Guidelines for New or Revised Programs


Proposals to establish, revise, or discontinue undergraduate or graduate curricula, degrees, and units of instruction, research, or public service, require Senate approval and may require additional levels of review.

Proposals should be prepared in the Senate format and submitted to the appropriate college(s) for review. Proposals for new Undergraduate Minors should be submitted using the Guidelines for Campus-Wide Undergraduate Minors; most other proposals should use the generic Educational Policy Committee proposal format. If the proposed program relies on courses or staffing from other colleges, the proposing unit should consult with the other college(s) concerning the possible impact of the proposed program and include letters of support from those college(s) Once approved by the college of origin, the proposals should be forwarded to the Office of the Provost, except for proposals affecting graduate programs or units which should be forwarded by the college of origin directly to the Graduate College. The Office of the Provost reviews all proposals for conformity to Senate guidelines and budgetary implications before forwarding them to the Senate Committee on Educational Policy (EPC) for review. EPC may recommend that the proposal be returned to the sponsor for revision; if so, a representative of EPC will communicate with the sponsoring unit’s college office regarding the suggested revisions. Programs to be housed outside of departments should utilize the form designed specifically for this purpose.

Upon approval by EPC, the proposal is submitted to the Senate for review and consideration. If the Senate approves it, the proposal is sent on to the University Senates Conference for classification as a Type I (affecting this campus only) or Type II (affecting other University of Illinois campuses) item. Type II items must be reviewed and approved by the other affected University of Illinois campuses.

Depending on the nature of the proposal, it may also require the notification or approval of the Board of Trustees and/or the Illinois Board of Higher Education. In the case of new units and programs, the sponsoring unit may be required to prepare a separate proposal for IBHE. Guidelines for IBHE approval may be obtained from the Office of the Provost or from the web at

Once a proposal has been reviewed and approved at all the necessary levels of governance, the Office of the Provost will issue a formal approval and implementation letter. Please note that the proposed changes are not effective until the approval and implementation letter has been issued!

Refer to the Program Approval Process Flowchart for the entire process of review and approval at the campus, Board of Trustees, and IBHE levels.  Note that not all proposals require all levels of approval indicated on this chart. Consult the Illinois Levels of Governance (LOG) chart to determine the necessary levels of governance required for various types of proposals. Units are strongly encouraged to consult with the Office of the Provost early in the process of preparing proposals to determine the level of approval that will be required.