a clear proviso that the program offering is contingent upon government approval, and no tuition fees may be collected prior to that approval. Final unconditional admission offers can be made only once the program has received the ministerial sign-off.

New credit certificate and diploma programs

New non-degree credit program proposals do not require approval by the ministry, but are treated as Category 1 proposals by the Senate Curriculum and Admissions Committees.

To review the approval guidelines for new certificate programs (currently under review), please see Approval of Certificate Programs.

For approval guidelines regarding diploma program (currently under review), please contact the Senate Secretariat.


Resources

Concept Development
Academic proposal development
Ministry of Advanced Education Proposal
Other
Contact

Debbie Hart, Special Projects Manager (Interim), Office of the Provost

Phone: 604 827 3498

Email: debbie.hart@ubc.ca

 

 


 

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