Academic Planning Proposals FAQ

1. How should academic planning proposals be submitted?

Academic planning proposals that establish, modify, change the name, and terminate areas of concentration, certificates, majors, micro-credentials, and minors should be submitted through Curriculog.

Other academic planning proposals, such as new degree types and dual, joint, and cooperative degree programs, new departments, and graduate admission requirements, can be submitted by memo to for graduate proposals or for undergraduate proposals. 

2. Who should be contacted for assistance with graduate academic planning proposals?

For questions regarding graduate academic planning proposals, email

3. Who should be contacted for assistance with undergraduate academic planning proposals?

For questions regarding undergraduate academic planning proposals, email Paula Janikowski at

4. What is the review and approval process for academic planning proposals after they are submitted to the Provost’s Office?

All graduate and undergraduate proposals are carefully reviewed by the Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies and their staff. If all portions of the proposal are in order, it is forwarded to the Provost’s Cabinet for further review (which may include a financial analysis). Thereafter, most proposals are reviewed by either the University Council on Graduate Study (UCGS) or the Provost’s Advisory Committee on Undergraduate Programs (PACUP). Proposals endorsed by either of these Councils are then forwarded to the Provost, who will conduct the final review and approval. Some academic planning proposals are also reviewed and approved by the Senior Vice Chancellor of the Health Sciences, the Chancellor, and/or the Board of Trustees.

5. What types of academic planning proposals are reviewed by UCGS and PACUP?

UCGS and PACUP review academic planning proposals for new (or the termination of) certificate- and degree-granting programs, significant modifications of degree-granting programs, new degree types or altering the name of degree types, new off-campus academic programs, and anything having a direct impact on a degree-granting program.

6. When do UCGS and PACUP convene to review academic planning proposals?

UCGS and PACUP meet once a month during the fall and spring terms. They do not convene during the summer. For specific dates and times, refer to the committee websites for UCGS and PACUP.

7. How far in advance of an upcoming meeting of UCGS or PACUP does an academic planning proposal need to be submitted to be placed on the agenda?

A completed academic planning proposal can be forwarded to the appropriate committee if it is received at least four full weeks before the upcoming meeting. Occasionally unforeseen circumstances may arise, which could postpone the forwarding of the proposal. Incomplete, inaccurate, or problematic proposals will be sent back to the school for correction before being forwarded to the appropriate committee.

8. What are the general guidelines on academic planning proposals?

See Guidelines for the Review of Academic Planning Proposals.

9. What are the financial analysis guidelines for new academic planning proposals?

See Financial Analysis Guidelines for New Academic Programs.

10. What are the guidelines for off-campus and distance education programs?

See Guidelines for Off-Campus/Distance Education.

11. What are the types and definitions of graduate certificates and micro-credentials?

See the Certificate Programs section of the Regulations Governing Graduate Study at the University of Pittsburgh.

12. What is the assessment requirement for academic planning proposals?

All new proposals for certificate and degree-granting programs should document how the student learning outcomes will be assessed in a Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Plan. All new proposals must include a copy of the Student Learning Outcomes Assessment Plan Matrix PDF with the first three columns completed. Programs may request permission to substitute a professional accreditation process as the assessment protocol by showing how that professional accreditation process maps onto the institutional framework for assessment.

For complete guidelines, resources, and examples, please see Assessing Student Learning Outcomes.

13. Where do I find the policies and guidelines for graduate programs?

The policies and guidelines on graduate programs can be found in the:

14. Where do I find the policies and guidelines for undergraduate programs?

The policies and guidelines on undergraduate programs can be found in the:

15. What must be included in academic planning proposals?

Most academic program proposals are submitted through Curriculog. There are four types of academic planning proposal forms in Curriculog that you can review in advance of submission to determine what needs to be included.

  1. Establish ARCO or Minor
  2. Establish Certificate, Major or Micro-Credential
  3. Modify/Name Change/Terminate ARCO or Minor
  4. Modify/Name Change/Terminate Certificate, Major, or Micro-Credential

To view a form template, login to Curriculog with your university credentials. Once you are logged in, select the button, + New Proposal, in the top middle of the screen. A complete list of all forms will appear. You will need to scroll through the list to identify the form that is unique to your school. Each school has its own set of forms to accurately reflect their internal workflow approval process. For example, if you are submitting a proposal to establish a new major in the MS degree in the Katz Graduate School of Business, you would scroll through the list to locate “KATZ – Establish Certificate, Major, or Micro-Credential.” When you put your cursor over the bar it will be highlighted, and you can drag your cursor to the small icon on the right that has a box with an arrow coming out. Select this icon and it will allow you to Preview Form opening a new window with the form. You can view the form and fields in the window and/or you can right-click on the form and select Print and destination > Save as PDF.