New Undergraduate Degree Program Proposals

New Program Proposals

Additions or Changes to Programs Leading to Academic Credentials

If you are considering any new academic program, or changes to an existing program, please consult your Dean at the earliest opportunity to discuss why such a program or change is needed and to determine the process that will be required.  For new programs, please complete a Notification of Intent (NOI) form.  The chart posted here (see section below, "PASSHE New Programs Website and Forms" for how to log in) will assist in this determination.


All academic credentials awarded to students are done so under the authority of the PASSHE Board of Governors (BOG).  The highest level of substantive review and the requirements for documentation depend on the type of credential, which include degrees, majors, options, certificates, and letters of completion.  (Coursework intended for recognition by an external agency through a certification process is not considered an MU credential unless we make a specific award tied to that credential).

Degrees:  Examples of degrees include M.S., B.A. and B.S.  BOG Policy  1990-06-A  lists all degrees that we are eligible to offer and details specific requirements for each.  For example, a B.S. degree "must comprise at least 40 semester credit hours but no more than 60 semester credit hours, unless approved by the chancellor."  Degrees are listed on graduates' diplomas and transcripts.  More detail (including certificates and letters of completion) is provided in BOG Policy 1985-01-A

Majors:  The major is the primary area of study.  Majors are listed on graduates' diplomas and transcripts along with the degree (e.g., Bachelor of Arts in History.)

Options:  These are also referred to as concentrations, tracks, specializations, or emphases in PASSHE policies.  An option is normally a set of more restrictive requirements within a major curriculum.  The curriculum for options cannot vary significantly from that of the parent major.  Options exist for degree programs but not minors.  Options are not listed on diplomas but do appear on transcripts. 

Minors:  Minors are awarded concomitant with bachelor's degrees.  Minors cannot be awarded as stand-alone credentials.  The minor normally comprises the core of the fundamental curriculum for the field of study (whether or not there is a corresponding major) with a minimum of 18 semester credit hours.  Additional MU policies on minors are found at University Governance and Policies.

Initiating Changes

NOTE:  Forms for the items discussed below are available on the PASSHE website.  See section below, "PASSHE New Programs Website and Forms," for instructions on how to log in.

To Initiate New Academic Degrees or Majors:

Submission by the Provost of a Step 1 proposal that is reviewed by the Office of the Chancellor.  We must receive the OOC's letter of recommendation to proceed before a full proposal can be submitted.

Submission by the Provost of a Step 2 proposal (links to form below) for review by the Office of the Chancellor.  Upon receipt of the OOC's positive recommendation (or request for modifications), the Step 2 proposal and an executive summary are submitted to the MU Council of Trustees (COT).  The COT approves moving the program forward to the State System Board of Governors (BOG) for action.

The BOG takes action on the proposal and notifies the President in writing of its decision.

NOTE:  When considering the timeline for approval and implementation, bear in mind that agenda items and documents are due well before the COT and BOG meeting dates.  Contact the Office of the Associate Provost for Academic Administration for assistance in coordinating submissions.

Adding or Removing an Option, Adding a New Minor, or a Name Change Only:

These require the Provost's notification to the COT and the Office of the Chancellor on the required forms.  Otherwise, approval follows our internal process only. 

PASSHE New Programs Website and Forms

Information on the PASSHE new program process is available on the PASSHE website through its "secure intranet" as follows:

Go to the PASSHE website:

Scroll down to bottom half of the page and select "Employees," "PASSHE Intranet Secure"

At the login screen, type your ESS login (ex. First.Last@millersville.edu_ and password

Click on "Academic and Student Affairs" at the left of the page

At the next screen, click on the "Academic Programs" line at the left of the page

--Choose the "Program Initiation and Changes" box for a new program process flow and appropriate forms

--Choose the "Tools and Links" box for occupational supply and demand data and other helpful information.


Exceptions to the 120-Credit Requirement for Education Programs

Board of Governors' policy 1990-06A requries that all degree programs should be designed to be 120 credit hours.  Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Board.  Exceptions must be presented to the Board for approval during either the Spring or Summer meeting.

The changes to Chapter 49 regarding teacher preparation programs necessitated several exceptions, especially with regard to joint special education certifications (i.e., Special Education is no longer a stand-alone certification).

To guide your new program development efforts, please see this Revision in the Exceptions to the 120-Credit Hour Requirement for Education, approved April 11, 2013.  This model is designed to provide programs flexibility in meeting the guidelines and to maintain he goal of enabling students to graduate within four years.