Curriculum & Program Approval Process

NOTE: The Board of Regents approved new forms for the curriculum approval process in March 2020. Please review instructions carefully to become familiar with changes to the process. 

Please review the Faculty Senate curriculum deadline memo and the steps below for an explanation of the curriculum proposal process.

Level I and II proposals are due to the Office of the Provost by Monday, September 14, 2020.

OCHE Academic Affairs Handbook

Academic Proposal Approval Process Flow Chart

Steps for Curriculum Change Proposals

  • UM is required to report plans for new degrees in our Academic Priorities and Planning Statement and Forthcoming Academic Proposals spreadsheet. 
  • Only required for new programs and centers. NOT required for certificates of less than 29 credits. NOT required for joint degrees if both programs are already approved and the curriculum is not signficantly different than if the dgrees were accomplished separately.
  • A short 3-4 sentence description of the program should be submitted as soon as a new proposal is considered to the Office of the Provost (email with "forthcoming academic proposal" in the subject line.
  • Deadlines: OCHE accepts an updated Academic Priorities and Planning Statement once a year. The 2020 deadline is July 28, 2020. Forthcoming proposals should be submitted to the Office of the Provost (email by Friday July 3, 2020. 
  • The short description will be added to the Academic Priorities and Planning Statement and Forthcoming Academic Proposals spreadsheet that are submitted to OCHE and available to other MUS institutions for their information and comment.
  • Complete the Request to Plan form. 
    • Only required for new programs and units/centers. They are NOT required for certificates with fewer than 29 credits.
  • The intended new degree/unit/center should already be in the Academic Priorities and Planning Statement. 
  • Request to Plans are reviewed at regular meetings of the Board of Regents (March, May, September, November). They are due to the Office of the Provost eight weeks before the BOR meeting. 
    • The proposer is responsible for obtaining the required Dean's signature and submitting to the Office of the Provost (
  • The BOR or OCHE in their approval of a Request to Plan may include commentary or direction to guide the institution or OCHE in development and final review of the proposed program.
  • Following approval, the Provost's Office will notify the proposer that they may proceed to develop a full proposal, or that they need to respond to comments raised by the BOR or OCHE. 
  • Campuses will have up to 18 months for proposal development and campus governance review. In other words, full proposals are due within 18 months of approval of the Request to Plan. 
  • Review previously submitted Intent to Plan forms for guidance.
  • Level I and Level II changes require notification to/approval by the Montana Board of Regents. BOR forms are required in addition to Faculty Senate forms.
  • See the right sidebar for specific instructions. 
  • Submit to your Dean by late August. Deans should have at least two weeks' time to review draft proposals before they are sent to the Office of the Provost for review.
  • Course changes and small program modifications go directly to Faculty Senate for review.
  • Deliver hard copies of the forms that require signatures to the Office of the Provost and email Word documents to
  • Proposals are due to the Office of the Provost by September 14, 2020.
  • Once the Provost approves and signs the paperwork, proposals will be submitted to the Faculty Senate Office for review.
  • Incomplete or incorrect proposals will be returned. Please follow the directions given to the right.
  • The curriculum review deadline is in the fall, typically late Sept/early Oct. Faculty Senate will only consider off-cycle proposals with extenuating circumstances. This year's deadline is September 25, 2020.
  • Once the full proposal is approved by the Provost, it is sent to Faculty Senate for their review.
  • After review by the appropriate Curriculum Committee (ASCRC or Graduate Council), the full Faculty Senate will review their recommendation.
  • After Faculty Senate review is complete, the Provost's office will submit the proposal to OCHE for the next possible BOR meeting.
    • Note that BOR and internal UM deadlines require submission eight weeks in advance of the BOR meeting. For example, proposals to be considered in November are due in September.
  • The Office of the Provost will notify the proposer once the change has final approval.
  • Review the curriculum proposal review flow chart for visualization of entire review process.

Proposal Directions

Creating a new:

  • certificate
  • concentration (option)
  • minor
  • degree
  • center/institute
  • joint degree or 4+1 degree


  • major, minor, concentration (option) or certificate
  • department
  • degree (ex: B.A. to B.F.A.)
  • college/division


  • major, minor, concentration (option) or certificate
  • college, division, school, department, center/institute
  • or placing a program into moratorium


  • degrees and/or programs
  • department, college/school, center

Emeritus nominations

Online or distance delivery of previously authorized degrees