Officially, a program is a graduate certificate or a major associated with a specific degree. Examples at UMSL include a BSBA in Business Administration, a BA in Communication, an MS in Biology, or a graduate certificate in Museum Studies.

The State labels all other specializations within each degree program as options. At UMSL these may be minors, areas of emphasis, or undergraduate certificates. Examples of options in the programs above include Finance in the BSBA in Business Administration, Theater in the BA in Communication, and Animal Behavior in the MS in Biology. There are no options available in graduate certificates.

This definition of program means that if you want to propose a new specialization within an existing degree program, then you follow the Program Change instructions. Fortunately, aProgram Change requires fewer approvals and less paperwork.

Before initiating the process, please review the Types of Program Changes for further definitions. You may be able to follow the process for a Program Change instead of the more complicated process required for proposing a New Program.

If you want to change an existing program to deliver at least 50% of the work off-campus through instructional television or off-site instruction, then you use the OD Form. An off-site proposal is strengthened if a host institution supports the proposal.

Web/Internet delivery of courses and/or programs does not require CBHE review. In fact, no approvals beyond the unit are required for changing the delivery mode of an existing program. However, campus resources are available, so it's good to share your plans with the Center for Teaching and Learning to access those resources. In fact, when entire programs are delivered via the Internet, the unit may seek approval from the Chancellor (via the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs) for a supplemental course fee for all programs delivered in this manner.

Undergraduate Certificates and minors are reviewed at the campus level and approved proposals are sent to the UM System office only for information. On the other hand, new graduate certificates and changes in emphasis areas require the approval of the Vice President for Academic Affairs and the CBHE. These approval requests are not sent to the Board of Curators. Reviewing the Approval Matrix may help clarify how the approval process varies by type of proposal.

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