Establish a New Degree Program or Certificate
(Certificate requires Letter of Intent if 24 or more SCH)
Overview of Process
This change must be approved by the Tennessee Board of Regents (TBR) and the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC). TBR meets every three months and usually considers program changes at each meeting. THEC considers programs proposed only at the January and July meetings. Undergraduate programs follow the schedule below. Graduate programs require external review at the TBR-THEC level. Master’s degree requests require an external review by at least one reviewer. The Ph.D program requires a review by at least two external reviewers. It is recommended that units read TBR Guideline A-010 and THEC Policy A1:0 and A1:1 before beginning the process.
Stage 1: Preliminary Approval Process
The department chairperson contacts the dean to discuss the new program and then prepares a Letter of Intent containing the following:
This Letter of Intent (email attachment and one hard copy) is sent to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs via the dean prior to the full development of the program.
The Provost informs the TBR Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs of this Letter of Intent sent with the signature of the President.
Once a Letter of Intent is received by TBR, the proposed action will be reviewed by TBR and THEC staff, and the results shall be conveyed to the President, who will then authorize the development of the proposal on campus. No proposal is to be submitted to the committees/offices below until THEC has approved the Letter of Intent.
Stage 2: Development of Proposal and Approvals
Prepare a proposal using the required forms listed on the top of this page. Submit the proposal to the following offices/committees for approval.
- Departmental faculty
- College curriculum committee and dean
- University Curriculum Committee (if undergraduate) or Graduate School Executive Committee (if graduate level)
- Academic Council - the complete proposal on the Long Form must be submitted to the Academic Council
- Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs -send one copy as an email attachment in Microsoft Word format and a hard copy with the appropriate signatures on the TTU Cover Form.
The Provost Office will send the proposal to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for review and approval by the Board.
Subsequent to Board action, the Chancellor shall transmit to THEC those proposals that require its approval along with the Board’s recommendation. The TBR Academic Affairs staff will maintain communication with the Commission’s staff relative to the proposal until formal action has been taken and will keep the institutions informed of its status.