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Undergraduate & Graduate Program Proposal Preparation

Review information on #1-4 before starting to write proposal.

#1.RIT New Academic Program Proposal Form
  • Complete the RIT New Academic Program Proposal Form for all proposed new undergraduate and graduate level programs.
  • Download this proposal as a Word document and complete all information required on the form.
  • Be sure to use the exact numbering system that matches each section on proposal.
  • Be sure you include a table of contents.
  • Use this same proposal form for modification to a currently registered program which represents 33 1/3 % or more revision of a total program, i.e., a substantially modified proposal).


  • NOTE: Programs will need to use judgment with respect to what constitutes a change of 1/3 or more revision of a total program. Substantial change may mean a significant change to 1/3 of the credit hour content in the program or change may mean that the programmatic focus and expected outcomes have been significantly modified.
#2. Preparing New Program Financial Projections
  • Obtain required cost information for inclusion on Program Financial Viability (Section 4) as part of the proposal. 
  • Consultation with RIT’s Finance and Administration Division is necessary in order to prepare this revenue and cost analysis information.
  • For consultation, schedule a meeting with Leanne Hill, Director of Partnerships,
  • Prior to this meeting review the Checklist for Preparation of New Academic Program Costing of the New Program Proposal Form, which focuses on resource information needed for this meeting.
#3. External Review (only required for specific types of proposals)

When is External Review Required?

  • External review of a new program proposal by a recognized expert in the field  is required for certain types of proposals.  Such proposals include:
    • All graduate programs below the doctoral level that do not qualify individuals for professional licensure or education certification
    • Undergraduate degree program in an emerging or new field
    • Applications that require master plan amendment
    • Proposals for registration of new graduate-level teacher, educational leader, or pupil personnel services programs that lead to an area of certification that is new for the institution
    • Other proposals for which the Department determines an external review is necessary in order to make a registration decision

Reviewer Selection

  • It is expected that the proposed external reviewer will not be from New York State and will be a recognized expert in the field of the program, as demonstrated by appropriate educational credentials, professional experience and academic teaching and/or administrative experience in similar programs.
  • Program Proposer should contact the Office of the Senior Associate Provost as early as possible to begin the process to identify a qualified external reviewer.
  • The program proposer should send the Senior Associate Provost the names, CV's, and brief rationale for 2 individuals proposed to be the external reviewer
  • Individuals proposed cannot have any real or perceived conflict of interest with RIT (see below)

Conflict of Interest Requirements:

  • There is a conflict of interest/appearance of a conflict of interest when the potential reviewer:
    • Is a present or former employee, student, member of the governing board, owner or shareholder of, or consultant to the institution that is seeking institutional accreditation from the Board of Regents; this includes those persons who may have consulted or helped develop the proposed program.
    • Is a spouse, parent, child or sibling of an individual or person listed above;
    • Has expressed an opinion for or against the proposed program;
    • Is seeking or being sought for employment or other relationship with the institution under review;
    • Has a personal or professional relationship with the institution under review that might compromise objectivity; and/or
    • Has a competitive relationship with the institution that might compromise objectivity.

NOTE:  If the Department finds that the external reviewer chosen by the institution has a conflict of interest, it will terminate the review of the application and notify the institution that the application is incomplete and will be closed.

External Review Report:

  • External Reviewer must complete the External Reviewer Conflict of Interest Statment.
  • External evaluators are required to use the External Review Evaluation Report Form for Program Proposals in preparing their response. Please allow at least 4 weeks time for the review.
  • Don’t forget that the program proposer is required to provide a response to the external evaluation including information on how the program proposal was modified in response to the reviewer’s comments as part of the program proposal submitted.
  • The reviewer’s report and RIT’s response should be included in the proposal submitted to ICC or Grad Council for review

NOTE: A copy of the signed Conflict of Interest Statement must be on file in the Office of the Senior Associate Provost

#4. NYSED Registration: Steps Following Academic Senate Approval

Application for Registration of a New Degree Program (non-doctoral)

When all internal RIT curriculum approval procedures are completed, program proposals must be registered with the New York State Education Department. Complete the NYSED Application for Registration of a New Degree Program as a WORD document (do not send as PDF) as described below:

1. The NYSED Application for Registration of a New Degree Program (non-doctoral) contains the following:

  • General Information
  • Attestation and Assurances from Provost
  • Program Purpose, Objectives and Targets
  • Curricular and Course Information
  • Faculty Information

2. GOOD NEWS! You already should have ALL of the required information needed for these 5 Areas in your RIT Program Proposal. You should cut and paste information from the proposal to the NYSED Registration Application as described in #4 below.

3. If the new program will be offered in Distance Education format, you must also complete the Application to Add the Distance Education Format to a New or Registered Program Form

  • IMPORTANT: You do NOT NEED TO ANSWER QUESTIONS IN PART A of the Distance Education Application.
  • Sample responses for you to consider for questions in Part B can be found at RIT Standard Answers for Distance Ed Forms.

4. Complete the sections of the NYSED form using the chart found on the following webpage: NYSED Registration Guidance to assist in transferring information from the RIT New Program Proposal Form to the NYSED application form.


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