Proposals for new programs, including new degrees, emphasis areas, undergraduate and graduate certificates, and minors must go through a comprehensive review process.  Please see the new degree page for more information on degrees.

All other programs, defined below, use the same process:

Starting the Proposal

A new program should be the result of careful consideration and can begin with a concept paper, a recommendation from a CAP review, 5-year Review or other type of Academic Review.

Contact the Associate Dean in your College to initiate the process. 

Creating a program structure

The Center for Teaching and Learning will support the development of Learning Outcomes, a Curriculum Map and Assessment Plan

CourseLeaf Entry

The program is entered into CourseLeaf by appointment with Betsy Sampson

Approval Process

The program moves through the governance process:

  1. Sponsoring Department
  2. Academic Affairs Pre-approval
  3. Appropriate College Curriculum Committee
  4. College
  5. Graduate School (Graduate only)
  6. Faculty Senate Curriculum and Instruction Committee
  7. Faculty Senate
  8. Academic Affairs
  9. UM System and MDHEWD (Emphasis Areas and Certificates Only)


A graduate or undergraduate certificate provides a student with proficiency in a defined discipline(s).  Certificates typically require between 12 and 18 hours for completion.

Transcripted certificate programs provide students with the opportunity to pursue educational objectives beyond those normally associated with an academic major or minor. The defining curriculum may, for example, enable students to pursue a more applied approach to the subject matter than is available through a major or minor.  Certificate programs may include, admission requirements, course prerequisites and a GPA requirement.

Certificate programs may be developed within a single department, a college or school, or a combination of academic units in a manner similar to interdisciplinary minors or degrees.

The unit offering a certificate is responsible for providing participating students with advising and other support services; it is also responsible for maintaining students’ files, assessing their progress and notifying the University Registrar of students’ successful completion. Completion of a certificate program will be noted on a student’s transcript at the end of the term in which all of the degree requirements and certificate requirements have been completed. 

Certificates are included in Slate for admission to a program, are printed on a student’s transcript and require Missour Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development (MDHEWD) approval.

An emphasis area is an official, defined focus of study that exists within a degree program.  An emphasis area is formally approved and transcripted and should not be confused with a “concentration” or “focus,” which are informal definitions used by departments to denote a coursework grouping. A concentration or focus is not formally recognized nor transcripted.

Emphasis areas must contain common, coherent elements within the degree program that all students complete. Ideally, there is a common set of courses. If not, at least some common objectives and learning outcomes must be articulated. In addition, the uniqueness of the emphasis area (i.e., how the emphasis area branches off from the common area of study) must be spelled out (i.e., separate and unique set of course work or outcomes).

Only degree-seeking students can choose an emphasis area. Individual academic units may stipulate admission requirements, course prerequisites or GPA requirements for emphasis areas. The emphasis area will be noted only on a student’s transcript, not the diploma. The emphasis area and the degree are normally awarded simultaneously. Emphasis areas may be added following degree completion according to individual college policies.

Emphasis areas are included in Slate for admission to a program, are printed on a student’s transcript and require Missour Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development (MDHEWD) approval.

Department minors provide students with the opportunities to pursue, within a single academic area, a coherent course of study that is more limited (normally 12-15 hours) than a full major yet more coherent than a random selection of courses. 

College/School minors are similar in purpose to department minors but are defined relative to more general areas within a division’s curriculum (e.g., an undergraduate minor in Business) as opposed to that of a particular academic department. 

Interdisciplinary minors are, in effect, department or college/school minors where the coursework is contributed by two or more academic units and the subject area does not constitute a single discipline. 

All minors are transcripted, restricted to degree-seeking students and may include course prerequisites or GPA requirements in addition to the course requirements. The degree and the minor must be awarded simultaneously.