SUBJECT: Curriculum Changes and New Degree Programs or Majors


EFFECTIVE: 1/10/02

REVISION: 2/9/2022

Purpose: To provide faculty and administrators with instructions for preparation of proposals for curriculum changes and new degrees or majors that include approvals required by the University, Tennessee Higher Education Commission, and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Procedure for Proposing Any Curriculum Changes and New Degree Programs or Majors.

Proposals for curriculum changes and new degree programs or majors should originate within the academic department or college proposing the change. All changes must be approved at the department, college, and Faculty Senate levels. Proposals should be prepared using the appropriate curriculum change request form. Assistance for accessing the undergraduate and graduate forms on the Curriculog system and instructions for completing the forms are available from the Associate Provost’s Office.

Substantive Changes

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) defines substantive change as "a significant modification or expansion of the nature and scope of an accredited institution." (SACSCOC policy). Prior to initiating any curriculum change proposals, the type of change should be reviewed in relation to the standards for substantive change to determine whether the change must be reported to SACSCOC. Refer to the UT Martin Substantive Change Policy and the Guidance for Substantive Change document or contact the SACSCOC Institutional Liaison for more information concerning when and how to report substantive changes to SACSCOC.

Curriculum and Catalog Changes

  1. Curriculum changes include addition or deletion of courses, degree programs, certificate programs, majors, minors, or concentrations or revisions to any of these curriculum components. Types of revisions include but are not limited to: changes in the course number, title, credit hours, descriptions, prerequisites or corequisites, or cross-listing as well as changes in degree titles or requirements.
  2. Curriculum changes must originate in the Curriculog system and move through the Curriculog workflow approval process for departmental, college, Undergraduate or Graduate Council, and Faculty Senate approval. The approval process should be completed in December for all changes to be included in the next academic year’s catalog.
  3. Curriculum proposals involving the deletion of a degree program, major, certificate program, or concentration must be reported to THEC and in some cases accrediting agencies including SACSCOC. Development of a teach-out plan for students already enrolled in the program is required. Contact the SACSCOC Liaison for guidance.

New Degree Programs or Majors

Departments proposing new degree programs, majors, or certificate programs should contact the SACSCOC Institutional Liaison to obtain guidelines for preparation of these proposals. The department should also allow adequate time to complete the approval process through the UT Board of Trustees, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC), other state agencies (such as the Department of Education or a health-related board), and any accrediting agencies including SACSCOC.

Communication of the Policy

  1. A copy of this policy shall be
    • Provided to all college deans, department chairs, college and departmental curriculum committee chairs, and the chairs of the Undergraduate and Graduate Council, and
    • Placed on the Academic Affairs Policy website.
  2. Discussion of this policy shall be included as a part of the orientations of new academic administrators.
  3. All changes submitted to the Undergraduate and Graduate Councils shall be reviewed by the Associate Provost to determine compliance with procedures for reporting changes beyond the campus level.