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Doctoral Degree Program Proposals

Consultation with Sr Asst Provost and Asst VP for Academic Affairs and NYSED

Program Proposers should follow the steps below:

  • Review the Doctoral Program Proposal flow chart.
  • Contact the Office of the Provost as early in the process as possible to:
    • Determine if the proposed new doctoral program requires a Master Plan Amendment and/or a Charter Amendment
    • Discuss requirements and processes for program proposal external field expert review selection
  • Doctoral program proposals require early consultation with the New York State Education Department.  This consultation is coordinated through the Sr Asst Provost and Asst VP for Academic Affairs. A site visit by at least two (2) nationally recognized external field experts from outside New York State is required once the proposal is complete. These experts are selected by the Institution in consultation with the NYSED Office of College and University Evaluation.
Doctoral Program Proposal Preparation
  • If the proposed new doctoral program expands RIT's academic mission by offering a degree at a new level of study or in a new disciplinary area, a Master Plan Amendment application must be submitted.
  • Review NYSED Guidelines for Doctoral Proposals and pay special attention to the following guidance:
  • Program Tables (8 Tables) found on pgs 9-16 in NYSED Guidelines for Development of Doctoral Program Proposals
    NOTE: These tables are submitted at the time of submission to NYSED but should be prepared at time of program proposal
    • Table 1 - Data on Faculty Members Directly Associated with the Proposed Doctoral Program
    • Table 2 - Data on Other Faculty Associated with the Proposed Doctoral Program (e.g., collaborative programs, master's programs)
    • Table 3 - Projected Staff for the Proposed Program
    • Table 4 - Student Characteristics
    • Table 5 - Projected Enrollment in the Proposed Program
    • Table 6 - Projected Expenditures for the Proposed Program
    • Table 7 - Projected Expenditures for the Proposed Program in Other Departments
    • Table 8 - Projected Revenue Related to the Proposed Program
  • The following items are not required by NYSED but are needed for RIT Governance review. Please include them as appendices:
  • Appendix A: Course Outlines for New Courses
  • Appendix B: Enrollment and Market Analysis
    • Anticipated Graduation Rate
    • Competing Regional and National Programs
    • Anticipated Geographic Draw
  • Appendix C: Internal Support Letters
    • Include letters of support
    • Include impact statement and internal agreements that identify impact of program on current resources and/or agreements related to shared resources
    • Include letters of support from individuals identified to provide testimony and evidence for program need and impact
  • Appendix D: External Letters of Support
  • Appendix E: Please contact Leanne Hill (, Financial Analysis Director, in RIT's Office of Budget and Financial Planning Services to complete the 5 year financial projections for your program. The projections include a section for anticipated space needs. For additional information on space requirements, please refer to Procedure for Allocation and Utilization of Space.
  • Attachment 1: Site Visit Team Report and Institutional Response to be added after Site Visit but before Grad Council Review.
External Review, Site Visit, and Institutional Response

Preparation for External Review

  • A site visit by at least two (2) nationally recognized external experts typically from outside of New York State is required.
  • This site visit should occur once the proposal is completed but before review by Graduate Council.
  • The External Reviewer Site Visit is arranged by RIT. Normally the Dean of the unit preparing the Doctoral Program Proposal makes all of the arrangements in collaboration with the Office of the Provost.
  • It is expected that the proposed external reviewers are recognized experts in the field of the program, as demonstrated by appropriate educational credentials, professional experience and academic teaching and/or administrative experience in similar programs.
  • The proposed external reviewers must not have a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest with the institution or program under review. There is 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.
  • Send names, rationale and CV’s of at least two recognized experts who meet the external reviewer criteria to the Office of the Provost as early as possible in the process.
  • Include a brief description of the proposed program with the recommended reviewers’ materials.
  • The Sr Asst Provost and Asst VP for Academic Affairs will vet these names and seek approval from NYSED.
  • External reviewers are required to complete a Conflict of Interest Form (see pg. 18 of Steps in Review of Doctoral Program Proposals)

Site Visit

  • A site visit is typically 1 - 2 days in length and involves appropriate interviews, document review, and institutional orientation.
  • Site visitors are asked to evaluate the “quality and viability of the proposed program in terms of governance, curriculum, faculty, students, facilities and resources” and should be directed to use the Instructions and Report Form of Doctoral Program Proposals Instructions and Report Form for Evaluation of Doctoral Program Proposals

External Reviewers Report and Institutional Response

  • External reviewers are asked to use the NYSED Evaluation Report Form (see pgs. 19-20 of "Steps in Review of Doctoral Program Proposals")
  • A single team report by Site Visitors is preferred
  • The institution is required to submit its response to the site visit report, fully addressing any concerns raised by the reviewers, (e.g., if the program were found to lack sufficient core faculty, the institution would need to appoint appropriate faculty, provide Curricula Vitae and solicit the site visitors’ comments on the adequacy of the new faculty coverage).
  • The Site Visit Team Report and Institutional response become part of the proposal package reviewed by Grad Council and Faculty Senate.
RIT Governance Review and NYSED Registration
  • Following completion of all curriculum review and approval procedures, send proposal to the Sr Asst Provost and Asst VP for Academic Affairs for registration and approval by NYSED.
  • Remember to include Program Tables 1-8 and an abstract. (See directions in previous Section 2 above).

NOTE: The proposed program may not advertise or admit students until approval has been granted and formal authorization is received from NYSED.

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