More than 180 programs offer undergraduate, graduate, doctoral students the opportunity to acquire knowledge, specialize and refine, practice and perfect their intellectual and practical skills.

Academic Programs at UW-Milwaukee

Academic Approval Matrix
This document contains the current set of approvals needed for various academic actions including new programs, changes to existing programs, courses, renaming programs and departments, and creating departments/schools/colleges.

Resources for Existing Programs
  1. The Course Action Form (CAR form) is needed to request approvals for existing courses, or for new courses both at the undergraduate and at the graduate levels.
  1. Online Program Change Form (OPC form) is necessary to request changes to existing degree, certificate, or minor programs at all levels.
  1. Curricular Area Code Form (CAC form). Courses at UWM are organized under curricular areas. These are represented by the letters that appear in course numbers.   The CAC form needs to be processed to create a new curricular area, delete an existing curricular area, or to change an existing curricular area.
Resources for Creating New Degree Programs or Majors

Creation of a new a new degree program or a major is a multi-step process culminating in a review and approval by the Board of Regents. The following is a general outline of the process. Departments and schools/colleges may have their own internal approval processes in place which should be followed as appropriate. This section is written as if a single department is developing the new degree program or major. Where multiple departments/schools/colleges are involved, approvals must be obtained from each of those involved entities.

It is a good idea to contact Vice Provost Dev Venugopalan before starting the process to get clarifications on the process which can save time and effort.

Steps 1 - 12 of the process
Step 1: A group of faculty gets together to conceptualize a degree program.
Step 2: The concept is vetted with the appropriate academic department/non-departmentalized school faculty and Dean.
Step 3: A Notice of Intent (NOI) to plan the major/degree program is created by the faculty in accordance with UW System Guidelines.
Step 4: After obtaining approvals from the department faculty and the appropriate school/college faculty committees, the Dean, if he/she approves the Notice of Intent to plan the new major/degree program, forwards the document to the Provost’s office.
Step 5: The Provost’s office will circulate the document per UWM Academic Approval Matrix for comments, concerns,  and opportunities for collaboration from other academic units on campus.  After resolution of any concerns,  the document appropriately revised based on feedback.
Step 6: The NOI is sent to UW System Academic and Student Affairs office as well to all UW institutions for comments, objections, and opportunities for collaboration.  Comment period is a minimum of 10 working days.
Step 7: The UW System office communicates the approval or the denial of the request to plan the new major/degree program.
Step 8: If the NOI is approved, the faculty prepare another document requesting authorization to implement the major/degree program following the BOR template.
Step 9: The authorization document is routed in accordance with the UWM Academic Approval Matrix for approvals/and or comments. Approvals are required at the department (or equivalent), school/college, campus levels.
Step 10: The Provost’s office transmits the authorization document along with the financial worksheet and supporting documents to UW System office for placement on the Board of Regents (BOR) Education Committee agenda.
Step 11: The lead faculty member, Vice Provost, and UW System Academic Planner assigned to UWM collaborate on the final edits to the document.
Step 12: Upon approval by the BOR, the program is authorized to be implemented.

The time it takes to get a new program approved for implementation depends on the time spent in each step. UWM has had some recent new programs go through all of these steps in a period of seven months. However, it is safe to budget one year for the process to be completed.

1.    Notice of Intent to plan a new major/degree program
2.    BOR Template for Requesting Authorization for a new major/degree program
3.    Financial Template for new majors/degree programs

Resources for Creating New Certificate Programs

Required documentation to propose a new certificate

The proposal for a new certificate program must be sent to Vice Provost Dev Venugopalan. The proposal should address the required in the guidelines and must be accompanied by a cover memo from the relevant Dean(s) certifying that the proposal has been approved by the appropriate governance committees within each involved school/college. All documents must be submitted as electronic files (proposal must be in MS Word; supporting documents may be MS Word or pdf files).

The proposals for new certificates must be circulated by the Provost’s Office for campus input before they will be considered by the Academic Programs and Curriculum Committee (APCC) for undergraduate certificates or by the Graduate Faculty Committee (GFC) for post-baccalaureate or graduate certificates.

Resources for Distance Delivery
If you are thinking of offering a degree or a certificate by distance delivery, first contact Laura Pedrick, who coordinates UWM’s online offerings.

  1.  UW System policy on approval for offering a program by distance delivery
  2. Online Program Council
Resources for Planning to Offer a Program at Non-UWM Site
Offering more than 50% of the credits towards a degree at a location that is a non-UWM site requires approvals from the UW System as well as from the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), the regional accrediting body for UWM.   The HLC approvals may take several months and possibly a visit to the location prior to approval.  We can implement the program at the location only after receiving HLC approval.

It is a good idea to contact Vice Provost Dev Venugopalan before starting the above process.

  1.  UW System Administrative Policy 120, UW System Policy Regarding Offering On-Site Undergraduate and Graduate and Other Instruction Programs
  1. HLC approval process for additional location
Resources for Contractual/Consortial agreements
If you are planning to use a partner institution to deliver 25% or more of the credits needed for a degree, then we need to obtain HLC approval to do so.  We need to have an agreement with the partner institution that is reviewed by appropriate campus offices and signed by the Provost on behalf of the Board of Regents.

If the partner institution is accredited by federally recognized accrediting agency, UWM enters into a consortial agreement with that institution.

If the partner institution is not accredited by federally recognized accrediting agency, UWM enters into a contractual agreement with that institution.  This includes all non-US entities.

We can implement the agreement only after receiving HLC approval. It is a good idea to contact Vice Provost Dev Venugopalan before starting this process.

Resources for Program Reviews

Per Board of Regents policy, every degree program must undergo a periodic review to ensure quality and currency. At UWM, undergraduate degree programs are reviewed by the Academic Programs and Curriculum Committee (APCC) and graduate programs are reviewed by the Graduate Faculty Committee (GFC) on a ten-year cycle. New degree programs require a review in the fifth year of implementation of the program as required by Board of Regents policy. Additionally, APCC or GFC may require intermediate reviews based on the results of the regular review.

Current program review schedule