The preproposal process begins by scheduling an orientation meeting with Academic Affairs.  Please contact Betsy Sampson (, X6810) or Amber Reinhart (, X5489) to set up this meeting.  A representative from your dean's office who supports curriculum development will need to be included in the meeting. 

Developing the Preproposal

The pre-proposal form from the UM-System website will need to be completed. Based on your college/school guidelines, be sure to continue to work closely with the representative from your Dean’s office on this proposal prior to submitting it to Academic Affairs.

Work with departmental representatives whose input is required (internal to department and representatives for interdisciplinary programs), including obtaining necessary "sign-offs" from other departments/academic units.

In order to complete the following sections, you will need to partner with other campus offices:


The Center for Teaching and Learning will support:

  • Creating the overall structure of the degree program 
  • Creating initial Program-level Outcomes
  • Drafting of a preliminary curriculum map

Costs and Revenue

Your college or school's fiscal officer will support:

  • Proposed costs for the new degree
  • Proposed revenue for the new degree

Submitting Materials

The pre-proposal and any supporting documents are submitted to UMSL Academic Affairs. The following steps will be taken:

  • UMSL Academic Affairs will review the pre-proposal. Normally the pre-proposal will be returned with comments in 2-3 weeks. 
  • After editing the pre-proposal to address the comments, submit the final version of the pre-proposal to UMSL Academic Affairs
  • UMSL Academic Affairs will submit the pre-proposal to UM-System Academic Affairs. Normally the pre-proposal will be returned in 2-3 weeks. 


Once a pre-proposal has been approved by UM-System Academic Affairs, campus approvals should be obtained while working on the full proposal.

Meet with Betsy Sampson (, X6810) in Academic Affairs to enter the degree in CourseLeaf. 

The final curriculum outline, learning outcomes and curriculum map should be completed and included with this proposal.

Path for On-Campus Approval of a New Degree Program

  • Proposed degree program moves through dept/college approval process
    • If the proposed program will be interdisciplinary between 2 or more colleges, be sure to include close coordination between the colleges to ensure everything stays on schedule
  • Graduate programs will need to go through the Graduate School process, in addition to the campus-level approval
  • Once the proposed degree program has been approved at the college or school level it is ready to move onto the Senate Curriculum & Instruction committee
  • Senate C&I will present the proposal to the full Senate for approval
  • You can also simultaneously work on your full degree proposal for the UM System, but no proposals can leave campus until they have been approved by the Senate C&I committee and the full Senate.
Note - Graduate Council and Faculty Senate currently do not meet over the summer. Proposals need to have obtained college approval and submitted to the campus -level committees by March 1st to be reviewed for that academic year.

After a pre-proposal is returned from the UM-System Academic Affairs Office departments can also begin working on their full proposal. This proposal may be developed as the program receives campus approvals. 

  • Proposal sections where you will need to partner with Academic Affairs, follow a specific alternate document, or receive a sign-off from another campus office:
    • Market Research: section 3.A covers a market analysis. This document addresses the specific pieces that the system would like you to cover so that each proposal has a similar format and covers similar metrics when looking over Burning Glass data.  
    • Finance: Per the UM system new degree website both the Proforma & section 3.B that covers financial projections in the full proposal should be worked on with your college fiscal officer and signed off by the campus CFO or designate after a meeting with the person writing the proposal, their college fiscal office, and the campus CFO or designate. 
      • As you work on your overall costs you’ll need to make sure you check in with the Universities Libraries to ensure they will have materials for your program area or those costs will need to be added to your budget. Please email Tim Nelson ( with the CIP code and program name and if you will require particular resources, please list them in the email as well. Tim will let you know what the library currently has available and/or the cost of acquiring items you may need for your budget.
    • Marketing: When working on section 3.C be sure to consult with the UMSL MarCom office and Enrollment Management office so that the marketing plan reflects an approach that can be reasonably achieved with the funds you have allotted to marketing.  
    • Program Structure: When working out the formal structure of your program (program outcomes, curriculum map, and assessment plan) be sure to work alongside Keeta Holmes. Keeta has a wealth of resources to assist with this step and will work to ensure proper curriculum alignment for your degree proposal.  
  • Once you have approval from all campus offices and a rough draft of your full proposal you can submit it to the Academic Affairs office for review
    • Comments will be returned in 2 weeks
      • For all remaining submissions please be sure to use the “track changes” feature in Word so that we can all easily see any modification made to the proposal and re-review it in a more efficient manner.
  • Once you have addressed the initial comments from UMSL AA please resubmit and UMSL AA will send along your draft proposal to UM System for their comments.
    • Comments will be returned in 3 weeks 
      • From System Academic Affairs: “The timeline for this portion of the process varies widely. There is often back-and-forth at this stage as we work together to improve the proposal. How quickly feedback is incorporated by the author will greatly impact the overall timeline for a proposal.”
  • Once a department has incorporated the comments from the UM System into a final proposal please submit to UMSL AA.
    • Allow 1 week for review (proposal may be returned if there are any lingering issues that need to be addressed).
    • Once the full proposal is completed and all comments have been addressed it will be resubmitted to UM System and prepared for submission to the Board of Curators for approval.


Best Case Scenario Timeline

 This is a chart that outlines the Best Case Scenario Timeline for new degree proposals.

+ Please note, this builds in 2 weeks for review by the UMSL AA Office and 3 weeks for departments to address the comments from the UMSL AA Office. No proposals can be submitted until all required sign-offs have been received

* No proposal that does not have department, college, and campus approvals will be sent to the System Academic Affairs office for review

** Approval times can vary depending upon meeting schedules and the timing of submissions. New PhD programs are subject to external review, which can extend MDHEWD approval time.


It takes planning and time to get on the agenda for a Board of Curators meeting. For a proposal to be on the Board of Curators agenda it needs to be out for 20 business days for a full UM system-wide review and be sent to the Board in their packets two weeks ahead of the meeting date That means a final, approved proposal actually needs to be submitted to the UM-System office almost 12 weeks before the actual Board of Curators meeting. 

Here is a rough estimate to follow that will help you to organize when things need to be turned in and how quickly they will need to be turned around by you. Please note the timeline below represents the fastest turnaround and would mean there were no delays (e.g., needing to address comments that arise from the full UM system review or additional requests from the UM System office). 

 This is a chart of the time periods needed for Board of Curators' Approvals