Printed on: 03/17/2018. Please go to for the most current version of the Policy or related document.


Adding New Post-Baccalaureate Academic Plans

1. Create a proposal in the Program and Curriculum Approval System (PCAS)

Login to PCAS

2. Within PCAS, prepare the proposal narrative.

The University uses a standard set of criteria to review proposals for new academic plans. The proposal narrative should address each of the following questions:

Mission, Priorities, and Interrelatedness

In what specific ways is the proposed plan consistent with the University's mission? With the unit's mission?

  • How does the plan support the unit's strategic direction and compact?
  • How will the plan contribute to the priorities of the University, the campus, and the unit?
  • How does the plan relate to other University academic plans?
  • What are the implications—including impact of prerequisites and related courses—for other units, colleges, or campuses? (Document your consultation by providing copies of correspondence with relevant units to establish collaborations on interdisciplinary plans, use courses from other units, etc.)

Need and Demand

  • What is the need and demand for the plan? Proposals for plans that reach very small numbers of students are discouraged. Use the following kinds of evidence:
    • Evidence that the plan meets societal needs and expectations.
    • Evidence of consultation with employers or professional organizations, if appropriate.
    • Employment data, if appropriate (availability of jobs for graduates).
    • Enrollment data for similar plans.
    • Data reflecting student interest or demand, both short- and long-term.
    • Projected number of applicants for the plan.
    • Projected number of degrees to be conferred per year at full operation.
  • What are the intended geographic service area and the prospective student market?
  • How will students benefit from the plan?

Comparative Advantage

  • What are the unique characteristics of the plan that make it particularly appropriate to the University of Minnesota?
  • Are there comparable academic plans in Minnesota, and, if applicable, elsewhere? (Document your consultation with other units within the University and/or research of other institutions with similar plans, if they exist, in the area.)

Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Use of Resources

  • Is the plan within the capacity of the unit's resources?
  • Have resources been reallocated within the unit to support the proposed plan? If so, how?
  • If additional resources are needed, how will the plan leverage existing resources to attract new resources?
  • What steps will be taken to ensure the plan is operated economically and effectively?

Plan Quality and Assessment

  • What are the learning outcomes for the plan? How will the outcomes be measured? How often?
  • How, when, and by whom will plan quality be measured?
  • How will the college, the department, and instructors continue to improve the teaching and learning in this plan?
  • Is the plan subject to review by a specialized accreditation agency? If yes, what agency and what is the review cycle?
  • How, if at all, will the plan address the University's diversity goals, e.g., student and faculty recruitment, curriculum, etc.?

Plan Development

  • What planning and development authorities generated the proposal?
  • When was the proposal reviewed and approved (department, college or campus curriculum committees, dean/vice chancellor's office, etc.)?

Consultation Requirements: A department or graduate program proposing new academic offerings must consult with its college dean’s office or system campus chancellor’s office concerning appropriate review and approval procedures. For Ph.D. plans, consultation, review, and endorsement must include the budgetary college(s) and the Graduate School. Consultation with other units is also required, as appropriate, for departments proposing new plans that may raise questions of duplication or overlap, where there are changes in prerequisites or related coursework in other units, or in other ways that might affect other units.

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