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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
  • Complete an RIT New Academic Program Proposal for all proposed new undergraduate and graduate level programs.
  • Download this proposal as a Word document and complete all information required.
  • 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, Financial Analysis Director,
#3. Graduate Programs Only: 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
    • 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 Provost as early as possible to begin the process to identify a qualified external reviewer.
  • The program proposer should send the Assistant 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 Statement.
  • 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 Provost

Best Practice Examples:

This response to the External Reviewers Evaluation Report receieved the following comments from RIT's liaison from the New York State Education Department (NYSED):

“I am sharing this external review/response narrative because I think it reflects a particularly thorough and thoughtful review (including both praise and some blunt concerns). Likewise, the response notes changes made in response to the observations—as well as areas of disagreement with the reviewer. Just the way [the process] should work, in my view….”

Example Evaluation Report Form for Program Proposals

Example Response to External Reviewer's Evaluation Report


#4. Governance Review and NYSED Registration

Registration of a New Degree Program (non-doctoral)

The applicable NYSED applications must be submitted as part of the RIT governance review and approval process (e.g. ICC/Grad Council and Academic Senate).

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.

When all internal RIT curriculum approval procedures are completed, the program proposals must be registered with the New York State Education Department. This will be handled by Academic Program & Curriculum Management.

The new program will need a CIP code assignment. This process can begin after the NYSED application is submitted.

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