Development and Approval of New or Revised Certificates, Degrees and Graduate Programs
New certificates, degrees and graduate programs, including articulation arrangements with other institutions, must be approved by the Graduate School. Many proposals also require approval by the State University of New York (SUNY) system and the New York State Education Department (NYSED). Normally, departments/programs will begin the process by consulting with the Graduate School staff to assemble the information necessary for review.
New advanced graduate ("campus") certificates must be approved by the Graduate School (including the Graduate Council), and then, via the Graduate School, approved and registered with the SUNY system and NYSED. A signed cover letter and the completed SUNY proposal form must be sent to the SUNY Provost at firstname.lastname@example.org. The completed form and appended items should be sent as a single, continuously paginated document, following SUNY's 2014 updated instructions. Once the proposal has been initially submitted to the Graduate School, the process requires a year or more for completion.
Further guidance is available on the SUNY Academic Planning website.
Degrees and Graduate Programs
New graduate degrees must first be approved by the Graduate School, which includes the Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School and Graduate Council (after initial review by the Curriculum Committee). A market analysis and a business plan are required. The Graduate School may assist with these, but the requirement is the responsibility of those making the proposal.
Beginning in 2014, SUNY and NYSED require the completion of proposal forms for the submission, approval and registration of a new graduate degree program proposal.
Process for Approval of New Graduate Program
1. Letter of Intent to Propose a New Graduate Degree
The SUNY system first requires the submission of the Letter of Intent, which is a notification that is sent to SUNY campuses. The Graduate School will assist in preparing the letter, as well as submitting it to the SUNY system. Before embarking on the preparation of a letter, please discuss your ideas with the dean of your unit and the Dean of the Graduate School.
- Proof of Concept
- Campus Internal Worksheet
- Process and Timeline
- SUNY Forms for Academic Program Planning: Letter of Intent (LI) – Graduate (Form 1B)
Upon completion of a draft of the letter, please send an electronic copy to the Graduate School.
2. Formal Proposal
The New Graduate Degree Program Proposal will be sent to the Dean of the Graduate School with any appended items required for the specific degree. It should be submitted as a single, continuously paginated document. Both SUNY and NYSED also require external evaluation of all proposed graduate degree programs by one or more SUNY-approved evaluators. An External Evaluation Report for each evaluation must be appended at the end of the New Graduate Degree Program Proposal.
After approval of the formal proposal by the Graduate School (including the Graduate Council) and the Provost, the Faculty Senate (which includes the EPPC and the Faculty Senate Executive Committee) reviews the proposal. After review by the Faculty Senate, the Graduate School submits the formal proposal to the SUNY system, which in turn submits it to NYSED. Both must approve the formal proposal. Provided that the original proposal meets the standards of the various levels of scrutiny, that process generally requires about one year. New graduate programs require a site review by external evaluators approved by the SUNY system.
- SUNY Forms for Academic Program Planning: New Graduate Degree Program Proposal (Form 2B)
- SUNY Forms for Academic Program Planning: External Evaluation Report (Form 2D)
- More information on academic planning for a new degree program can be found on pages 4-10 and 14 of the SUNY Guide to Academic Planning
- It is recommended that the description of the program (e.g., admission requirements, degree requirements, advising and supervision) adhere to the guidelines of the national Council of Graduate Schools. See Graduate Program Handbook Template.
Revisions to graduate degrees must be approved by the Graduate School. Depending on the type and extent of revision, approval by SUNY and NYSED may also be required. Revisions cannot be posted or advertised if they have not been approved. Please use the SUNY guidelines provided when drafting the proposal and submit your proposal to the Associate Dean of the Graduate School.
The proposal will be reviewed by the Curriculum Committee and also by the Graduate Council. Policy and procedural revisions to graduate programs, such as grievance procedures, exam deadlines and policies, and academic probation policies, should also be discussed with the Graduate School. The Graduate School can assist with ensuring that programs are aligned with national best practices in graduate education.
In certain cases, SUNY approval and NYSED registration will be required before any changes take effect. In these cases, the Program Revision Proposal: Changes to an Existing Program Form will be necessary.
Any changes that combine existing programs to create new programs (including 3/2 or 4/1 programs and multi-institution programs) also require approval and registration. For these, the Program Revision Proposal: Creating a New Program from Existing Programs Form is required.
- SUNY Forms for Academic Program Planning: Program Revision Proposal: Changes to an Existing Program (Form 3A)
- SUNY Forms for Academic Program Planning: Program Revision Proposal: Creating a New Program from Existing Programs (Form 3B)
- More information on the policies for program revisions can be found on pages 9-10 of the SUNY Guide to Academic Planning
Double Degree Programs
With recent changes from SUNY and NYSED, institutions are now able to host programs in which two master's degrees (subject to the institution's guidelines) are awarded to students without needing SUNY or NYSED approval. These are called double degree programs on the Binghamton campus. Proposals for double degrees will follow a format similar to the current SUNY form for new programs. All proposed programs must go through the following streamlined process:
- Completion of the New Double Degree Program Form;
- Review by the Graduate Council Curriculum Committee to ensure that all University policies have been met;
- Approval by a majority vote of the Graduate Council;
- Reporting of the new program to the EPPC;
- Listing on the Graduate School and program websites.
For more information regarding double degree programs, see the Graduate School Manual.
Articulation agreements (between any Binghamton University department/school and an external department/school/university) must be approved by the Graduate School and may require additional approvals, depending on the type of arrangement and institutions involved. Articulation agreements include the exchange of graduate students between institutions without paying additional tuition and must follow SUNY system guidelines.