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 reviewed 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 Graduate School staff to assemble the information necessary for review.
New advanced graduate certificate proposals must be reviewed by the Graduate School and approved by the Faculty Senate and Provost. The proposal is then sent, via the Graduate School, to be approved and registered with the SUNY system and NYSED. The completed form and appended items should be sent as a single, continuously paginated document.
Further guidance is available on the SUNY Academic Planning website.
Degrees and Graduate Programs
New graduate degrees must be reviewed by the Graduate School, which includes the Vice Provost and Dean of the Graduate School. 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.
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.
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 two SUNY-approved evaluators. An External Evaluation Report for each evaluation must be appended at the end of the New Graduate Degree Program Proposal.
After review of the formal proposal by the Graduate School and approval by the Faculty Senate and Provost, the Graduate School submits the formal proposal to the SUNY system, which in turn submits it to NYSED. Both must approve the formal proposal.
- 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 reviewed by the Graduate School and approved by the Faculty Senate and Provost. 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 Dean of the Graduate School.
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.
Changes that combine existing programs to create new programs (including 3+2 or 4+1 programs and multi-institution programs) may 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
Combined and Double Degree Programs
With recent changes from SUNY and NYSED, institutions are now able to host programs in which combined bachelor's and master's or two master's degrees (subject to the institution's guidelines) are awarded to students without needing SUNY or NYSED approval. These are called combined/4+1 or double degree programs on the Binghamton campus, respectively. All proposed programs must go through the following streamlined process:
- Completion of the Combined Degree Program or Double Degree Program Form;
- Review by the Graduate School to ensure that all University policies have been met;
- Approval by the University-wide Program Review Committee;
- Reporting of the new program to the Faculty Senate Executive Committee;
- Listing on the Graduate School and program websites.
For more information regarding combined/4+1 or double degree programs, see the Graduate School Manual.
- Combined Degree Proposal Form
- Combined Degree Sample Schedule with Example
- Double Degree Program Proposal Form
- Double Degree Program Proposal Sample Schedule
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.