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Approvals for New and Substantively Modified Academic Programs

Academic program development

The development of any new academic degree or certificate program requires school, institutional, and Maryland Higher Education Commission review and approval. Any new academic program must first secure its school’s approval via school governance processes to proceed to institutional approval. Institutional approval involves the following steps.

  1. Consideration by the Academic Program Review Group (APRG). This can occur concurrent with school consideration and should ideally occur at the beginning of the program development/consideration process as an initial point of review to help identify potential internal and external obstacles to the program’s approval and success. The APRG group will occasionally make recommendations on the proposal’s content that best positions it for successful MHEC review. Program contacts should submit an academic program proposal form for the group’s consideration. The APRG typically schedules bi-weekly meetings and makes recommendations for a proposal’s remittance to the next step in institutional consideration. It will, not infrequently, recommend changes to a proposal, or a suspension in consideration while factors that might affect the program’s approval are discussed. Consequently, schools should be aware that proposals may need to be re-routed through internal school approval processes if APRG recommends substantive changes.
  1. PhD programs and Doctor of Philosophy Board. If the proposal is for a PhD, it requires review and approval by the university’s Doctor of Philosophy Board. Consideration and approval by the Board is necessary before remittance to the Council of Deans.
  2. Council of Deans (CoD). Assuming APRG recommendation for remittance to the CoD, and conditional on school approval, the program contacts must complete a MHEC proposal using the proposal template and submit to the Academic Compliance Officer for their review and recommendations. Once approved, the the Senior Associate Vice Provost for Academic Affairs will remit the proposal to the CoD for its review.
  3. MHEC submission and review. If the proposal is MHEC ready, the Academic Compliance Officer will submit it to MHEC and manage the interactions with and management of MHEC directives. Note that MHEC only accepts submissions on the 1st and 15th of the month. Subject to MHEC vagaries a review can take anywhere from sixty days to one year. The Office of the Provost will communicate progress in the review and its outcomes to all constituents. This will include the proposal’s school of origin, Office of the University Registrar, Office of Institutional Research, and the Office of International Services.

Other program actions that require state review

  1. Changes that affect more than one third of the curriculum of an existing academic program.
    “Substantial modifications” to existing programs require the same internal and external process as that which applies to entirely new academic programs.
  2. Changes to a program’s title.
  3. Changes to a program’s Classification of Instructional Program code.
  4. Offering an existing program at a non-Johns Hopkins location. This could also require Middle States Commission on Higher Education approval.
  5. Certificate programs being developed from curriculum in an existing approved program.
  6. Changes to a program’s modality, including rendering a previously face-to-face program a distance education program. More on the CIP code change process and policy is available from the Office of the University Registrar.

Please consult with the Academic Compliance Officer if you are considering any of the above changes to existing programs.

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