UW Graduate School

Guidelines for New Degree Programs

The Graduate School’s Office of Academic Affairs and Planning coordinates the review of new graduate degree proposals as outlined in the new graduate degree program proposal flowcharts for UW Seattle, UW Bothell, and UW Tacoma.

The approval process for new graduate degree programs includes submission to the Office of Academic Affairs and Planning of two documents: the Planning Notice of Intent (PNOI) and the Full Program Proposal.

New degree programs require Graduate School review, including evaluation by external reviewers, followed by consideration and sanction by the Graduate School Council (UW Seattle and UW Tacoma) or the UW Bothell General Faculty Organization Executive Council. Final approval is granted by the UW Board of Regents.

Planning Notice of Intent (PNOI)

The first stage of new program development is contacting the Office of Academic Affairs & Planning (gsacad@uw.edu) for guidance and feedback on the PNOI. Units must submit a draft PNOI (Word document) for review and comment. A staff liaison will be assigned once the draft document has been submitted. Submission of the final, signed PNOI is by email to the assigned staff liaison.

Once final, the PNOI will be distributed to UW stakeholders for a 14-day comment period. The outcome of the PNOI process is permission to develop a full program proposal.

Guidelines for the PNOI are available in the following document:

Full Program Proposal

After receiving “permission to develop” from Academic Affairs and Planning, academic units develop a full proposal, taking into account any observations that stakeholders have submitted during the comment period. Units must submit a draft proposal (Word document) to Academic Affairs & Planning for review and comment. Submission of the final, signed proposal is by email to the assigned staff liaison.

Guidelines for New Degree Program Proposals are available in the following document:

Implementation

Approval of a new degree program by the Board of Regents leads to the following sequence of events:

  1. the Provost distributes a memo to the dean/chancellor confirming Board of Regents approval;
  2. the Office of Academic Affairs & Planning forwards the approval memo to the University Registrar for creation of new degree code(s);
  3. following degree code creation, the academic unit contacts Graduate Enrollment Management Services (GEMS) to create an application for admission.